A smart-ass (as i imagine) is led to believe that he genuinely is a connoisseur of every subject he has possibly heard of in his piteous life. He flatteringly enters conversations about unheard of topics. Some clever rejoinder or anecdote that he heard in a certain discussion or party is readily adopted as his own and he carefully nurses it until the opportune time that he hears the subject repeated again at some other party or discussion. And then, voila! He spills the anecdote claiming it as his own, oblivious to the company, which at times is the same as the one where the information originated. But it really is no fault of his own, for he really believes with all his heart and brain that it was he who thought of the rejoinder, and any claim to the contrary simply baffles him. And indeed his surprise is so infectious that one wonders if he really was the true originator of the story.
The dire need for claim to fame, the oblivious deliberate ignorance of the truth, the flattering attitude and the contagious belief in his self, all make the smart-asses one of the most complete irritants found in nature. The only possible solutions to get rid of them are unfortunately forbidden as the law for their violent nature. There seems to be no respite and the species seems to be growing at an alarming rate!