@Bert: And then she follows that with, "And the scary part is that I knew that." Pretty hilarious.
That reminds me of the later episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" when Penny says something pertaining to Star Trek or Physics and then goes "OMG, where did that come from." (Or when she uses a long word and then turns to the other two girls who nod to show she used it correctly / appropriatly)
I don't know how to spot a real engineer, but sometimes my wife finds herself explaining something technical to family or friends. And then she follows that with, "And the scary part is that I knew that." Pretty hilarious.
@betajet: ...writing "the hoi polloi" is redudant...
Well... yes... OK... I can't argue with that... but... sometimes things just sound better on the ear one way rather than another. For example, if I read (or heard someone say)...
That must make him one of Hoi Polloi.
... then this would grate on my sensibilities somewhat, whereas...
That must make him one of the Hoi Polloi.
...would be more acceptible to me. On the other hand, I certainly wouldn't want to imply in any way that the Three Stooges were less than masters of the pidgin language laughingly referred to as American English.
My friend Ernesto had a problem with his cable service. When the technician came round he Ernesto connected up a spectrum analyser to a) show the problem to the technician and b) to check that the problem had been corrected.