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Can you increase or enhance common sense? For example, a person is book smart but not street smart and he wants to do something which can improve his common sense. What is the appropriate word to use when we want to improve the ability of our common sense?
Jun 9, 2013 9:08 PM
Answers · 4
That really doesn't make much sense. I don't think there's a clear cut difference between "book smart" and "street smart". Those terms are more or less derogatory. Every human being has common sense, but knowledge is applied in different ways. I think what you are referring to is the retention of knowledge versus the use of retained knowledge. There are some who retain a ton of information but cannot apply it, and others who retain very little but can apply all of it. It would be the equivalent of someone knowing 10 letters of the alphabet and being able to assemble 300 words and someone who knows 26 letters of the alphabet and can assemble 15-20 words. You can't really improve common sense per se, rather practice using retained knowledge.
June 9, 2013
You can say: He needs to be more streetwise or he needs more practical experience. Unless a person actually applies his knowledge practically, then he will not have much common sense. Parents and grandparents often teach children by showing them how to do things, using common sense.
June 9, 2013
"Common sense" refers to something "common" to all human beings, regardless of their personal experience. It's origins are in philosophy coming out of the United Kingdom. There's no way to say this, consequently. One either uses common sense, or doesn't. As for street smarts, one either is or is not street smart. There are comparisons "she's way more street smart than I am, man!" but no "activity" that "creates" "street-smartness," though you could invent such a word (if necessary) and people would understand you.
June 9, 2013
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