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note that this concept is meant to refer to a particular or "special definition" of smart alec, and for the main and commonly accepted or used definition go to (here), which is wikipedia's page on smart alecyness...

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/smart_aleck

specifically the type of joke which i have no doubt you have been witness to, having existed in this world long enough to know how to read, in which someone pretends they don't understand something for the purposes of producing the literal definition, which they are presumably weilding as an example of their great intellectual prowess (read: ability to memorize and repeat knowledge they have memorized).[1]

  1. this is not to be confused with a similar type of joke, but which the purpose of is the opposite - that being to come off as stupid to their friends in the situation. The difference between the two is subtle yet major, as it marks the difference between a "joke" that is meant to impress people, and a joke that is "meant to impress people" (opposite). in one instance, the (speaker) (is pretending to communicate that they are knowledgeable on the subject). in some way this might be reduced down to saying that the second subset of people are a see: instances in which pragmatism strong-armed (intellectual finesse)

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