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-   -   Tiny errors that drive you insane (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=785599)

Poysyn 02-29-2016 02:58 PM

Tiny errors that drive you insane
 
I was watching "The Good Wife" recently, and they had an episode where Alicia was meeting with high-ranking military and government officials. I am generally willing to suspend my disbelief with most things military in most movies, after all, I recognize that it's a pretty steep learning curve to expect everyone to get everything right.

Except for one thing.

And every single time I see it, it drives me insane. It's such a small, nothing detail, and would be SO EASY for them (Hollywood) to get it right, but they really never do.

Why does every military beret look like someone threw a wool pizza on their head? Seriously. It's ridiculous. Form the damn beret! It's such a simple thing.

Anyone else have a miniscule irritation centered around their industry or hobby, that would not be hard to get right, but for some reason, no one ever does?

billfish678 02-29-2016 03:02 PM

The "double tube" look when someone looks through binoculars drives me insane...though it is so ingrained now in movies the average Joe probably freaks out when someone once in a great while shows it the right way.

Cue sound of eagle that sounds more like a screeching red tailed hawk now...

ivylass 02-29-2016 03:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Poysyn (Post 19141094)
Why does every military beret look like someone threw a wool pizza on their head? Seriously. It's ridiculous. Form the damn beret! It's such a simple thing.

Heh. Ivygirl was just saying after graduation that she'd have to wet her beret again. She said they hold their shape for about three days.

Dinsdale 02-29-2016 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by billfish678 (Post 19141104)
Cue sound of eagle that sounds more like a screeching red tailed hawk now...

Funny - I was just in Costa Rica, and a guides phone rang with a long descending screech. I asked if that was a red tailed hawk, and he responded, "No - imperial eagle."

But yeah, I've been trying to learn a bit of birdsong, and it is striking how often they'll have something blatantly incorrect as background noise.

Re: the beret - are you talking about that (IMO) stupid looking flop over the brow look? Since all of the army started to ape Special Forces/Airborne/Rangers, I find that more irritating than any misrepresentation on screen! ;D

Intergalactic Gladiator 02-29-2016 03:25 PM

It takes a lot of work to form a beret and I assume the ones on TV are pretty much straight out of the box. You have to pull out the liner, wet it, shave it, squish it, wet it again, shave it some more, wet it, squish it into the right shape (put something really heavy on top of it), repeat a few more times until it looks sharp. I think mine took a week to form. I would assume a costume department isn't going to put much effort into forming berets but you're right Poysyn, floppy chef's hat berets look awful.

Abner Ravenwood 02-29-2016 03:37 PM

In keeping with the military theme of the OP, whenever a Marine salutes without a cover on his grape.

terentii 02-29-2016 03:46 PM

Whenever a grunt acknowledges a direct order with nothing more than a nod of his head. Of course, it would blow the entire budget if he said "Yes, sir!" or "Yes, Sergeant!" :smack:

billfish678 02-29-2016 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terentii (Post 19141255)
Whenever a grunt acknowledges a direct order with nothing more than a nod of his head. Of course, it would blow the entire budget if he said "Yes, sir!" or "Yes, Sergeant!" :smack:

Reminds me of the time I faxed something. It was to a MASTER Sergeant....and I accidentally just put Sergeant on the header. People on the other end apparently howled with laughter. He was mad AS HELL. But I was a random civilian so what could they do?

On the one hand I kinda felt bad. But on the other hand he WAS kinda a dick so I didn't feel THAT bad about it.

terentii 02-29-2016 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by billfish678 (Post 19141276)
Reminds me of the time I faxed something. It was to a MASTER Sergeant....and I accidentally just put Sergeant on the header. People on the other end apparently howled with laughter. He was mad AS HELL. But I was a random civilian so what could they do?.

You realize, of course, that by referring to him as just "Sergeant" you knocked him several rungs down the ladder?* :eek:

*An E-5 as opposed to an E-8!

billfish678 02-29-2016 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terentii (Post 19141306)
You realize, of course, that by referring to him as just "Sergeant" you knocked him several rungs down the ladder?* :eek:

*An E-5 as opposed to an E-8!


Yes, but I was just an engineering peon myself....I actually caught a good bit of hell for that...but given that I was about as low my totem pole as I could be (and getting screwed to be honest about it)...and that it wasn't on purpose...it just kinda went over me like water on a ducks back...which I think probably just pissed some people off even more.

DCnDC 02-29-2016 04:17 PM

Washington, DC is the capitAl of the USA. That big white building downtown with the dome is the CapitOl.

terentii 02-29-2016 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DCnDC (Post 19141380)
Washington, DC is the capitAl of the USA. That big white building downtown with the dome is the CapitOl.

I once saw a guy lose on Jeopardy! by making this mistake ("Capitol" was the correct response.) :smack:

Channing Idaho Banks 02-29-2016 04:45 PM

I like my mushrooms cut in slices. If I get my mushrooms quartered, I totally am not into it.

Chefguy 02-29-2016 04:55 PM

Electrical: calling a receptacle a "wall socket". I know it's just trade ignorance, but it bugs me.

For a real nitpick: you don't pour concrete, you place it. Even when it's being pumped to the top of a building and comes sliding down a chute, it's being 'placed'. I suspect there are few outside of the construction game who know that.

Cooking: "saute" does not mean to gently cook vegetables on low temperature. That's called "sweating". Saute means to fry something quickly in fat.

Epimetheus 02-29-2016 05:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chefguy (Post 19141498)
For a real nitpick: you don't pour concrete, you place it. Even when it's being pumped to the top of a building and comes sliding down a chute, it's being 'placed'. I suspect there are few outside of the construction game who know that.

Well, to be fair, it's not just movies or TV that does this, a quick Google search shows many instances of this, from Handyman magazine to Home Depot, to concretenetwork.com (in this case, the title is Pouring Concrete - How Concrete is Placed, but it still uses pouring in the article itself). It may be one of those common usage things that changes the definition of a word, like tragedy.

Poysyn 02-29-2016 05:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Intergalactic Gladiator (Post 19141185)
It takes a lot of work to form a beret and I assume the ones on TV are pretty much straight out of the box. You have to pull out the liner, wet it, shave it, squish it, wet it again, shave it some more, wet it, squish it into the right shape (put something really heavy on top of it), repeat a few more times until it looks sharp. I think mine took a week to form. I would assume a costume department isn't going to put much effort into forming berets but you're right Poysyn, floppy chef's hat berets look awful.

You can do it in less than a week, if you wear it until it dries, but our berets may be from different suppliers? I am not saying it has to be perfect (I don't expect that), but just flopped on with the little tails in back ARGH!

I did mention it was a tiny error

Bricker 02-29-2016 05:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terentii (Post 19141306)
You realize, of course, that by referring to him as just "Sergeant" you knocked him several rungs down the ladder?* :eek:

*An E-5 as opposed to an E-8!

A buddy of mine was running a motor pool in Vietnam during the war. He was a CW2, Army.

As he tells it, one day he gets a call: "This is Captain such-and-so. Please send a car to pick me up."

That was a pretty ballsy request from a junior officer, so it got placed at the bottom f a long list.

Several hours later: "This is Captain S-a-so -- where the hell is my car?"

At that point my friend says something like, "Maybe you should just get your own transport, sir." And hangs up.

An hour later, in storms Navy Captain Such-and-So. (The Naval rank of Captain is a senior officer, O-6, as opposed to,the comparatively lowly Army O-3).

This wasn't a film error, but the SGT / MSG confusion reminded me of the story. My friend dodged the wrath of the guy by sending someone else out to meet him, I think.

california jobcase 02-29-2016 07:09 PM

Whenever I read someone is an alum, I wonder how he could be an aluminum potassium sulfate. Might he be used in pickles?

Finishing the word with -nus (or -na for a female) really wouldn't be that hard.

rsat3acr 02-29-2016 07:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terentii (Post 19141306)
You realize, of course, that by referring to him as just "Sergeant" you knocked him several rungs down the ladder?* :eek:

*An E-5 as opposed to an E-8!

In speaking all sergeants are referred to as sergeant unless they are a first sergeant or sergeant major. In writing they would be addressed by rank; SGT SSG SFC MSG 1SG SGM CSM

Flyer 02-29-2016 07:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Poysyn (Post 19141094)
Why does every military beret look like someone threw a wool pizza on their head?

I thought that's what they more or less were.

The idea that a beret is useful or practical in any sense whatsoever is utterly laughable.

dropzone 02-29-2016 07:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dinsdale (Post 19141154)
Re: the beret - are you talking about that (IMO) stupid looking flop over the brow look? Since all of the army started to ape Special Forces/Airborne/Rangers, I find that more irritating than any misrepresentation on screen! ;D

Yeah, that looks dorky, regardless the branch.

Um, except in the case of the Canadian military! Then it's sexy and tough and not the least bit stupid looking! ;)

hogarth 02-29-2016 07:52 PM

It drives me crazy when I hear someone use the word "worse" instead of "worst" (e.g. "worse case scenario"), but to be fair they do sound pretty similar.

terentii 02-29-2016 08:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rsat3acr (Post 19141923)
In speaking all sergeants are referred to as sergeant unless they are a first sergeant or sergeant major. In writing they would be addressed by rank; SGT SSG SFC MSG 1SG SGM CSM

The incident in question did indeed involve a fax.

terentii 02-29-2016 08:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyer (Post 19141928)
The idea that a beret is useful or practical in any sense whatsoever is utterly laughable.

The current Civil War (Union)--style US Army uniforms are not just laughable, they're hideous. Yecch! :mad:

Seanette 02-29-2016 08:48 PM

Phrases like "should of", "off of", and so on. Substitution of "of" for "have" is bad enough, but "off of" is just awful, IMO.

Aj de Gallina 02-29-2016 08:58 PM

I'm not mad it's always a red-tailed hawk. I'm mad every freaking time they show an eagle, hawk, or falcon, they screech.
Most digital cameras, apparently still make the sound of a film camera with an autowinder.

j666 02-29-2016 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terentii (Post 19141255)
Whenever a grunt acknowledges a direct order with nothing more than a nod of his head. Of course, it would blow the entire budget if he said "Yes, sir!" or "Yes, Sergeant!" :smack:

Not the entire budget, no, but unless the Nameless Grunt is always the same actor, those little bits of realism can add up quickly.

terentii 02-29-2016 09:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by j666 (Post 19142246)
Not the entire budget, no, but unless the Nameless Grunt is always the same actor, those little bits of realism can add up quickly.

So? Have the same guy be the nameless grunt in every such shot. In uniform, and with a quick makeup change, it's unlikely anyone would notice, especially since he'll be on screen for only three or four seconds at a time.

Daylate 02-29-2016 09:42 PM

Quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
For a real nitpick: you don't pour concrete, you place it. Even when it's being pumped to the top of a building and comes sliding down a chute, it's being 'placed'. I suspect there are few outside of the construction game who know that.

Well, to be fair, it's not just movies or TV that does this, a quick Google search shows many instances of this, from Handyman magazine to Home Depot, to concretenetwork.com (in this case, the title is Pouring Concrete - How Concrete is Placed, but it still uses pouring in the article itself). It may be one of those common usage things that changes the definition of a word, like tragedy.
Gotta disagree with the OP. I was an engineer with a large consulting firm back in the day, and spent a lot of time as inspector on some huge concrete jobs (40,000+ yards). Almost always heard the word "pour" used instead of "placed". The word "placed" was used, but rarely.

I will say, one of the things that frosts my gourd is to hear a civilian refer to something like a "cement" sidewalk. It's a "concrete" sidewalk, dammit! "Cement" is what you put into the mix of sand, gravel, and water to make concrete.

gigi 02-29-2016 11:26 PM

When East Coast highways are referred to as "The ##".

guestchaz 02-29-2016 11:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ivylass (Post 19141126)
Heh. Ivygirl was just saying after graduation that she'd have to wet her beret again. She said they hold their shape for about three days.

the beret thing the op mentioned drives me nuts too, plus the way they just plop the insignia where ever, usually dead center of the forehead like some sort of targeting reticule. Holy crap and if there is more than one "soldier" wearing a beret...they could at least try to be consistent from person to person on how they wear the thing.


ivylass, that's weird to me and Mrs. Guest, never had that problem ever with ours. shaved and shaped our berets once and it was good forever. wonder if they changed the material or something at some point. (took an entire day of walking around with wet wool on the head, stroking it periodically to shape it juuuust right)

Nava 02-29-2016 11:42 PM

Not so tiny and ok, the whole series is an anachronism but...

The Ministry of Time is a TVE (Spanish PBS) series about a government agency whose duty is to keep history the way it was. Huge things such as people sagely spouting "you cannot travel ahead" when the people present are in 2016 and include people from the 15th, 16th and 19th centuries don't bother me near as much as people referencing "christmas tree bulbs" in Madrid in 1920 or saying that a picture of a man and a woman from the 19th century must be of their wedding because she's wearing something old, something new, and something borrowed which the speaker knows to be blue (at the time, a bride would have been in black. Black. Black. Head to toes black. And the four things tradition reached Spain with American Pie!). Or, oh yeah, El Cid's men being in uniform. Clean new uniforms, at that... (never mind that the actress playing 50sh Doa Jimena looked to not even be 40).

terentii 02-29-2016 11:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Seanette (Post 19142185)
Phrases like "should of", "off of", and so on. Substitution of "of" for "have" is bad enough, but "off of" is just awful, IMO.

[SCOTTISH ACCENT] Gi' us an example there, lass? :dubious:

Chronos 02-29-2016 11:47 PM

Quote:

Quoth california jobcase:

Whenever I read someone is an alum, I wonder how he could be an aluminum potassium sulfate. Might he be used in pickles?

Finishing the word with -nus (or -na for a female) really wouldn't be that hard.
And just speaking English instead of Latin isn't that hard either, and has the twin advantages that it's gender-neutral and people know how to pluralize it. Just because "alumn" has "alumnus" in its etymology, doesn't mean that it's the same word.

What bugs me in movies? When they show the night sky, and it isn't any night sky ever visible from Earth. OK, I understand that cameras have much less dynamic range than eyes, so they can't just shoot the actual night sky. I understand that they have to put in a simulated sky. But is there any reason that the simulated sky can't simulate the real constellations?

terentii 02-29-2016 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nava (Post 19142586)
Not so tiny and ok, the whole series is an anachronism but...

The Ministry of Time is a TVE (Spanish PBS) series about a government agency whose duty is to keep history the way it was.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyagers! :D

Nava 02-29-2016 11:49 PM

Perhaps they could use stock photographs? Bit of CGI if you want it to move and that's it.

ETA: terentii, sorry but do you mean we should add it to that list somewhere or that some of the things in that list are about time jumpers?

terentii 02-29-2016 11:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 19142595)
What bugs me in movies? When they show the night sky, and it isn't any night sky ever visible from Earth. OK, I understand that cameras have much less dynamic range than eyes, so they can't just shoot the actual night sky. I understand that they have to put in a simulated sky. But is there any reason that the simulated sky can't simulate the real constellations?

The problem is that most people (including the graphic artists) have no clue as to what part of the sky is suitable for a particular shot. I'm thinking here in particular of the closing shot of that TNG episode where Picard's nephew was gazing at Orion, which was appropriate neither for the latitude or season in which the story took place.

terentii 02-29-2016 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nava (Post 19142604)
ETA: terentii, sorry but do you mean we should add it to that list somewhere or that some of the things in that list are about time jumpers?

I was merely noting the apparent similarity between the two series. :)

Nava 03-01-2016 12:01 AM

Which? Your link is to one of those "here are twenty things that can be filed as 'voyager'" pages.

terentii 03-01-2016 12:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terentii (Post 19142596)

Sorry. The exclamation point was placed outside the [/url] command (a peculiarity of the site, not my fault):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyagers!

terentii 03-01-2016 12:09 AM

The mind boggles at the thought that there is only one "correct" version of history, i.e., "as we know it." :eek:

Rick Kitchen 03-01-2016 12:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by california jobcase (Post 19141906)
Whenever I read someone is an alum, I wonder how he could be an aluminum potassium sulfate. Might he be used in pickles?

Finishing the word with -nus (or -na for a female) really wouldn't be that hard.

But that's the word that is used in general practice, that's not a mistake.

buddha_david 03-01-2016 01:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 19142595)
When they show the night sky, and it isn't any night sky ever visible from Earth. OK, I understand that cameras have much less dynamic range than eyes, so they can't just shoot the actual night sky. I understand that they have to put in a simulated sky. But is there any reason that the simulated sky can't simulate the real constellations?

The thing that really bugs me is that dreadful "day for night" effect, where they shoot the scene in daylight with a blue filter to simulate nighttime. Even in the hands of a skilled director, it always looks bad -- in the night scenes of Mad Max: Fury Road, the characters were CASTING SHADOWS, fer Cripes' sake!

Vinyl Turnip 03-01-2016 08:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chefguy (Post 19141498)
Electrical: calling a receptacle a "wall socket". I know it's just trade ignorance, but it bugs me.

I'm not in the trade, but please fight my ignorance: is "wall socket" not just one of the commonly used terms for "receptacle"?

Nava 03-01-2016 09:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terentii (Post 19142644)
The mind boggles at the thought that there is only one "correct" version of history, i.e., "as we know it." :eek:

Several of the chapters deal with finding out that... it wasn't quiiiite like that (aside from the team's own manipulations).

kaylasdad99 03-01-2016 09:38 AM

WAG: I suspect that as an electrical wiring professional, he prefers that the term "socket" be reserved for receptacles for actual loads (such as light bulbs) rather than shared with outlets for power cords.

ETA: The above is intended as a response to Vinyl Turnip's query.

enipla 03-01-2016 09:48 AM

News media that refers to every type of earth moving construction equipment as a 'Bull Dozer'.

Peremensoe 03-01-2016 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 (Post 19143291)
WAG: I suspect that as an electrical wiring professional, he prefers that the term "socket" be reserved for receptacles for actual loads (such as light bulbs) rather than shared with outlets for power cords.

You mean lamps. ;)

Philster 03-01-2016 10:26 AM

When any coincidence is declared ironic.

ivylass 03-01-2016 11:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bricker (Post 19141607)
A buddy of mine was running a motor pool in Vietnam during the war. He was a CW2, Army.

As he tells it, one day he gets a call: "This is Captain such-and-so. Please send a car to pick me up."

That was a pretty ballsy request from a junior officer, so it got placed at the bottom f a long list.

Several hours later: "This is Captain S-a-so -- where the hell is my car?"

At that point my friend says something like, "Maybe you should just get your own transport, sir." And hangs up.

An hour later, in storms Navy Captain Such-and-So. (The Naval rank of Captain is a senior officer, O-6, as opposed to,the comparatively lowly Army O-3).

This wasn't a film error, but the SGT / MSG confusion reminded me of the story. My friend dodged the wrath of the guy by sending someone else out to meet him, I think.

Should he have identified himself as US Navy Captain? I know the ranks don't equal up (Navy Captain = Army Colonel) so I wonder how they keep the distinctions straight and give the proper respect across the services.


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