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  #151  
Old 03-11-2012, 11:31 PM
Koxinga Koxinga is offline
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Originally Posted by Terr View Post
I think I am missing something. Cedar? In Texas? Where cedar trees grow wild all over the place?
. . . and where a segment of the TV weather report is dedicated to reporting how bad the cedar pollen is on a given day?

On the other hand, if this were someplace like Lubbock or El Paso, I wouldn't be surprised if those guys had never seen a tree, let alone a cedar tree.
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  #152  
Old 03-11-2012, 11:35 PM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
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Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
I have to admit some ignorance here. I once thought that truffles the chocolate confection were so named because they contained truffles the extremely expensive edible fungus.
They don't? I've always turned down truffles because I hate mushrooms.

Let's see...

Prior to September 11, 2001, I had no idea what the World Trade Center was. When I first heard the news, I thought it was somewhere in China. What might make this significantly more shameful is the fact that I visited the World Trade Center a year prior... just a drive by on a bus tour, but still.

As a college freshman I could not have defined or explained what ''capitalism'' was.

(There was a lot I didn't know prior to college. I was raised by intelligent people, but they weren't intellectuals. It blows my mind when I meet teenagers who read philosophy, independently study world history or become engaged in politics. I never conceived of those things at that age.)

My husband over the years has demonstrated delightful ignorance about cooking. First there was the time he tried to make mashed potatoes... pushing the potato masher impotently down into a bowl of raw potatoes. ''Help,'' he said.

Then there was the profound revelation that putting a lid on a pot of water will make it heat more rapidly.

It's odd the things we retain and the things we forget or never learn in the first place.
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  #153  
Old 03-12-2012, 12:09 AM
eldowan eldowan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terr View Post
I think I am missing something. Cedar? In Texas? Where cedar trees grow wild all over the place?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koxinga View Post
. . . and where a segment of the TV weather report is dedicated to reporting how bad the cedar pollen is on a given day?

On the other hand, if this were someplace like Lubbock or El Paso, I wouldn't be surprised if those guys had never seen a tree, let alone a cedar tree.
Exactly my point.
Now this is just north of Houston, and I grew up on a farm maybe 2.5 hours away. It's not like cedar is like obsidian or anythong.
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  #154  
Old 03-12-2012, 12:50 AM
FriarTed FriarTed is offline
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Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
Even though we read all the Pooh books as kids (I was almost named Christopher Robin), I never understood Eeyore's name 'til I was an adult.
Yeah- guess what this thread just made clear to me. I mean- if someone asked why he was named 'Eeyore', I might have been able to tell them immediately but it's just something I've never consciously thought about.

Also, I may have figured it out but (n)(n) would have at least momentarily given me pause.
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  #155  
Old 03-12-2012, 02:42 AM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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Originally Posted by wheresgeorge04 View Post
I only have the vaguest idea of who Winnie The Pooh and Eeyore are. Winnie is a bear, he likes "hunny," there's a kangaroo involved. Eeyore is an anteater or something. (Edit : maybe an Aardvark? I get them mixed up.) The human boy is Christopher Robin. Beyond that, I got nothin'. I presume they go on adventures?

Male, 38, raised in the USA.

Joe
DUDE! Have you and your generation never read the CLASSICS?

Now We Are Six and When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne.

Piece of Puppy and I:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puppy and I by A. A. Milne
I met a Puppy as I went walking;
We got talking,
Puppy and I.
"Where are you going this nice fine day?"
(I said to the Puppy as he went by).
"Up to the hills to roll and play."
"I'll come with you, Puppy," said I.

Last edited by Senegoid; 03-12-2012 at 02:42 AM..
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  #156  
Old 03-12-2012, 03:09 AM
grude grude is offline
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I think quite a few of these are misunderstood humor or sarcasm, mental fatigue, or language barriers.

I can imagine a few things I have said, from others perspectives, could definitely show up here.
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  #157  
Old 03-12-2012, 03:40 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grude View Post
I think quite a few of these are misunderstood humor or sarcasm, mental fatigue, or language barriers.

I can imagine a few things I have said, from others perspectives, could definitely show up here.
Not my first-cousin-once-removed. That gal is stooooopid.

Another example: She once claimed that Alaska and Hawaii are both right off the coast of California. After all, that's the way it was in the big wall map they had back in fifth grade. So I got my atlas and showed her a map that included everything in its correct place. Her reaction: "Well yeah, everything's more spread out in this map, 'cause they've got more room. That doesn't prove anything."
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  #158  
Old 03-12-2012, 04:49 AM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is online now
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Some day, maybe when I'm 70 or so, I'm going to start asking people how they even manage to feed themselves. Clearly, getting a utensil to their mouths is far too complicated. Do they eat with their hands, or just stick their faces into their plates??

On the animal related note (which could be a thread in itself), one reason I could only handle working at a daytime vet's office was the incoming phone calls. A common one, I swear, was "can I get that shot for the temper for my dog? He's mean." I heard this more times than I care to recall, and that was more than 10 years ago. It still irks me.
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  #159  
Old 03-12-2012, 04:53 AM
Nava Nava is online now
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Originally Posted by Bridget Burke View Post
As far as other examples of ignorance--there are too many to count. Lots involve geography. Am I the only one whose family subscribed to National Geographic? Or who ever decorated a wall with maps?
Hey, I love NatGeo, but I also have a NatGeo map of languages in the Iberian Peninsula which makes me get all twitchy...
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  #160  
Old 03-12-2012, 05:15 AM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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Originally Posted by eldowan View Post
One day I went to eat at a seafood place by the mall, in TX. On the menu was a dish: fish served on a cedar plank.

Now, I've known cedar since childhood, and to be fair, the waitress was the stereotypical blond ditz, so i asked her what kind of wood is the cedar plank made from?

She responds "I don't know, let me ask the chef."

I smile and nod.

She returns from the kitchen and says "He says its on cedar wood."

So, after eating, we go to the mall, and i decode to stop random people and ask them the question. I was in disbelief that people were ignorant of what cedar was.

I posed the question similar to this:
if you were being served fish presented on a cedar plank, of what type of wood would the plank be made?

Of 3 people I stopped, only two knew what cedar was.
I know what cedar is, but I think that I might flap if someone asked me this question in the street.

Why? Because when someone stops me and asks something, by default I want to be helpful, I don't want to embarrass myself and I don't want to embarrass the questioner.

So if I hear what sounds like a silly question I first think, "Did I hear him/her right?" and "Have I correctly parsed the sentence?".
Then, even after being sure it's a daft question, I might just mutter something about not being sure and walk away -- rather than call someone out.

btw I'm british
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  #161  
Old 03-12-2012, 09:41 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is online now
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I posted this before somewhere, but it still boggles my mind. I went to a Sears store looking for a package of Velcro. A sales person came up to me to ask if I needed help and the conversation went something like this:

SP: can I help you find something?
Me: I'm looking for Velcro
SP (looking confused): For what?
Me: Velcro. . .?
SP: I don't know what that is.
Me (a bit taken aback): Really? You know: it's that material with the hooks and loops that's used on things like wallets and shoes to keep them closed.
SP: I've never seen anything like that.
Me: Wait a minute. Are you trying to tell me you've never seen or heard of Velcro? It's been around for at least 30 years.
SP: Never heard of it.
Me: But it's used on everything. It makes that tearing noise when you pull it apart?
SP: Sorry, I don't know what it is.
Me (now getting pissed): How can you NOT know what Velcro is? Have you been living in a cave all your life? (wife tugging urgently on my arm)
SP: ::shrugs helplessly::

Wife leads me away, frothing at the mouth about the idiots of this generation.
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  #162  
Old 03-12-2012, 10:21 AM
Jasper Kent Jasper Kent is offline
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I had an otherwise intelligent gf (in her 40's) who insisted that the confection and the fungus were the same kind of truffle.

My mom (81 and pretty clever) only recently learned that the moon causes tides. She still does not understand the phenomenon, though: "If the gravitational pull is strong enough to move entire oceans, why don't we feel it when we're walking around?"

And don't get me started on fundamentalist Christians. A different category, I know, because they are aware of scientific facts, but choose to ignore them. Like the relatively intelligent guy I talked to who was absolutely convinced that the earth is no more than 4000 to 6000 years old.
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  #163  
Old 03-12-2012, 10:27 AM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post

I have to admit some ignorance here. I once thought that truffles the chocolate confection were so named because they contained truffles the extremely expensive edible fungus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by olivesmarch4th View Post
They don't? I've always turned down truffles because I hate mushrooms.
The original truffle candy was made by cooling ganache (chocolate melted with heavy cream) so that it was thick enough to form into a solid ball, the size of a small walnut. The ball has a rough exterior and is rolled in cocoa powder. When done, it resembles the truffle just dug from the dirt.
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  #164  
Old 03-12-2012, 01:21 PM
Illuminatiprimus Illuminatiprimus is offline
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Originally Posted by keeganst94 View Post
I know a girl who thought that Africa was a country in South America, and that India was in Europe. In a grade eleven biology class. She also said that the Illuminati and the Jews control the world and that the government puts dangerous chemicals in airplane contrails.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malleus, Incus, Stapes! View Post
Actually, we had a falling-out with the Illuminati a few years back. Now it's mostly the Jews and the Methodists.
Do we have to do this in public? You make it sound like it was our fault!
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  #165  
Old 03-12-2012, 02:00 PM
Dogzilla Dogzilla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lacunae Matata
<snip>

I currently live in a college town, and often get questions at the grocery store (apparently I look helpful and competent,) on very, very basic domestic stuff - how to make spaghetti or hamburgers, the difference between bleach and detergent, whether one can substitute Dawn for Cascade in the dishwasher. These questions are usually from basic middle class American kids, not foreign students. In my opinion, if you've sent your kid off to university without teaching him to feed himself and do basic cleaning, you've failed at an important part of parenting!
Reminds me of an experience I had in the grocery store a while back. Young couple with cute baby in the cart walk up to me at the dairy section of the grocery store. The young man has a print out in his hand and it looks like it might be from some social services program where they get a certain amount of money to use on food, but healthy foods are listed -- I think the program won't pay for junk food. That was all invented in my head from a glance at the paper, mind you. Because it seemed very important to this guy to get all the right things on his list.

So he asked me what "whole wheat bread" means. What makes it whole wheat?

I knew the answer, but I was afraid to give too much detail and didn't know why he needed to know, so I tried to sum up as briefly as possible. (My BF later told me he didn't know and would have told the guy that it's just a term the government makes up to control what you eat. I did not LOL.) I told the guy, "Okay, you know they plant wheat and grind it up to make bread, right?" Yep, he had that part down. "So wheat is actually a grass and what gets ground up is the seed part. Okay?" Guy nods. Got that part. "Before they grind it up to make flour, they sift off the outer seed coating, called a chaff. That's how they get white bread. If they don't bother to sift off the seed covering, that's considered 'whole' wheat." His wife/baby mama and he both considerably brightened at this, that I'd taken the time to explain and gave him valid information. I was tempted to go to the bread aisle with them to help them pick out whole wheat bread, but I just advised him to look on the package for "whole wheat" and just get whatever. He then asked why whole wheat was better and I told him there's more fiber and maybe some vitamins that get bleached or sifted out of white bread. He pointed to his cute baby: "So he'll grow up to be big and strong?" And I said, "Yes, and smart, too!" As they walked away, I thought, at least regular, with all that extra fiber.

I was glad the guy bothered asking someone to find out the 411 on the whole wheat bread thing, so I was more than happy to take the time to explain it to him. They seemed so earnest and appeared genuinely interested in the answer. I wish more people had curiosity about the world around them, instead of just ignoring new information that they don't understand.
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  #166  
Old 03-12-2012, 02:50 PM
Why Child Why Child is offline
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Originally Posted by grude View Post
I think quite a few of these are misunderstood humor or sarcasm, mental fatigue, or language barriers.

I can imagine a few things I have said, from others perspectives, could definitely show up here.
While waiting tables, a common question was what kind of meat was in the sausage. Having my sense of humor, I would answer, "Groundhog." Rarely was the joke understood. One customer got so upset she complained to my manager who then felt it necessary to explain to me that the sausage is in fact made from ground pork.
Also, I was asked, "What kind of meat is in the veal parmesan?

I have a friend who reads a lot, without benefit of a dictionary. She often mispronounces words, or just assumes she knows what new words mean. She had a crush on a man with big, brown eyes. Well, she had read "limpid pools" for blue eyes, so she explained to me quite earnestly that "The man has got big, beautiful cesspool eyes!"
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  #167  
Old 03-12-2012, 03:28 PM
bup bup is online now
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Originally Posted by mnemosyne View Post
My friend is like this - she can barely navigate around her own town without her GPS. Whenever she comes to Montreal to visit, her GPS sends her down one of the more frustrating routes in the city, because it's technically less mileage and she bitches and complains about it every time (driving in Montreal is so stupid, all those zigzags!).
Can you at least get her to change the routing preference from 'fewest miles' to 'shortest time'?

A teenaged girl once asked me what time it was. I said "a quarter past 3." Her friend asked her, "What'd he say?" "It's 25 after 3."
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  #168  
Old 03-12-2012, 03:58 PM
zamboniracer zamboniracer is offline
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When I was in college about 30 years ago we were watching the Cleveland local news on the dorm's common room TV (waiting for the weather report to come on) when there was a story about cable TV coming to Cleveland. It was a big issue at the time - which company would get the expected to be lucrative license, etc. - but one of my dorm mates didn't understand what all the fuss was about. "There can't be that many people that actually live in Cleveland", he said. "Nobody lives in those big buildings downtown. Why should they tear up the streets to lay cable for just a couple people?" This guy was some some small farm town and didn't realize that some 400,000 people lived in the city limits. He thought Cleveland just consisted of the big buildings downtown.

How that guy survived college I'll never know.

Last edited by zamboniracer; 03-12-2012 at 03:58 PM..
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  #169  
Old 03-12-2012, 04:06 PM
thelabdude thelabdude is offline
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Service dogs.
Many fail to realize that

A Physically impaired people have the right to public access even when accompanied by a dog if it is trained in tasks to help them.

B This includes those other than the visually impaired who may have smaller dogs.

C Gate keepers can ask it it is a service dog and what it is trained to do. People's medical conditions are their business.

D Service dogs don't need identification, certification, or professional training.

E Purse dogs people feel better with don't count.

Cite? http://www.ada.gov/svcabrs3.pdf
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  #170  
Old 03-12-2012, 04:30 PM
mnemosyne mnemosyne is offline
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Originally Posted by bup View Post
Can you at least get her to change the routing preference from 'fewest miles' to 'shortest time'?
I've offered, but she doesn't want to change her GPS settings, for reasons I don't entirely understand. I think she's just accepted that it's a pain to get here and will stick to the "familiar", if annoying, route instead of dealing with something new and different.

Her sense of direction is really not all that good, and I love her otherwise, so I let her do this her way. I just think it's weird!
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  #171  
Old 03-12-2012, 04:43 PM
Fleetwood Fleetwood is offline
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Originally Posted by Koxinga View Post
I've had more than one Asian immigrant or student visa holder confidently inform me that the US has 52 states. When I said there's only 50, they chuckled at my ignorance.
There's a fella living in DC that thought there were 57 states in the union. Hopefully Biden has straightened him out.
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  #172  
Old 03-12-2012, 04:57 PM
Lobohan Lobohan is offline
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Originally Posted by Fleetwood View Post
There's a fella living in DC that thought there were 57 states in the union. Hopefully Biden has straightened him out.
You know that's not true, right? If not, watch the video, he's obviously tired, and says,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obama
"... it is just wonderful to be back in Oregon, and over the last 15 months we've traveled to every corner of the United States. I've now been in fifty .... seven states? I think one left to go. One left to go. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit but my staff would not justify it."
He obviously was going to say 47 and fucked up. Because 47+1=48. Which would leave Alaska and Hawaii.

Sorry if you don't actually believe that garbage, it's hard to tell nowadays. With the tea party Poe's Law is everywhere.

Snopes Page: http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/57states.asp
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  #173  
Old 03-13-2012, 03:18 AM
septimus septimus is online now
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In response to the Florida election mishap of 2000, one Brit wrote: "Why don't they just count the votes by hand? That's what we do here."

An American wrote back "You foreigners in your little countries don't know shit. Any idea how many voters there are in a state like Florida?"

Set aside the fact that U.K. is larger than Florida. Since a polity has budget and volunteers roughly proportional to its population, the inconvenience of ballot counting is, to first approximation, independent of size.
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  #174  
Old 03-13-2012, 04:33 AM
2square4u 2square4u is offline
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Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
I gave up explaining to my mom that the computer monitor was just a monitor, and the "real computer" was that big thing under the table.
She's not the only one
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  #175  
Old 03-13-2012, 05:41 AM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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Originally Posted by eldowan View Post
One day I went to eat at a seafood place by the mall, in TX. On the menu was a dish: fish served on a cedar plank.

Now, I've known cedar since childhood, and to be fair, the waitress was the stereotypical blond ditz, so i asked her what kind of wood is the cedar plank made from?

She responds "I don't know, let me ask the chef."

I smile and nod.

She returns from the kitchen and says "He says its on cedar wood."

So, after eating, we go to the mall, and i decode to stop random people and ask them the question. I was in disbelief that people were ignorant of what cedar was.

I posed the question similar to this:
if you were being served fish presented on a cedar plank, of what type of wood would the plank be made?

Of 3 people I stopped, only two knew what cedar was.
so, this is a story about you being smug.
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  #176  
Old 03-13-2012, 07:18 AM
kittenblue kittenblue is offline
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I had a man stick his head in the door of my store last month and ask me when Valentine's Day was. Not, "What day of the week does it fall on this year?" which I could understand. But the date. February 14th, for those of you in mild panic right now. He was over 50...he's been to school. He's celebrated Valentine's Day since he was at least 5.
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  #177  
Old 03-13-2012, 07:36 AM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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Originally Posted by kittenblue View Post
He's celebrated Valentine's Day since he was at least 5.
that's a big assumption.
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  #178  
Old 03-13-2012, 08:15 AM
kferr kferr is offline
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Originally Posted by Koxinga View Post
I've had more than one Asian immigrant or student visa holder confidently inform me that the US has 52 states. When I said there's only 50, they chuckled at my ignorance.
I've seen the same thing in several Brits I know.
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  #179  
Old 03-13-2012, 08:26 AM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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During story time, a librarian held up a toy sea creature and said, "This is an octopus!" (I knew she was wrong, but didn't want to say anything because she had a book about an octopus that she was about to read.) "Let's see how many legs it has! Everybody count! One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight...nine, ten?"

Taking pity on her, I said, "It's a squid."
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  #180  
Old 03-13-2012, 08:37 AM
Nava Nava is online now
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Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
As an adjunct professor, I teach a number of math courses at a local private college.

Most of the students do not know their times tables.

When I write (8)(4) = on the board, I am met with stares. They do not know (8)(4) = 32. They have never memorized their times tables.
First time I see that notation. In Spain it was with an x that could never be confused with the x used to represent variables (they don't even get the same name: the operator is a "cross", the algebraic symbol an "x"), and in the US I always encountered the * notation.

I know my times tables just fine, what I'd never seen was parenthesis used to surround a single number.
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  #181  
Old 03-13-2012, 08:44 AM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
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I was in St. Petersburg, Russia and a bunch of people just arrived from a cruise ship. A woman, who I assumed to be American, but could have been Canadian, pointed at a Rusian Orthodox church with typical onion domes and asked me "what kind of church is that?"

I told her it was an orthodox church and she seemed confused, so I said "you know, a Russian Orthodox church." And it just floored her, she didn't know that there was such a thing as the Russian Orthodox Church, or that the Russians had a Christian tradition. She had heard of the Greek Orthodox church, though.

What really floors me is that she took a cruise ship to Russia, you'd think she's at least read a short history of the country that she was coming to visit.
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  #182  
Old 03-13-2012, 08:47 AM
Doug K. Doug K. is online now
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
I posted this before somewhere, but it still boggles my mind. I went to a Sears store looking for a package of Velcro. A sales person came up to me to ask if I needed help and the conversation went something like this:

SP: can I help you find something?
Me: I'm looking for Velcro
SP (looking confused): For what?
Me: Velcro. . .?
SP: I don't know what that is.
Me (a bit taken aback): Really? You know: it's that material with the hooks and loops that's used on things like wallets and shoes to keep them closed.
SP: I've never seen anything like that.
Me: Wait a minute. Are you trying to tell me you've never seen or heard of Velcro? It's been around for at least 30 years.
SP: Never heard of it.
Me: But it's used on everything. It makes that tearing noise when you pull it apart?
SP: Sorry, I don't know what it is.
Me (now getting pissed): How can you NOT know what Velcro is? Have you been living in a cave all your life? (wife tugging urgently on my arm)
SP: ::shrugs helplessly::

Wife leads me away, frothing at the mouth about the idiots of this generation.
My wife and I had a similar experience wanting to buy some dowels. Stopped a clerk, asked him where they were and he had no idea what we were talking about, even when we described them. We managed to find them ourselves about 15 minutes later. I wanted to take a 3/4 inch dowel and find the guy so I could yell "THIS (whack) IS (whack) WHAT (whack) A (whack) DOWEL (whack) IS (whack)!"
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  #183  
Old 03-13-2012, 08:48 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Originally Posted by SeaDragonTattoo View Post
A common one, I swear, was "can I get that shot for the temper for my dog? He's mean." I heard this more times than I care to recall, and that was more than 10 years ago. It still irks me.
Maybe the dog has a temper because he has hip displeasure.

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  #184  
Old 03-13-2012, 09:06 AM
Dogzilla Dogzilla is offline
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I was looking for canning supplies and hadn't quite figured out where the stores keep them. I went to WalMart, which is where I go when I can't find stuff anywhere else, as if the item will magically appear at WalMart, because well, WalMart is magic, isn't it?

Anyway, I'm in the craft section and wandering around and I can't find jars or lids or rings or pectin or those jar grabber thingys. I turn to an employee -- I actually found one -- and asked where are the canning supplies. I got a blank stare. Then the kid directed me to canned goods in the grocery section. : face palm :

I had to find a little old lady employee who would know what canning is and she hooked me right up. I should point out I'm not shocked that a young man would not know what canning supplies are or look like. My grandmother was the only person I knew who knew how to can and she'd been dead for several years at that point. (Which is why I looked for a little old lady.)
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  #185  
Old 03-13-2012, 09:16 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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My first real job was as a cashier at Kmart. One day a little old lady asked me, 'Do you have any "NO-thins"?' I asked her to repeat herself, and she asked again. 'Do we have nothing? ' She said, 'No! NO-thins!' I had to ask her to write it down: 'Notions'. That didn't help. Me: Ar? 'Erm... Do we have any ideas?' I had to call the lead-person over, who was female. She directed the woman to the proper aisle, and informed me that 'notions' are 'sewing things'. The old woman's lisp aside, I had no notion that 'notions' were sewing things. As a 19-year-old male, sewing things were 'sewing things' or 'needles and thread' or 'buttons'.

I can't say that I've ever heard 'notions' used in that context since; but now I'll know what it is if I do.
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  #186  
Old 03-13-2012, 09:32 AM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
My first real job was as a cashier at Kmart. One day a little old lady asked me, 'Do you have any "NO-thins"?' I asked her to repeat herself, and she asked again. 'Do we have nothing? ' She said, 'No! NO-thins!' I had to ask her to write it down: 'Notions'. That didn't help. Me: Ar? 'Erm... Do we have any ideas?' I had to call the lead-person over, who was female. She directed the woman to the proper aisle, and informed me that 'notions' are 'sewing things'. The old woman's lisp aside, I had no notion that 'notions' were sewing things. As a 19-year-old male, sewing things were 'sewing things' or 'needles and thread' or 'buttons'.

I can't say that I've ever heard 'notions' used in that context since; but now I'll know what it is if I do.
Older women might also have trouble if they ask where the toilet water is kept.
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  #187  
Old 03-13-2012, 09:38 AM
Candyman74 Candyman74 is offline
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
In response to the Florida election mishap of 2000, one Brit wrote: "Why don't they just count the votes by hand? That's what we do here."

An American wrote back "You foreigners in your little countries don't know shit. Any idea how many voters there are in a state like Florida?"
Did anyone reply "Yep. About a third as many as in our little country"?

Last edited by Candyman74; 03-13-2012 at 09:38 AM..
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  #188  
Old 03-13-2012, 09:44 AM
MacCat MacCat is offline
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Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
Older women might also have trouble if they ask where the toilet water is kept.
Or as one of my Grandmas called it, terlet water...
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  #189  
Old 03-13-2012, 09:46 AM
Lionne Lionne is offline
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Maybe this is a bit specific, but I'm working with a team of 4 other local college seniors on a capstone project that calls for many, many revisions of our main document, for which we use Microsoft Word.
Not a single other team member knew:
  • how to use the citations tool (OK, it's somewhat new, I can understand that...but it's so incredibly useful)
  • how to track changes (they would ask, "so what are all these lines for and will they be on the final document?")
  • how to add and delete comments (they thought only the professor could do such a thing)
It's just perplexing to me that we are in the final year of college and they've somehow never encountered these before. We're all around the same age, except for one much older lady. I'm no great Word magician...these are just necessary tools for college projects, I would think.
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  #190  
Old 03-13-2012, 09:49 AM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
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My boss has a BS in Journalism.

She is quite convinced that "it" is a preposition.
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  #191  
Old 03-13-2012, 10:00 AM
Lord Il Palazzo Lord Il Palazzo is offline
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A few years ago, when there were still a good number of video rental stores around, I spent an afternoon going from store to store trying to find one that had a copy of Psycho. In one of the last stores I went to, I asked the clerk if she could look in the computer to see if they had "Psycho, directed by Alfred Hitchcock". She looked at me blankly for about five seconds before asking if it was a new release.
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  #192  
Old 03-13-2012, 10:20 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
When I write (8)(4) = on the board, I am met with stares. They do not know (8)(4) = 32. They have never memorized their times tables.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
First time I see that notation. In Spain it was with an x that could never be confused with the x used to represent variables (they don't even get the same name: the operator is a "cross", the algebraic symbol an "x"), and in the US I always encountered the * notation.

I know my times tables just fine, what I'd never seen was parenthesis used to surround a single number.
I admit being very surprised at this.

In all the mathematics I've ever encountered at the level of high school algebra or above, the standard way of indicating multiplication has been to write the two factors next to each other, with no operation symbol between, like "3n" or "xy" to mean "3 times n" or "the product of x and y." If you replace the n with a specific number, like 5 or -2, you have to use parentheses around one or both factors so you can tell that they're two separate numbers being multiplied, as in "3(5)" or "(3)(-2)," because "35" or "3-2" would mean something different.

In practice, it seems to be far more common to only put parentheses around one of the factors, but there's nothing wrong with putting them around both.

I just now looked in an Intermediate Algebra textbook I happened to have handy, and this notation is used freely there: I see expressions like "(-3)(-6)" or "-4(10)."

In American contexts, the raised dot is sometimes used to indicate multiplication. The x-looking "cross" is used commonly in basic arithmetic but not algebra, where it could be confused with a letter x. And the asterisk (*) as a multiplication symbol is AFAIK mainly a development of the computer era, used commonly when entering mathematical expressions from a keyboard but hardly ever handwritten.
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  #193  
Old 03-13-2012, 10:32 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lionne View Post
Maybe this is a bit specific, but I'm working with a team of 4 other local college seniors on a capstone project that calls for many, many revisions of our main document, for which we use Microsoft Word.
Not a single other team member knew:
  • how to use the citations tool (OK, it's somewhat new, I can understand that...but it's so incredibly useful)
  • how to track changes (they would ask, "so what are all these lines for and will they be on the final document?")
  • how to add and delete comments (they thought only the professor could do such a thing)
It's just perplexing to me that we are in the final year of college and they've somehow never encountered these before. We're all around the same age, except for one much older lady. I'm no great Word magician...these are just necessary tools for college projects, I would think.
I don't think I've ever used any of those features. I imagine I'd be able to figure it out, but off the top of my head, I don't know how to do any of that.
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  #194  
Old 03-13-2012, 10:35 AM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
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I could fill a book of these from when I was teaching. I had a student who couldn't find England on a map. (Granted, in the book we were using, England was on the seam between the pages, but still.)

The other day I met a young woman around 20 who had never heard of "Puff the Magic Dragon." Her boyfriend wasn't surprised. To be fair, I believe she was home-schooled, which might account for some pop-culture screening at young ages.
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  #195  
Old 03-13-2012, 10:47 AM
Nava Nava is online now
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
And the asterisk (*) as a multiplication symbol is AFAIK mainly a development of the computer era, used commonly when entering mathematical expressions from a keyboard but hardly ever handwritten.
My American teachers always used the asterisk; the Canadian who couldn't find his electrons with both hands did too. Eight-pointed ones (well, actually four lines crossing, but you know what I mean). Miami, 1994-7.

We had Chemistry books bought from the US which used asterisks for multiplication. 1992.


We used the raised dot and the inverted v to differentiate two types of multiplication, but not in any other context. Same symbols in Spain and the US.

Last edited by Nava; 03-13-2012 at 10:50 AM..
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  #196  
Old 03-13-2012, 10:50 AM
Gary "Wombat" Robson Gary "Wombat" Robson is offline
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As an author and bookseller, I have strong feelings on censorship. During Banned Books Week, I go to local schools and talk to the kids about it. A couple of years ago, I spoke to four high school classes, each of which had about 15-20 students. In this area (Montana, U.S.A.), high school means grades 9-12, so I'm dealing with kids who have taken at least some American history and government classes.

I explained to the kids that there is a procedure a parent could follow to have a book removed from the school library or curriculum. A book could be banned from the public library in town. It could even be banned statewide. But that book could not be banned nation-wide (yeah, yeah, I know there are exceptions like national security, but I talked about that later). Then I asked them:

What document guarantees us the right to say what we wish and read what we wish?

In two out of the four classes, not one single student could come up with an answer. I would have happily accepted the first amendment, the Bill of Rights, or the Constitution as answers. In the other two classes, there was a pause and some discussion before someone came up with it. That's mind-blowing to me.

Many of the things mentioned in this thread (including what I just said) are very culture-specific. Like the Eeyore thing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Morris View Post
Donkey, hence the name. Or were you kidding?
I am 53 years old, raised in the U.S., but I've been to the UK quite a few times. I have never heard the sound a donkey makes described as "eeyore," and until this thread I had no idea where that donkey's name came from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madmonk28 View Post
What really floors me is that she took a cruise ship to Russia, you'd think she's at least read a short history of the country that she was coming to visit.
This never fails to blow me away. When I travel to another country, I don't take a history and language class, but I at least spend a little time looking at a map, reading the Wikipedia page, and learning how to say please, thank you, excuse me, and so forth in their language. That's just common courtesy.
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  #197  
Old 03-13-2012, 11:17 AM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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I am 53 years old, raised in the U.S., but I've been to the UK quite a few times. I have never heard the sound a donkey makes described as "eeyore," and until this thread I had no idea where that donkey's name came from.
onomatopoeic words don't seem to "translate" well between cultures and languages. Like Stewie Griffin with the European See'n'Say:

European See 'n Say: The pig goes "WANK!"
[Stewie pulls the cord again]
European See 'n Say: The cow goes "SHAZOO!"
Stewie Griffin: It most certainly does not!
[pulls the cord again]
European See 'n Say: The rooster goes "KIKERIKI!"
Stewie Griffin: Where? Where does the rooster say that?
[pulls the cord again]
European See 'n Say: The monkey goes "MACAQUE!"
Stewie Griffin: Oh, no, no, no! It does not!
[pulls the cord again]
European See 'n Say: The elephant goes "THWOMP!"
Stewie Griffin: Oh, yeah, kinda.
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  #198  
Old 03-13-2012, 11:22 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
My American teachers always used the asterisk; the Canadian who couldn't find his electrons with both hands did too. Eight-pointed ones (well, actually four lines crossing, but you know what I mean). Miami, 1994-7.

We had Chemistry books bought from the US which used asterisks for multiplication. 1992.
That's interesting. I don't ever recall seeing the asterisk for multiplication in high school or college (1989-1998). I only have one math-related book at hand, one on probability published in 2000, and it uses the dot notation for multiplication, too.
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  #199  
Old 03-13-2012, 11:59 AM
hajario hajario is online now
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
I don't think I've ever used any of those features. I imagine I'd be able to figure it out, but off the top of my head, I don't know how to do any of that.
Same here. I've used Word for like fifteen years and I've never had occasion to use those features. I've only ever seen the collaboration features a small handful of times.
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  #200  
Old 03-13-2012, 12:17 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Originally Posted by hajario View Post
Same here. I've used Word for like fifteen years and I've never had occasion to use those features. I've only ever seen the collaboration features a small handful of times.
Hell, I've used it for about twenty years and scored a perfect 100% on my temp agency's Word proficiency exam (though this was in 2003-4, so maybe it wasn't that widely used at the time), and I've never used it nor even seen it (to the best of my recollection.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 03-13-2012 at 12:18 PM..
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