Ultracrepidarian. How could I have spent over 30 years dealing with the news media and not been aware of this term? Thanks to my 365 Amazing Trivia Facts Calendar (Workman Publishing), I've now been enlightened!
Ultracrepidarian: a person who voices opinions beyond his or her scope of knowledge.
The U.S. debt ceiling crisis has provided experts a media interview heyday. But were the "experts" expert? Or were they ultracrepidarians? Or an accountant waiting for a job interview?
I recall sitting in the green room of a network affiliate here in Washington, DC. I was with a client awaiting her appearance on the morning show. Suddenly a producer rushed
I admit I almost volunteered. Now the closest I'd been in years to preparing a return was signing the checks for the CPA. Nonetheless, I figured I could come up with enough tips to fill a 3-minute segment; tips that would follow the doctor's mandate of "do no harm." I could have been a credible ultracrepidarian.
But my mantra is "Result." And to have appeared would have had no result useful to my business.
Sometimes of course, the expert is not a ultracrepidarian. He or she is simply the wrong person. In this video, a job applicant who suddenly finds himself in front of the camera.
So the next time you are watching an expert, remember, viewer discretion advised. Or in other words, Caveat Ausculator.