: characterized by pretension: as
a : making usually unjustified or excessive claims (as of value or standing) <the pretentious fraud who assumes a love of culture that is alien to him — Richard Watts>
b : expressive of affected, unwarranted, or exaggerated importance, worth, or stature <pretentious language><pretentious houses>
: making demands on one’s skill, ability, or means : ambitious<the pretentious daring of the Green Mountain Boys in crossing the lake — American Guide Series: Vermont>
This is an interesting question and one quite suited to me, the one called great zamboni. I have been called pretentious a few times I must admit. Once I was at the helm of my 125 foot mega-yacht, The Obfuscator, off the coast of the Cayman Islands.
I was wearing a blue paisley Hermes ascot, a blazer with gold buttons and my white velvet sea captain hat. I asked my crew if the ascot was too much, and did I look pretentious? My first mate, a Maltese acrobat named Fortuna, smiled and said, “no, because you are not wearing pants or shoes. “
As my frigid johnson flailed around in the 30 knot winds, I started to understand the good and bad sides of this term.
Though this word is thrown around as an insult- I see a favorable side to it. The 2nd definition even is like “ambitious”, in this way, being pretetnious is reaching even farther than you think your skill can take you. It’s like T.S. Elliot said, getting in over your head is the only way to find out how tall you are.
Of course you can drown too, I spose.
I say that overall, I would rather be called pretentious than nothing at all. Let us strive in this life to do just that, strive. Wear the ascot on pantless Wednesday. Write the damn great american novel, not just another book.
Just play this video- The Style Council (pretentious band name!) a little arty? a little pretentious with the blue background? who cares, its good.
So there is your wisdom- and thanks to Robert E. for posing this conundrum.