I would like to know if there is a word for the above situation. Particularly, I would like a word that replaces "X" in the following sentence:

You are so computer-X.

If it has to, it could fit in the following sentence:

You are so X when it comes to computers.

I have words for both, but the first is not a very intellectual one. The word I have for the first sentence is "ignorant". I don't like that word in this context, though, because it is fairly common. I would like an uncommon word for the former sentence. For the latter sentence, I have the word "inerudite", if I am using it properly in that sentence (it would be nice to know if I am not). I can live with using the using the second word and the second sentence, but I would like to know, is there a better word than "ignorant" that will satisfy the grammatical conditions of the first sentence?

  • Why not "You are so bad with computers"? May 26, 2015 at 18:13
  • 3
    The most common constructions here are "computer-savvy" / "computer literate" and its opposite "computer illiterate". Wired et al prefer the jazzier digerati (a play on the earlier literati), but this is specific to computer literacy and is hard to extend to other subjects.
    – Dan Bron
    May 26, 2015 at 18:17
  • @TristanWiley I could, but I would like something more intelligent, more sophisticated. May 26, 2015 at 18:20
  • Then I would go with "illiterate" as Dan said May 26, 2015 at 18:21

5 Answers 5


You could go with "illiterate".


displaying a marked lack of knowledge in a particular field

Source: Dictionary.com

  • I have considered it; however, I do not care for it in this context because I feel it is too common for my taste. "Inerudite" is quite esoteric, which is why I would much sooner use that instead of "illiterate". May 27, 2015 at 3:02

Someone posted the answer for which I was looking. I know not of why, but the individual's answer was removed, so for those that happen upon this, the word that was presented in the post was nescient.


: lack of knowledge or awareness

lack of knowledge; ignorance.

  • If you could add a definition: lacking knowledge; ignorant. and a link to a dictionary, that would be great. Etymonline has a good short description.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 10, 2015 at 13:13
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA It is done. I'm not apically privy to/proficient in the ways of StackExchange formatting, so if you have further suggestions, don't be loath to present them. Nov 15, 2015 at 12:22

The correct English word is ignorant, which means to have a lack of knowledge about something. Unfortunately many people believe the word means 'stupid' (it doesn't) and so take offence if described that way. If you don't think the person described will have a problem with it, that's the word to use.


I don't feel “ignorant” works in this context, because that would imply "not being aware" of something rather than "not being familiar with", which is what I think is meant.
I agree on "Computer illiterate" being an option. Below is another two words you could consider. In my home language, Afrikaans we have a great word to describe this situation, namely the word "leek”, for which the English translation is:
1. “Layman” Personally, I don't find it all that easy on my ear, but by definition (below) it is suitable in this instance. Google Definition: “ a person without professional or specialized knowledge in a particular subject” Google Example: "the book seems well suited to the interested layman" a. “Novice” Similar to the word, amateur, a word used to express something being “new to” a person.

I suppose another perspective on the words mentioned above that may help clarify their meanings as well as the difference between them, would be to rank/sort them according to “level of familiarity”: Ignorant: Level 0 – meaning “not even aware of…” Layman: Level 1 – meaning “no knowledge of…” Novice: Level2 – meaning “very little knowledge of…”


You are so 'incompetent' when it comes to computing.

  • 1
    In order to make your answer complete for readers who may not recognize why incompetent is a suitable option for the situation that the poster asks about, please consider including the relevant definition or definitions of the word from a reliable dictionary.
    – Sven Yargs
    May 29, 2017 at 9:16

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