By definition, ‘Obviously’ means

  • In a way that is easy to see or understand
  • Unmistakably

You will find many people around you using the word ‘Obviously’ with an arrogant body gesture, said in a manner as if what you just told was obviously inappropriate. I know someone who does this once every day, and from my one year of observation I have understood that most of the time this happens when the person actually does not have any information on the subject under discussion until you mentioned it.

The use of the word ‘Obviously’ saves the person from the embarrassment of not being well informed. Probably, it is just said to convey that ‘Look even I am updated on these topics’—which I know is not the case here.

There is nothing wrong if you are not having an in-depth knowledge on a particular matter. It may not be your area of expertise to talk on that subject. But to listen and pay attention to someone sharing some interesting information that can be applied to your work, could actually benefit you.

No body knows everything. We learn something new every single day. No matter how qualified we are, the book knowledge can not beat day-to-day experience. In my opinion, if one gets a chance to learn something from someone (could be anyone – a friend, colleague, neighbour, sibling, a person senior to you, a person junior to you or may be just an acquaintance), then he/she should be grateful to the person. If not so, then at least not embarrass him/her ‘with nose in the air’ attitude—a behaviour which I feel is ‘Obviously Inappropriate.’

Just think it over next time you say “Obviously”.

Is it that you really knew the answer and the other person was acting smart?

Or are you the one acting smart to mask your ignorance???

…Ashu Bolar


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