Dilbert/Induhvidual

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induhvidual, noun
A stupid person; a person who does or says something stupid. [1]

The word is based on a common expression (in US English?) "duh!" According to Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, duh is an interjection used since 1974.

  1. used to express actual or feigned ignorance or stupidity
  2. used derisively to indicate that something just stated is all too obvious or self-evident

The conscious misspelling of individual as induhvidual is a pejorative popularized by Scott Adams. In the Dilbert Newsletter #6, he explains:

In the last newsletter I asked what we should call people who are not in the DNRC. The rules were that the name should sound harmless to them but we would recognize it as a clever insult. I didn't specify that the name had to be sophomoric, but most of you accurately surmised that I would rate those suggestions higher. Hundreds of suggestions poured in.
And the winner is:
      • In-duh-viduals ***
As promised, sainthood has been bestowed on the winner, Saint Heather of Beantown.
Usage: "You're quite an In-duh-vidual, Andy."
Meaning: "Someday you will be cleaning the gunk behind my refrigerator, houseboy."
Although "In-duh-viduals" is the preferred name, any of the honorable mention names can also be used (see below). After all, it's not as though the In-duh-viduals will catch on.

A detailed treatment of the word, including commentary on its impact in common usage, is at http://www.logophilia.com/WordSpy/induhvidual.html.


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