The Art of Bullshitting

There are several slices of knowledge you need if you are to be successful in any job, education or even in your love life. Obviously, you need to know what you’re doing – if you’re writing an essay for university, you need to know the subject inside and out. English? You must know about Dante or Chaucer or Orwell. History? As long as you’ve studied every revolution, uprising and can regurgitate dates, you’re good. In an interview you need to know how to apply and sell yourself.

Or do you?

Well, no. Not really. All you need to do is know how to bullshit. And bullshitting is an art form all of its own.

Let’s take the education example again. I myself went through my last two years of school doing nothing but essays. I’d taken three essay subjects, English, History and Psychology (never take more than two essay subjects, the wrist cramp is unreal). And, for each of them, I quickly discovered that bullshitting was an incredibly important skill I had to learn.

Rather than cramming facts about Geoffrey Chaucer or Toni Morrison, or delving deep into information about the Reserve Police Battalion 101, or developing ways to recall names of Psychologists, I… did nothing. I had better things to do.

But, fortunately, my Bullshit Skill was high by that point. By simply reading the textbooks, I realised just how little you had to actually know. Of course, some knowledge was required, but nowhere near as much as people expected me to learn.

The basic principle of bullshitting is “sounding good”. If you start talking like you know, even if you don’t, that’s an excellent basis. Easier said than done, obviously. So let me tell you how to bullshit.

What you do with this knowledge, in a job or at school, will be invaluable if you memorise it. So listen up.

1) Use long and semi confusing words – Right, time to right-click and hover over the “Synonyms” option. What you want to do here is to write words that people just about know. Words such as “synonymous” or “expendable” always work well and look good. Use words that are too odd and people will know you used a thesaurus. With this, you will seem confident and in control of your essay, job interview or scientific paper.

2) Write mostly in compound sentences – Simple sentences just won’t cut it in these circumstances. To bullshit, to show your confidence, you want to express yourself in long, flowing sentences. Don’t talk matter-of-fact. Explain, use those tricky little connectives. Elaborate, no matter what. You have to put those impressive words somewhere.

3) What to say – I can tell you all I want to use long and clear sentences, to use left-field words, but what can you actually write? Of course, you’ll need to know something about the subject. But there is no call for you to learn more than the bare minimum.

Let’s take an example – I know nothing about the process making shoes, or cobbling, but I’ll bullshit a short paragraph about it.

In order to create a comfortable shoe, the spread of the foot must be known. The natural shallow arch of the foot must be supported by the sole, so the moulding of the rubber sole must be thicker on one side. As a result, the mass placed upon the foot will be genuinely supported and therefore be comfortable.

That wasn’t so hard. And do I know anything about shoes, or the making of them? No. Am I certain that information is correct? No. In fact I think it’s incorrect. But what I’ve said makes sense, and I believe I’ve said it pretty convincingly.

That’s all that’s important to remember when bullshitting. You don’t need to learn what they say you need to. Nope. Just bullshit. It’s much easier.

And it works. I did it all through sixth form, and I’ve got my ABB grades needed to get into university next year.

So, final line. Go bullshit; cutting corners ain’t so bad.

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