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What is the proper term for a person who uses words incorrectly, hoping to impress others?

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marked as duplicate by John Y, Hellion, David M, Kristina Lopez, choster Mar 24 at 23:09

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ummm, if they use the words incorrectly, how is that impressing others? –  Kristina Lopez Nov 27 '13 at 19:55
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"trying too hard"? –  Mitch Nov 27 '13 at 20:00
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Related, but not a complete match is english.stackexchange.com/q/102443/15770 because attempting to impress is a common reason for being hypercorrect. –  Jon Hanna Nov 27 '13 at 22:58
    
@KristinaLopez might want to try that again, hah –  Dodgie Nov 28 '13 at 2:45

4 Answers 4

Pretentious is a good word to describe such a person. I don't know of a word that specifically refers to using words in this way. You could say "verbally pretentious".

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wikipedia has bushism, but I think you are looking for something like

The person suffers from

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Definitely Bushism! –  Rory Alsop Nov 27 '13 at 21:40

If the speaker were female, Mrs. Malaprop was a fictional character who used words incorrectly and the source of the word malapropism. If the speaker were male, calling him Dogberry is a less known, but parallel fictional character, who used malapropisms.

It seems that both Mrs. Malaprop and Dogberry were trying to impress their hearers, but came up with a wrong word with humorous effect.

Anyone engaging in illegal financial transactions will be caught and persecuted.

(He meant prosecuted.) -George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2008

The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system.

(He probably meant efficiencies. This is more of a Freudian Slip, and less a malapropism.) —Barack Obama, in remarks after a health care roundtable with physicians, nurses and health care providers, Washington, D.C., July 20, 2009

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How about pseudo-intellectual?

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