The Courage to say “I don’t know.”

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

The jury is out on who actually said this. It is often attributed to either Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain but it is unlikely either of them coined the phrase. However, whoever said it was no fool. I am going to coin my own related phrase (write this down) It is better to say “I don’t know” and be thought ignorant than to bullshit your way through an answer and remove all doubt. And yet, this seems to be a very hard thing for many people to do.

Jimmy Kimmel’s occasionally has a feature on his late night talk show called Lie Witness News. In it a reporter goes out on Hollywood Boulevard and asked passing people about things that haven’t happened. I really should have picked just one, but I couldn’t.

In the first clip, people are asked their opinion about Obama’s decision to appoint Judge Judy to the Supreme Court:

The second clip is a little older. It was made before Pope Francis was elected and people were asked what they thought of the new pope:

In this one, people are asked what they thought of the Academy Awards Ceremony before it had occurred.

Props to the last woman in the last video who calls the interviewer on the fact that they hadn’t occurred yet.

About cecigiltenan

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4 Responses to The Courage to say “I don’t know.”

  1. These were almost painful to watch, LOL!

    • cecigiltenan says:

      Ayup. I do wonder if they get many or any people who say, I don’t know or like the last woman, that hasn’t happened yet. It reminds me of the Emperor’s New Clothes!

  2. Catherine Lemanski says:

    I always wonder where these people are that they don’t know what is going on around them. I make a habit of not watching the news as it is very depressing but yet I know what basically is going on in the country.

    • cecigiltenan says:

      I understand a little bit of the not knowing. If someone asked me about the Academy Awards, I might not know if they had happened yet–I don’t watch them. However, if asked, I wouldn’t pretend I did. 🙂

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