KLG & Hoda: How to Sound Smarter & Commonly Misused Words & Phrases


Kathie Lee & Hoda: How To Sound Smarter

Have you ever felt stupid because you said a word wrong or used it in the wrong context? How about when someone uses a really big word and you have no idea what it means, leaving you to just nod your head and act like you know what the person is saying? Hoda said she hates it when it seems like people are keeping score of the mistakes she makes when she talks, so she and Kathie Lee invited Courtenay Smith, Editor in Chief of Reader’s Digest, and Terri Sjodin, a public speaker, on the show to give them some tips for sounding smarter.

KLG & Hoda: How to Sound Smarter & Commonly Misused Words & Phrases

Kathie Lee and Hoda talked with two experts about how to sound smarter, they went over commonly misused words and fixed some well-known song titles.


Smith said the key to sounding smarter is avoiding obvious errors. She said people may not understand when you are trying to make a joke by using a word in a different way than it’s intended use, which brought her to her second point of always knowing your audience. Know who you are talking to and know how to communicate with them if it is possible.

Sjodin said it is important to have an elevator message, meaning you get your point across to another person in 30 seconds to three minutes. She also said it isn’t always the best to use big words to get your point across. People will think you are smarter for being able to pitch ideas and talk clearly and concisely.

“Don’t use a 10 cent word when a one cent word will do,” Sjodin said.


Kathie Lee & Hoda: Commonly Misused Words and Phrases

Check out some of the most commonly misused words and phrases below and see if you can guess the right way to use the word.

  • Take preventative steps or take preventive steps? – Preventive is the right use. Sjodin said over a 100 years ago people decided to stop using the word with an extra unneeded syllable. 
  • Are you uninterested in the game or are you disinterested in the game? – You would be uninterested in the game. Sjodin said uninterested means you do not have an interest in something while disinterested means you have a bias towards something.
  • Do you denounce your gym membership or renounce your gym membership? – Sjodin said you would renounce the gym membership. You use renounce when it comes to a thing and denounce when it is about an idea.

Kathie Lee & Hoda: Corrected Song Titles

Sjodin also had some song titles that could use some correcting.

  • “I Feel Good” corrects to “I Feel Well”
  • “What’s Love Got To Do With It” corrects to “What Does Love Have To Do With It.”


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