This reminds me of last Christmas Eve - my parents and my older brother and I were eating dinner, when my brother's dog sprints into the dining room apparently for no reason. My brother said the dog heard him drop his fork on his plate - the dog could hear this from several rooms away and would come running because he thought the meal was over and it was time for him to get leftovers. So I said in a high, dramatic, purposefully over-the-top voice "Gosh, that's almost Pavlovian!" My mom laughs, and my brother stares at me for a split second before getting the joke and (quite good-naturedly) calling me a dork. But my dad, oh my dad, he says, "Almost Pavlovian?" And I say "It was a joke, Dad." "But it's not almost Pavlovian, that's actually what a Pavlovian response is." "That's... why it was a joke." Then we change the subject, but ten minutes later, apropos of nothing, my dad says very seriously, "You know, PrettySticks, I find it very disconcerting that you would throw around a word like Pavlovian without having any idea about its origins. You really should be more careful about the way you speak." And again I have to tell him it was a joke, but by the third time you've explained a joke, it's pretty much no longer a joke. So I had to tell him everything I knew about Ivan Pavlov and his conditioning experiments. (Which was not insignificant, as I'd written a research paper about him in college - not a thesis or anything, just a term paper for Intro to Psych - but still, I'd read a fair bit about the guy.) And the kicker is, it's not like I thought the initial statement was all THAT funny, certainly not worth all the defense I ended up putting into it!