Author Topic: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People  (Read 323770 times)

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Library Dragon

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At one time we had a house in Tacoma, Washington.  When DH retired from the Army we had to go deal with the property.  Many of MIL's friends argued that we were going to DC and there was no such state as Washington.

I hope I won't be thought too cheeky for observing, as a non-American, that some US place-naming does seem rather to invite the muddling-up of things -- in the light of how people tend to be easily confused.  I can kind-of sympathise with non-geographically-minded folk getting befuddled over the capital of the US being the city of Washington, in the District of Columbia; whereas there's also a state of Washington, some couple-of-thousand-plus miles away -- through which the Columbia River runs !

Likewise with the thing heard of quite often -- including from a PP on this thread -- of people getting bemused about the state of New Mexico, and thinking that the independent nation of Mexico is being referred to. Most of us can be pretty dense about something or other: with the way that a fair number of people tend towards mental blocks / confusion, about place-names, one could feel that those who originally named the locations concerned, might have taken thought about that; and tried to avoid the confusion-potential.

No, not cheeky at all. 

I wouldn't expect a non-US resident/citizen to get it.  I don't know if it still is, but even when my adult sons were in 5th grade they were expected to memorize all the state names and major territories, and of course Washington, DC.  So, to have adults who grew up in the US to argue that there is no place as Washington state and that we were confused about where we were flying and where we owned our home was aggravating. 

DH and I joke that if a US state has a city called Decatur there must be a city called Athens near by.  Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama have the cities near each other.  When we moved to our state many of our household goods were sent to the wrong state because it is the more well known of the cities. 

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Pen^2

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I had to explain to a male coworker, one who is married and has a kid, that women don't have prostates, therefore we won't cover a Prostate Specific Antigen test for a woman. Trying to be as delicate as possible, I had to explain that the prostate is part of the equipment that makes a male a male. Feeling increasingly desperate because he was still clueless, I said "It's just like a guy won't have a cervix."

When he asked me what a cervix was, I told him to ask his wife. My manager overheard my side of the conversation with her jaw open because she couldn't believe I had to explain the difference between boy bits and girl bits to a guy around my age (36ish).

I misread that as, "women don't have potatoes"  :P

A friend of mine was in her first year of med school. The topic of the tutorial happened to be human puberty or something similar, and the tutor was kind of rushing through the obvious stuff that everyone knows to get to the more important details that they would need to know as doctors. But then one guy raised his hand and interrupted...

"Hang on, did you say that during menstruation, blood comes out constantly? For days?"
"Yes, that's pretty much the biggest symptom of menstruation. Anyway-"
"No, no, I mean, constantly? Come on!"
"What do you mean? Of course it's constant; they can't just turn it off and on for convenience anymore than you can turn your heart off when you feel like it!"

The guy's jaw hit the ground. Apparently he thought it was just bloody urine. He had no idea that it occurred outside bathroom visits. I don't know if he finished med school. I've heard worse misconceptions, but not from med students.

Cami

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I had to explain to a male coworker, one who is married and has a kid, that women don't have prostates, therefore we won't cover a Prostate Specific Antigen test for a woman. Trying to be as delicate as possible, I had to explain that the prostate is part of the equipment that makes a male a male. Feeling increasingly desperate because he was still clueless, I said "It's just like a guy won't have a cervix."

When he asked me what a cervix was, I told him to ask his wife. My manager overheard my side of the conversation with her jaw open because she couldn't believe I had to explain the difference between boy bits and girl bits to a guy around my age (36ish).

I misread that as, "women don't have potatoes"  :P

A friend of mine was in her first year of med school. The topic of the tutorial happened to be human puberty or something similar, and the tutor was kind of rushing through the obvious stuff that everyone knows to get to the more important details that they would need to know as doctors. But then one guy raised his hand and interrupted...

"Hang on, did you say that during menstruation, blood comes out constantly? For days?"
"Yes, that's pretty much the biggest symptom of menstruation. Anyway-"
"No, no, I mean, constantly? Come on!"
"What do you mean? Of course it's constant; they can't just turn it off and on for convenience anymore than you can turn your heart off when you feel like it!"

The guy's jaw hit the ground. Apparently he thought it was just bloody urine. He had no idea that it occurred outside bathroom visits. I don't know if he finished med school. I've heard worse misconceptions, but not from med students.
I knew a guy who thought that too.  It was in college. He and his girlfriend were having a huge fight over playing scrabble since she did not enjoy scrabble while having her period. He kept insisting that she was being mean and lying since everyone knows that women only bleed when they go to the bathroom. It was a GREAT shock to discover to him that women are not that lucky.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 01:58:28 PM by Cami »

finecabernet

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Confession: I didn't know "lefty loosey, righty tighty" until I saw it referenced on "Gilmore Girls." Got laughed at plenty (good naturally of course) at work when my ignorance was revealed!

PeterM

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I wouldn't expect a non-US resident/citizen to get it.  I don't know if it still is, but even when my adult sons were in 5th grade they were expected to memorize all the state names and major territories, and of course Washington, DC.  So, to have adults who grew up in the US to argue that there is no place as Washington state and that we were confused about where we were flying and where we owned our home was aggravating. 

It's the arguing that annoys and offends me. Ignorance is excusable, at least for things that don't impact your life on a regular basis. Everyone's ignorant about something. I'm not sure I knew that both male and female sheep can have horns, for example, but I'm not going to argue the point without at least looking into it first. People whose instincts run to "I can't possibly be wrong" annoy the snot out of me.

I had a student intern like that once. He was from Cape Verde and hadn't had a whole lot of schooling before coming to the US, so it was only natural that he was ignorant of a lot of US and world history. He actively resisted learning better, though. I had a long debate with him in which I was absolutely unable to convince him that the Korean War and Vietnam War were not only different conflicts separated in time, but they also took place in completely different countries. He kept insisting otherwise, even after I broke out the encyclopedia.

Ignorance is excusable. Willful ignorance needs to be beaten to death with the Shovel of Knowledge.

Library Dragon

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Ignorance is excusable. Willful ignorance needs to be beaten to death with the Shovel of Knowledge.

Oh, this is good!  I'm stealing it NOW!

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Reika

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Ignorance is excusable. Willful ignorance needs to be beaten to death with the Shovel of Knowledge.

Oh, this is good!  I'm stealing it NOW!

That is an awesome line. If I knew it wouldn't get me in trouble, I'd post this at work.

cabbageweevil

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At one time we had a house in Tacoma, Washington.  When DH retired from the Army we had to go deal with the property.  Many of MIL's friends argued that we were going to DC and there was no such state as Washington.

I hope I won't be thought too cheeky for observing, as a non-American, that some US place-naming does seem rather to invite the muddling-up of things -- in the light of how people tend to be easily confused.  I can kind-of sympathise with non-geographically-minded folk getting befuddled over the capital of the US being the city of Washington, in the District of Columbia; whereas there's also a state of Washington, some couple-of-thousand-plus miles away -- through which the Columbia River runs !

Likewise with the thing heard of quite often -- including from a PP on this thread -- of people getting bemused about the state of New Mexico, and thinking that the independent nation of Mexico is being referred to. Most of us can be pretty dense about something or other: with the way that a fair number of people tend towards mental blocks / confusion, about place-names, one could feel that those who originally named the locations concerned, might have taken thought about that; and tried to avoid the confusion-potential.

To further confuse the Washington issue, there are about 26 other cities in the US named Washington--quite a few of the original 13 states have a Washington. Plus there's at least one in Canada.

Washington, DC, wasn't declared the US capital until 1790, and it wasn't named Washington until a little later. Many cities had been named Washington by then, in honor of George Washington. Washington, NH was the first, in 1776.

We've got a Washington in England, too -- a medium-sized-to-big town near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Probably a nice place in its way; but not one of the chief jewels in the British tourist crown.

Jocelyn

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I hope I won't be thought too cheeky for observing, as a non-American, that some US place-naming does seem rather to invite the muddling-up of things -- 
 
Non-Americans get a pass.  ;D Just as I hope we get a pass in England about the geographical units (see, I don't even know what they're called these days!) that end in -sex or -shire.
But Americans of a certain age can remember that certain teacher (mine was Miss Faulkner) who lined us up and drilled us in the names of states and their capitals. We had to be able to recite them, give the capital when she called out the state, and just about every which way you could drill children on the material. While I doubt I could do it these days, at least I remember that in a fair proportion of the states, the capital is NOT the largest or most famous city. If you gave me a map, I could easily label each state- I could even do a fair job of drawing the map from scratch. For those of us who had Miss Faulkner and her sisters, it's as amazing that people can't do this as if they were saying they don't know the multiplication tables, or they can't alphabetize words.

Outdoor Girl

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As a Canadian, we had to memorize the provinces and territories and their capitols.  But it is a heck of lot easier to remember 10 provinces and 2 (now 3) territories than 50 states and 2 (I think) territories.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

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We've got a Washington in England, too -- a medium-sized-to-big town near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Probably a nice place in its way; but not one of the chief jewels in the British tourist crown.

The home of one of George Washington's forebears, I believe
Mysterious ravens go after local farmer's potatoes


Maggie

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That no, boy/girl twins can NOT be identical. The standard question after learning my twins are boy/girl is, are they identical? I always reply nicely that, no, they aren't, but I've had a few people ask me if I'm sure!
  I just had to tell someone that on Thursday. I was relating a story from my childhood with two identical twin girls. One of the girls has a name that is often male, but just as often female. The story itself was about a situation involving their dresses for a school event. It involved a description of ruffles, hem length, and Mary Jane shoes, PLUS the critical factor that these were  IDENTICAL twins who pulled a switcheroo. At the end of it, this person looked at me in confusion and said, "But how come people didn't notice the boy wasn't a boy any more?"

Head meet desk. I said, "Like I said they were IDENTICAL twins. Girls. Hence, the dresses, etc."
Her: "But you said one of them has the [gender neutral name]."
Me: "Yes. And the owner of that name was a girl, hence the dresses, etc. But the main point is that they were IDENTICAL twins. You don't have identical twins if you have a boy and a girl."
Her: "Sure, you do. They're identical except for their sex."
Me: head meet desk again. "Then they're NOT identical. Identical means the same in every way."
Her: "Really? I always thought that identical meant almost the same except for one or two differences."
Me: "No. That would be SIMILAR."

My ex used to answer that question with you know I thought they were identical but then I changed their diapers and guess what they are not!  Not e-hell approved I am sure but still funny!

Emmy

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I had to explain to a male coworker, one who is married and has a kid, that women don't have prostates, therefore we won't cover a Prostate Specific Antigen test for a woman. Trying to be as delicate as possible, I had to explain that the prostate is part of the equipment that makes a male a male. Feeling increasingly desperate because he was still clueless, I said "It's just like a guy won't have a cervix."

When he asked me what a cervix was, I told him to ask his wife. My manager overheard my side of the conversation with her jaw open because she couldn't believe I had to explain the difference between boy bits and girl bits to a guy around my age (36ish).

I misread that as, "women don't have potatoes"  :P

A friend of mine was in her first year of med school. The topic of the tutorial happened to be human puberty or something similar, and the tutor was kind of rushing through the obvious stuff that everyone knows to get to the more important details that they would need to know as doctors. But then one guy raised his hand and interrupted...

"Hang on, did you say that during menstruation, blood comes out constantly? For days?"
"Yes, that's pretty much the biggest symptom of menstruation. Anyway-"
"No, no, I mean, constantly? Come on!"
"What do you mean? Of course it's constant; they can't just turn it off and on for convenience anymore than you can turn your heart off when you feel like it!"

The guy's jaw hit the ground. Apparently he thought it was just bloody urine. He had no idea that it occurred outside bathroom visits. I don't know if he finished med school. I've heard worse misconceptions, but not from med students.
I knew a guy who thought that too.  It was in college. He and his girlfriend were having a huge fight over playing scrabble since she did not enjoy scrabble while having her period. He kept insisting that she was being mean and lying since everyone knows that women only bleed when they go to the bathroom. It was a GREAT shock to discover to him that women are not that lucky.

If that were the case, why would there be a need for maxi pads and tampons?  Although I guess somebody who is that clueless really doesn't think about those things.  I hope he didn't finish med school because I wouldn't want a doctor that ignorant of the human body.

crankycat

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Male cats (and dogs or other mamals really), like their human counterparts, have nipples.

NyaChan

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I mentioned at work that I was having a salad for lunch because I was watching my weight.  Male Coworker (supposedly a genius) nearly screamed at me not to do it because lettuce was one of the most fattening foods in existence.  I asked why he thought that, and he said, “Look around.  When you see a fat person eating, what are they eating?  Lettuce!”

I didn’t bother arguing with him because it would not have changed his mind.

Ugh I have wasted far too much of my life trying to explain basic logic to people like this. It bugs me the most when the person has a good set of general knowledge and acts (or professes to be) quite "smart". Ad hoc ergo propter hoc is a very basic and simple logical fallacy. If you don't understand it, then you do not think very logically at all and are not smart, sorry.

I've met people who fall into the appeal to nature fallacy a lot more, though. I once had to take a woman out of a meeting to slap some sense into her or at least get her to shut up: during the meeting, there was a brief presentation on raising money for TB or something in various poor African countries. She had said, confidently and pleasantly, "but they live naturally, so they don't get sick! I'm not giving money to such an obvious scam!" Everyone else was horrified, mouths agape, and once I had dragged her out it took me a long time to explain that actually, a lot of "natural" things are worse, such as childbirth (20-25% mortality pre-modern medicine), tumours (slow and painful death), a great deal of genetic diseases (you would just die without modern health), and health in general (spectacles, sanitation, immunisations, etc.) Plus education and so on. People who think that "natural = automatically better" and that modern advances and technology are by default evil and bad make me feel actually nauseous.

Isn't it post hoc ergo propter hoc?  Though I suppose ad hoc works too, maybe better lol.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 07:10:46 PM by NyaChan »