When I was young I pretended to know everything. It often got me into trouble and made me look a fool. I think one of the most useful discoveries I ever made was how easy it is to say: “I don’t know.” I never noticed that it made anyone think the worse of me. The only inconvenience is that there are people who have nothing better to do than to tell you at tedious length all about something of which you have confessed your ignorance. But there are quite a number of things that I don’t want to know about.

Somerset Maugham, “A Writer’s Notebook”.

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