“The person who says he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually does not know what he thinks.” -Mortimer Adler.
There are 2 types of knowledge – knowing the name of something and knowing something. The former is called chauffeur knowledge, you know a bit of it, and you can bluff it so to make an impression. The latter is called Plank knowledge, that is, the stuff that you really know, you have paid your dues, and you have the aptitudes.
Real knowledge comes from the people who do their work, chauffeurs are the ones that don’t, but they pretend. They learned to put on a good show, but they lack understanding. They can’t answer questions that don’t rely on memorisation or explain things without using jargon or vague terms. They have no idea how things interact. They can’t predict consequences. In Chinese it’s called “throw schoolbags”.
So how do you know whether someone really know what they are talking about. Ask them “why”. Make them describe what the concept they said they know without using that very word.
Trust me. Many will just have their mouth opened wide.
Unable to discern between what we know and what we pretend to know, we ultimately become victims of our own laziness and intellectual dishonesty.