Author Topic: s/o adults should know this - retrospectively obvious things you've just learned  (Read 80388 times)

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Minmom3

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Heh heh heh.  Going on words I had read and knew (but somehow could not SAY correctly) - gelding.  For some silly reason, my young self was POSITIVE that it was pronounced "GEEEE-ll-ding"  My mother could not convince me otherwise.  I'm not sure what did change my stubborn head, but I think it was years....

My other word - heuchera - a plant I've seen numerous times at numerous nurseries - I was SURE it was hwe-CHER-a.  I heard somebody say it, and then got up the bravery to ask nursery staff "HOW do you say this name??"  YOU-ker-a.  Who knew?

I feel endlessly stupid when I find I've mangled the pronunciation of a word, but I can, 99% of the time, use it properly, I just can't SAY it properly - it's all that reading that is at fault.  Only the knowledge that many of my friends and co-workers also mangle words (both meaning and pronunciation) makes me feel less stupid!

Bonus - I was a really good speller until I took Spanish in 7th grade.  After that, I couldn't separate out English spelling and Spanish spelling.
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BB-VA

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She was Her-me-own to me for a whole year! (I was a late adopter of HP)

I knew how to pronounce it because of Hermione Gingold (same as a later poster). but my husband called her Hermi-one (sorta rhymes with Obi-Wan).
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baglady

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I was about 30 when I finally figured out the origins of certain items found at certain seashore locations. No, those things that look like jellyfish are not jellyfish! And no, there is not this cadre of shameless women who think nothing of changing their tampons on a public beach and leaving the applicators in the sand. I haven't flushed either product since.
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amandaelizabeth

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I have the Greater Oxford as an app on both my phone and ipad. Can you tell I am a cryptic crossword fan?  Anyway they come with a spoken  pronunciation guide.  Settles arguments in the pub really quickly.


Hazmat

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Ascertain (asser-tane).  I thought it was pronounced a-certain. :-[
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MariaE

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I didn't just find this out - it was when I was about 13 - but I'm still kind of embarrassed.   When I was a kid, my mother used to cut my fingernails for me with a pair of nail scissors.  These scissors were like any other kind; i.e. they were for right-handed people only.  That's why I needed her help - I could cut my left hand's nails, but not my right.  One day, I said to my friend "I have no idea how I'm going to cut my nails when I'm grown up and in a place of my own.  I'll probably have to call Mum over to help me!"  She looked at me oddly and said "Um, just use nail clippers."  "Huh?  What are those?"  "You're kidding, right?"

I wasn't.  I'd never heard of them.

My nail scissors have straight circular metal handles.  They can be used by persons of either-handed pursuasion.  I've not seen them otherwise (thoguht larger scissor ofen are...)


It's not just the shape of the handles; it's the direction that the blades cross each other.

But it doesn't make any difference.  After all, I use my left hand to cut the nails on my right and both hands look the same at the end.
Does to me. I'm left-handed, but I still can't use nail scissors to cut my right hand. The blades just won't meet properly. I've tried turning it around (so the blades curl away from the nail rather than with it) and that helps somewhat, but not enough to make it worth while.

Nail-clippers are so much easier to use :)
 
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cabbageweevil

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My other word - heuchera - a plant I've seen numerous times at numerous nurseries - I was SURE it was hwe-CHER-a.  I heard somebody say it, and then got up the bravery to ask nursery staff "HOW do you say this name??"  YOU-ker-a.  Who knew?

I feel that where "the vegetable kingdom" in general is concerned, anarchy obtains pronunciation-wise, and nobody need feel ashamed about, for however much of their life, getting pronunciations wrong. For a very long while, I thought that cotoneaster (I'd seen the word in print, but not heard it said) was pronounced "cotton-Easter". In fact it's "cot-OWN-e-aster". And quinoa: I long pronounced that as "kwi-NO-ah"; it's actually "KEEN-wah". And with the latter word having got into English from the Quechua language by way of Spanish; I consider messing-up of it on the part of Anglophones, to be particularly forgivable.

RingTailedLemur

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I think it was in the other thread.  I just found out why carpenter's pencils are flat.  I'd never thought about it before, I think I assumed they use round pencils like anyone else.

Louie_LI

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The other thread got me thinking - what things have you only recently learned that other people were surprised you didn't know?

For me, one recent one was that red wine is made with the skins and white wine is without.  I assumed it was red grapes versus white grapes.  (It's not as easy as that, apparently.)

There are three types of wine grapes: red skin with red insides, red skin with white insides and white skin with white insides. You can make white, red or rosť from the red ones with white insides; the color will depend on how long the skins stay in the vat. For white grapes, the skins stay in the vat for a bit (how long depends on what the winemaker is trying to do).

For example, the three grapes authorised for Champagne are pinot noir, pinot meunier (both red skinned with white insides) and chardonnay (white grape).

Shalamar

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Quote
I still can't use nail scissors to cut my right hand. The blades just won't meet properly.

Same here - plus my parents' nail scissors didn't have curved blades like the picture.  They were just straight.    Somehow my left hand is "dumb" when it comes to things like using scissors, too, which doesn't help.  When I discovered the wonder that is nail clippers, and realized that these miracles only cost a few bucks, it was a happy day for me.  :)

cwm

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Somehow my left hand is "dumb" when it comes to things like using scissors, too, which doesn't help. 

I'm...somewhat ambidextrous. I write with my left hand, and can use scissors with both, but when I was working in a grooming salon for a stint, I couldn't use the regular scissors with my left hand, I had to borrow another groomer's left-handed shears. They are made differently. Paper scissors and kitchen shears don't seem to matter too much, but specialty shears make a huge difference in how they cut between hands.

It came as a surprise to me when I started learning fencing that not everyone could learn on one hand and just transfer the knowledge to their other hand. I only practiced with my right arm, but when it was "cut off" (Renaissance style fencing, not competitive, so when a limb is hit, you just either kneel or stick your arm behind your back and keep going), I'd switch to my left and go from there. It threw everyone else off because I was just as good on my off hand. I didn't see it as my off hand, I'm actually left handed so the coordination was there, I just learned to do sports right-handed!

Virg

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cwm wrote:

"I only practiced with my right arm, but when it was "cut off" (Renaissance style fencing, not competitive, so when a limb is hit, you just either kneel or stick your arm behind your back and keep going), I'd switch to my left and go from there.  It threw everyone else off because I was just as good on my off hand."

And when you did, I presume you said (in a proper Spanish accent), "I am not right handed."

Virg

Slartibartfast

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I kind of suspect the whole Hermione pronunciation thing in book 4 was because JK Rowling was sick of people mispronouncing it  :P. (I'll admit I was reading it as "Hermi-ninny" until then!)

RegionMom

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But, he was not left-handed!
:)

a few years ago, when DD was about 9/10 years old, she peeked up from a chapter book and asked, "mom, what is Mary-Jew-Anna?"
I thought it was a proper noun, until I had her read to me the surrounding sentences.  The word was marijuana.
 ::)
(The part was about teens stumbling upon a secret crop in a field)
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Iris

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Somehow my left hand is "dumb" when it comes to things like using scissors, too, which doesn't help. 

I'm...somewhat ambidextrous. I write with my left hand, and can use scissors with both, but when I was working in a grooming salon for a stint, I couldn't use the regular scissors with my left hand, I had to borrow another groomer's left-handed shears. They are made differently. Paper scissors and kitchen shears don't seem to matter too much, but specialty shears make a huge difference in how they cut between hands.

It came as a surprise to me when I started learning fencing that not everyone could learn on one hand and just transfer the knowledge to their other hand. I only practiced with my right arm, but when it was "cut off" (Renaissance style fencing, not competitive, so when a limb is hit, you just either kneel or stick your arm behind your back and keep going), I'd switch to my left and go from there. It threw everyone else off because I was just as good on my off hand. I didn't see it as my off hand, I'm actually left handed so the coordination was there, I just learned to do sports right-handed!

Off topic, but if Renaissance fighters could have an ARM cut off and then just continue fighting with their other arm then they were *seriously* tough cookies.
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