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gazing from the shadows
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I need a word, or a short phrase, to describe someone who pitches things way above their audience. Not a jerk, not an egotistical way of doing so, but rather a bit clueless about it. So a math prof trying to teach 8th grade math, or a pro athlete trying to teach pee wee sports.

Sesquipedalian is someone who uses big words, but that's not quite the sense.

Literally the best I have so far is "pro athlete trying to teach pee wee sports". Too long. I'd like 3 words if possible.

Help appreciated regardless of quality. Snark appreciated proportionate to quality.
 

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Quiet, daddy's drinking
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When I started teaching at one of our local universities I told the Dean that I wouldn't "Harvard Law the Business Law 101 students." In other words, this wasn't a law school class and I didn't need to annihilate them with jargon and the socratic method.

Another one might be "Don't Einstein the remedial math kids."
 

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I have a colleague just like this. Good question.

- Oblivious to their own superior command of the subject matter.
- Sandbagger (wrong connotation though).
 

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Reminds me of the line from the movie "Philadelphia", where Denzel Washington says "explain it to me like I'm a two year old"
 

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"flies at 20,000ft when everyone else is still on the ground"
"an eagle teaching chooks to fly"
"a shark in the paddling pool"
"a Heisman trophy winner teaching flag football"
"a politician pitching health care to 6 yr olds"

that's all I've got. plus one.
 

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What the what???
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Armani amongst Levis
Five grand for a fifty buck job
Caviar on a cracker
 

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This would be a perfect assignment for Mark Twain or H.L. Mencken.

I'm not of much help; the only thing I can think of is, "pouring champagne into a paper cup". Besides; that sounds like it's complimenting the oblivious, and we certainly don't want to do that...
 

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Speaking like an economist. :)
 

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I need a word, or a short phrase, to describe someone who pitches things way above their audience. Not a jerk, not an egotistical way of doing so, but rather a bit clueless about it. So a math prof trying to teach 8th grade math, or a pro athlete trying to teach pee wee sports.

Sesquipedalian is someone who uses big words, but that's not quite the sense.

Literally the best I have so far is "pro athlete trying to teach pee wee sports". Too long. I'd like 3 words if possible.

Help appreciated regardless of quality. Snark appreciated proportionate to quality.

Abstruse, recondite, arcane come to mind...anything there strike your fancy?

Or, you could just use his title: "Dean..."

:)
 

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gazing from the shadows
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Abstruse, recondite, arcane come to mind...anything there strike your fancy?

I'm looking for something with a bit more color.

The hard part is avoiding more than a mild sense of disapproval. Most things I think of (and suggested) carry too much negativity. I need to convey as MOST a befuddled head shake at the cluelessness.

Ethereal doesn't quite get the sense. And more nounish would be nice.

Cloud walker? Maybe, plays off head in the clouds, which is kind of there. Cloud foot? Hell no!

Stargazer? Always looking up, never down? Too celebrity struck sounding.

Ivory tower takes it into lack of understanding/out of touch with things territory. I need too much understanding, not enough translation of understanding.

HSL. Human as a second language. That I like, but it's too strong.

Fish out of water + something something might work. Hmmmm.

Talosians? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cage_(Star_Trek:_The_Original_Series)#Plot_summary Nahhhhh.

Bones. From the TV show. That kind of captures it as a character. Talking way too high, and a bit clueless about doing so since what she says is so obvious and simple, really.

Maybe I should search TV Tropes?

I know what I want it to do, I just can't figure out how to get it to do it.
 

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This is over the three word limit and infers only one instance, but there's an old saying I like that goes something like "using a 50 cent word when a ten cent word will do".
 

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Escorted from the White House
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Professor Overkill.

Captain You-Lost-Me.

Braniac Can't Explain-iac.

Hooked on Quantum Physics.
 
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I'm looking for something with a bit more color.

The hard part is avoiding more than a mild sense of disapproval. Most things I think of (and suggested) carry too much negativity. I need to convey as MOST a befuddled head shake at the cluelessness.

Ethereal doesn't quite get the sense. And more nounish would be nice.

Cloud walker? Maybe, plays off head in the clouds, which is kind of there. Cloud foot? Hell no!

Stargazer? Always looking up, never down? Too celebrity struck sounding.

Ivory tower takes it into lack of understanding/out of touch with things territory. I need too much understanding, not enough translation of understanding.

HSL. Human as a second language. That I like, but it's too strong.

Fish out of water + something something might work. Hmmmm.

Talosians? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cage_(Star_Trek:_The_Original_Series)#Plot_summary Nahhhhh.

Bones. From the TV show. That kind of captures it as a character. Talking way too high, and a bit clueless about doing so since what she says is so obvious and simple, really.

Maybe I should search TV Tropes?

I know what I want it to do, I just can't figure out how to get it to do it.

"Competent to a fault" comes to mind as a phrase, but I don't think that's quite right, either, from what you've said.

Let me ask a writer friend of mine, as soon as he wakes up--he's very good with words.
 

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What the what???
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I'm looking for something with a bit more color.

The hard part is avoiding more than a mild sense of disapproval. Most things I think of (and suggested) carry too much negativity. I need to convey as MOST a befuddled head shake at the cluelessness.
Functionally oblivious
In a different gear -or- stuck in the small/big ring

Or maybe do what Shakespeare did when he couldn't find the right word or phrase... make your own.
 

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gazing from the shadows
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Braniac Can't Explain-iac.
I found use for "Brainiac who can't explainiac."

Not what I was looking for, and not the use I was looking to fill, but I found use for it. :)

I are nermally good word maker.

Or maybe do what Shakespeare did when he couldn't find the right word or phrase... make your own.
Might have to. But while I generally can find a good word or phrase, making them up out of nothing is going to take some effort. I'll see what I can do.

Maybe Alien Scientist sort of thing, "Gortho from Centauri" ... which sucks but I could make it better with time. "Using concepts you understand, if we fold space through the color yellow and make that orthogonal to puppy love.... see where I am going with this?"

"Alien Scientist" conjures up unfortunate images of probing.
 
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