How do you spot an amateur?
September 18, 2012 1:17 PM Subscribe
How do you spot an amateur in your trade, profession, or hobby? Specifically, what are some examples of things that people without experience do, while attempting what you do or know well, because they don't know any better that make their lack of experience obvious?
posted by Blasdelb to Society & Culture (266 answers total) 348 users marked this as a favorite
For an idea of what I'd like, I was inspired to ask this question by this quote from the the main article
in the excellent Teller post
"It's actually Penn who best explains the power of magical restraint in his autobiography, God, No! Penn was once a student at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in Florida. There, he learned a way to distinguish professional clowns from amateurs: the red makeup around their mouth. A professional clown stops his makeup at his top lip. He won't paint where his mustache might be, because he knows that too much makeup actually obscures his expression rather than enhances it. Amateur clowns assume that more makeup equals more expression, and they paint from the bottom of their nose to the point of their chin. Professional clowns refer to this phenomenon as the "busted asshole."
What are some examples from what you do? Bonus points for tells that an outsider can distinguish.