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Hi

Would the word smarts meaning intelligence sound OK in everyday (educated) conversation? Or is it low-register?

He had the smarts to call the police at once.

Thanks,

Tom

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Mr. Tomlow-register?

I consider it low-register. Very informal. It's slang.

CJ

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Thanks!

CJ, I firmly believe that it is very difficult for a non-native speaker of English to get a feeling for register unless he is immersed in an English culture and learns which words are used in what situations. I don't think there are (m)any guidelines.

Is the use of intelligence OK there in everyday conversation?

He had the intelligence to call the police at once.

Tom

Mr. TomI firmly believe that it is very difficult for a non-native speaker of English to get a feeling for register unless he is immersed in an English culture and learns which words are used in what situations.

That's understandable. I don't know of any guidelines either.

Mr. TomIs the use of intelligence OK there in everyday conversation?
He had the intelligence to call the police at once.

Yes, but if you think intelligence is too high-register, you can still use smart.

He was smart enough to call the police at once.

CJ

Hello, dear author. To my personal mind, this sentence sounds really casual and I completely agree with previous replies. But also I think that you can use it depending on the context and sometimes it can sound really okay. And anyway it is quite interesting case to discuss, thank you!

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