Today I randomly thought about any enigmatic questions that have crossed my mind on a daily basis. I pondered about the fundamental difference between being smart, intelligent, and intellectual. I personally think that each word is only used as a characteristic to describe a certain type of person. But I also think that each word also has a different meaning depending on the context. For whatever reason some people use these words interchangeably but I honestly think they shouldn't be.
For example I think the word intellectual is used to describe a prominent writer, thinker, or historical figure. This word is also primarily used in an academic setting. It has a prestigious distinction that sets it apart from any of the other adjectives that describe a keen person. I also think that intellect is an innate attribute. People are blessed with the gift of thinking differently than the rest of mankind. Intellectuals view the world through a different lens. Many intellectuals can be considered philosophers.
Smart I think is a word used to describe someone who is stellar as far as obtaining good grades in school. You can be smart and not be an intellectual. Although most people can obtain good grades if they work hard enough not everyone has the unique ability to articulate their thoughts through speech or on paper. An intellectual has a reached a higher plane of learning and has superseded the way most people think. When people use the word intellectual to characterize an individual it is implied that they are in the vanguard of society. But the word smart is a common way of saying somebody is sharp. A real world of an example of an intellectual would be Dr. Cornel West because he has a profound understanding of the way the world functions and is able to apply his theories to his field of study. Somebody who is smart is somebody who possesses the knowledge to win jeopardy but is not able to elaborate on certain issues.
Now the last word intelligent I think has a different connotation. When somebody is intelligent they can be knowledgeable about certain subjects and while having their own personal views on different topics. But I think when people call other people intelligent it is insinuated that they have acquired a lot of knowledge in their field or compiled many facts about different topics. At the end of the day these words all have seperate meanings.