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  #51  
Old 09-06-2019, 02:42 PM
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When telling someone about my spinal cord injury, I often include the fact that I've retained full physical sensation *throughout* my body. Amazingly, I've had numerous people stare at me dumbfounded, poke or push my thigh and say, "so you can feel that?"
  #52  
Old 09-06-2019, 02:51 PM
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Double post

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  #53  
Old 09-06-2019, 02:58 PM
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It used to be the stupidest question I'd been asked, but now I can say I've been asked it more than twice.

At the end of a lengthy conversation in English, "do you speak English?" No, hon, for the last half-hour we've been conversing in Quenya...
"Oh, you speak English."
  #54  
Old 09-06-2019, 03:04 PM
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Is your name pronounced (or spelled) ___________?

The name they usually cite is wildly different from mine.

Another: Where do you get the ideas for your art?
  #55  
Old 09-06-2019, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Zyada View Post
Because heavy items with handles are more comfortable to be carried by the handle instead of by a plastic bag?
Not when you're carrying several other plastic bags, at least for me. If I carry a gallon of water by its handle, that's all I can comfortably carry in that hand, whereas if its in a plastic bag, I can easily add those handles to several other bags' handles. Does that make sense?
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Originally Posted by rsat3acr
I see where you are coming from but they asked me if I was sure after I told them not to bag it. I tell them this prior to them asking if I want it bagged. To me that would be like ordering a Big Mac at McDonalds and being asked if I'm sure. No personal snark intended.
Oh my, that is silly!
  #56  
Old 09-06-2019, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by EmilyG View Post
"Do Canadians have Thanksgiving?"
And why exactly is that a dumb question? I mean we do of course, but is that obvious. It always precedes US Thanksgiving by exactly 45 days, incidentally.

The dumbest question I got asked more times than I can count is, "Is this going to be on the exam?" I always say that it might be. Even dumber, "What will be on the exam?" "Everything we did."
  #57  
Old 09-06-2019, 04:07 PM
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I almost asked that one but caught myself: "How bi.......... I mean how many does a 18" usually serve?"
Now that's a valid question.

My standard answer for the How Big is an 18" pizza is 254.47 sq inches.

Why yes, I can be a smart ass.
  #58  
Old 09-06-2019, 04:09 PM
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Twice in the past few weeks, I went to a bakery/cafe chain (Panera and Atlanta Bread) and asked for a whole loaf of bread, nothing else. And the cashier asks me, "Is that for here or to go?"

I suppose they are trained to ask that to every customer, and it becomes automatic, but still... Next time I should say "for here" and see if they'd put it on a plate.

Last edited by scr4; 09-06-2019 at 04:12 PM.
  #59  
Old 09-06-2019, 04:16 PM
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Born on Easter? That is pretty cool. But don't you get tired of having your birthday on a Sunday every year?

Being born on Christmas must suck since you don't get two sets of presents.
  #60  
Old 09-06-2019, 04:17 PM
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The dumbest question I got asked more times than I can count is, "Is this going to be on the exam?" I always say that it might be. Even dumber, "What will be on the exam?" "Everything we did."
IMO those aren't as dumb as "How many questions will be on the exam?"

I could maybe give you a number, but I don't see how you would find it useful, since a "question" could be anything from a quick multiple-choice test of knowledge to a long multi-part problem to work out.
  #61  
Old 09-06-2019, 04:26 PM
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Because heavy items with handles are more comfortable to be carried by the handle instead of by a plastic bag?
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Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
And also are a waste of a bag.
Unless you have dogs. Then they come in very handy for picking up poop.
  #62  
Old 09-06-2019, 04:38 PM
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I'm a lesbian who had a child young, and the ex I had when my daughter was very young coincidentally looked a lot more like my daughter than I did - they both have straight blonde hair and similarly shaped and eyes and face (and we all have blue eyes). So I didn't mind when people assumed she was the biological mother - it was a reasonable assumption. And it happened quite a lot. People would get confused about my daughter calling me Mum and my ex by her name and they'd decide to find out why, or they were just curious, or whatever.

But it was very odd when several times people argued with me on that point. I mean, you'd think I'd be the number one authority on whose mother my daughter is, wouldn't you?

I guess maybe they thought we'd decided to... pretend, or something, in order to give the non-bio Mum more power? Or they thought I carried her but wasn't the genetic parent? But still, when I said no, and I know why you thought that, but nah, I'm her biological mother (can't remember the actual words I used but it was along those lines - not upset but very certain), that should have been the end of it because if there were any complicated (and extremely unlikely) circumstances they probably wouldn't be the kind you'd discuss in public. It didn't anger or annoy me, it was just weird.

So it wasn't the question itself that was dumb - although a bit rude from people who've only just met you, really - it was arguing that I was wrong about my own life.
  #63  
Old 09-06-2019, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
IMO those aren't as dumb as "How many questions will be on the exam?"

I could maybe give you a number, but I don't see how you would find it useful, since a "question" could be anything from a quick multiple-choice test of knowledge to a long multi-part problem to work out.
Now I'm thinking of a final I had in a compilers class - if we'd been told in advance how many questions it had, we rightly would have panicked.

(It had five. I gather that most people didn't finish.)
  #64  
Old 09-06-2019, 05:42 PM
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You don’t have to have pink eyes to be albino. My father-in-law was albino and he had pale blue eyes.
Is that so? Well now I can answer "maybe"
  #65  
Old 09-06-2019, 05:46 PM
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I recently got this metal tumbler I've been gushing about to my coworkers.


Me; "Yeah it's great, I fill it up with iced tea before work, and by the end of the day it's still full of ice"

Coworkers: "Will it keep hot stuff hot too?"

Me:
  #66  
Old 09-06-2019, 05:53 PM
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You don’t have to have pink eyes to be albino. My father-in-law was albino and he had pale blue eyes.
All I know is what I read in the Wikipedias, but, are you sure? Could he have had leucism instead?
  #67  
Old 09-06-2019, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Grrr! View Post
I recently got this metal tumbler I've been gushing about to my coworkers.


Me; "Yeah it's great, I fill it up with iced tea before work, and by the end of the day it's still full of ice"

Coworkers: "Will it keep hot stuff hot too?"

Me:
There are thermos flasks that will keep stuff either hot or cold depending on how it started. I think some modern ones aren't made to withstain high temperatures, but a lot of older such cups did both.
  #68  
Old 09-06-2019, 06:14 PM
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There are thermos flasks that will keep stuff either hot or cold depending on how it started. I think some modern ones aren't made to withstain high temperatures, but a lot of older such cups did both.
Now I am confused. I thought it was the point that a thermos keeps low temperatures as well as high ones.

ETA: or else my conception of such a container is old-fashioned....
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Last edited by EinsteinsHund; 09-06-2019 at 06:16 PM.
  #69  
Old 09-06-2019, 06:23 PM
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Now I am confused. I thought it was the point that a thermos keeps low temperatures as well as high ones.

ETA: or else my conception of such a container is old-fashioned....
I once managed to destroy a cheap thermos by pouring liquid nitrogen into it.
  #70  
Old 09-06-2019, 06:29 PM
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Now I am confused. I thought it was the point that a thermos keeps low temperatures as well as high ones.

ETA: or else my conception of such a container is old-fashioned....
Yes, and now I'm confused because you quoted me saying the same as you just said, but it looks like you were disagreeing with me.

Maybe it's Schroedinger's Thermos Flask!

(That would sell SO well right now).
  #71  
Old 09-06-2019, 06:44 PM
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Yes, and now I'm confused because you quoted me saying the same as you just said, but it looks like you were disagreeing with me.

Maybe it's Schroedinger's Thermos Flask!

(That would sell SO well right now).
I think that we cannot get out of this confusion other than calling it that!
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Last edited by EinsteinsHund; 09-06-2019 at 06:45 PM.
  #72  
Old 09-06-2019, 07:14 PM
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This scenario has played out countless times when I tell people that I'm from Alaska:

Oh yeah? I have a friend who lives there. . .(states name). . .do you know him?

I've been tempted more than once to answer "Oh, that asshole; he got my dog pregnant."
  #73  
Old 09-06-2019, 08:14 PM
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I have a co-worker that has a desk right next to mine. We share a phone. We have very different responsibilities. His subordinates are always walking up to our area and not seeing Ted, they ask me "Where's Ted?"

I try to be cool about it but I am getting increasingly sarcastic in my response. I have no idea what Ted is doing or where he is. My usual response is to slowly (and pointedly) look around and say "I don't see him." Some of the people that have been around a while have caught on but there is so much churn that there are always new people that think my job is to keep track of where "Ted" is. Sadly a lot of higher ups have the same notion and I have to act like I normally keep track of him but am not sure at the moment.

Not a big deal but after the 10,000th time it gets old.
  #74  
Old 09-06-2019, 08:18 PM
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Not really. So some other property about a different number that is not actually ambiguous causes confusion ... how? (And keep in mind the context. Your example would be like upper class Math majors not knowing if one was prime or not. If a senior in Math asked a prof if one was prime or not, the prof would definitely classify it as a dumb question.)

A "less bad" example the fact that 0 is neither positive or negative somehow, mysteriously, by some weird thing, causing confusion. But still, it's Computer Science where they've been taught all sorts of stuff about binary numbers.

It is incredibly dumb to not know this is that major at that point in college. Incredibly dumb. Hence why my fellow profs didn't believe me when I mentioned this. They had to see it for themselves. And did.
I didn't remember if the rules for even numbers included 0 or had a special exception for it. Even though 0 is in the set of numbers evenly divisible by two in my mind, I didn't remember that the definition of even was that and only that.

Even's and Odd's are somewhat arbitrary sets in the grand scheme of things (e.g. there are also sets of evenly divisible by 3, or by 4, etc.), and it's not obvious on the surface if there is some mathematical principal driving the need to define and give a name to those two particular sets that might have an exception for 0, or if they are just convenient sets due to frequency of usage.


Regarding binary numbers:
the number base someone might be using to perform some operations doesn't change the definition of the set of numbers. For example, the definition of the set of natural numbers isn't influenced by whether someone is going to perform some operations on a computer.


Having said all of that: once I googled the actual definition of "even number", I did feel kind of dumb
  #75  
Old 09-06-2019, 08:24 PM
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All I know is what I read in the Wikipedias, but, are you sure? Could he have had leucism instead?
Quite sure. He eventually died from Hermansky–Pudlak syndrome. One of the symptoms is oculocutaneous albinism. It is surprisingly prevalent in some portions of the Puerto Rican population.
  #76  
Old 09-06-2019, 08:26 PM
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Regarding binary numbers:
the number base someone might be using to perform some operations doesn't change the definition of the set of numbers. For example, the definition of the set of natural numbers isn't influenced by whether someone is going to perform some operations on a computer.
ftg, ignore this, I misread your post and thought you were still talking about even vs odd.
  #77  
Old 09-06-2019, 08:49 PM
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For a patient to ask the doctor whether "all of the cancer" had been eradicated is a question the doctor can't truly know the answer to, but it's not dumb at all, it's an eminently sensible and reasonable question for a patient to ask.
The OP asks for the dumbest questions [I've] been asked more than once. I am not a doctor; I am a person who had cancer.
  #78  
Old 09-07-2019, 02:45 AM
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Easter - any Sunday between March 22 and April 25
Specifically, the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. If it would match Passover, then it's moved to the following Sunday.
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  #79  
Old 09-07-2019, 03:26 AM
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Twice in the past few weeks, I went to a bakery/cafe chain (Panera and Atlanta Bread) and asked for a whole loaf of bread, nothing else. And the cashier asks me, "Is that for here or to go?"

I suppose they are trained to ask that to every customer, and it becomes automatic, but still... Next time I should say "for here" and see if they'd put it on a plate.
It's a habit you get into. Usually you hear yourself saying it and mentally whack yourself in the head.*

* Nine years of fast food.
  #80  
Old 09-07-2019, 05:18 AM
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"Did they get all the cancer?"

1. There's no definitive answer to this.
2. What would you do if I said, "No"?
Of course this is an incredibly stressful situation.

Nevertheless both my mother and I (at separate times) have asked a cancer specialist that very question.

In each case the specialist took us seriously and answered us politely.

I was told "There is no trace of your cancer and your prognosis is excellent."
I'm still healthy and cancer-free years later.

My mother was told "No, I'm very sorry, but we could not remove it all."
She took the news bravely, put her affairs in order and soon passed away peacefully in a hospice.
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  #81  
Old 09-07-2019, 05:28 AM
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And why exactly is that a dumb question? I mean we do of course, but is that obvious. It always precedes US Thanksgiving by exactly 45 days, incidentally.

The dumbest question I got asked more times than I can count is, "Is this going to be on the exam?" I always say that it might be. Even dumber, "What will be on the exam?" "Everything we did."
I usually asked; "Is it going to be a comprehensive final, or is comprehension not required?"
  #82  
Old 09-07-2019, 05:36 AM
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Being from the Netherlands: “ Did you drive here?”
And of course: “did you ever stick your finger in a/the dike?” Surprisingly not all of those were people thinking they were being clever or original with a homonym.
I'm sorry you get asked about the dike.

But I don't understand the problem with the driving question.
I live in England and have played chess many times in the Hoogovens chess tournament at Wijk aan Zee (now sponsored by Tata Steel.)
For the first few years, we did drive there (taking a car ferry to France.)
Of course now you can use the Channel Tunnel - so it's certainly possible to sit in a car for the whole journey.

You may be amused by an anecdote about the time I stayed with a charming Dutch family at the chess tournament. I had got a train from Amsterdam to Beverwijk and noticed in a railway map that there was a station at Schevenigen. Well this is also a chess opening in the Sicilian Defence.
So I tried to make conversation with the family (being Dutch, they all spoke English perfectly ), telling them about the town. It took several goes before they realised what I was talking about, aince I couldn't manage the throat noise you chaps use and was pronouncing the name as 'shev -in -gen'!
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  #83  
Old 09-07-2019, 07:41 AM
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Depending on how the question, asking whether a blank input should be treated like an even-lengthed input is a fair question. I've done lots of stuff where blank/zero inputs are treated special.

Asking whether zero is an even number is a mixed up way to ask that question, but it's still a fair question.
You're overthinking this. It really was as simple as knowing whether zero is even or not.

And the issue isn't whether the question is "fair" or not. "Is zero even?" is a mildly dumb question for a 10 year old to ask. For a 20+ year old Computer Science major? It's quite a ways up the scale.

Asking "What was President Lincoln's first name?" is a fair question. But it's a quite dumb one for adults in the US and a seriously dumb one for a college student majoring in US history.

I have mentioned this stupidity several times here over the years. And people somehow want to defend this dumbness. It is getting really ... weird ... in this regard. But I shan't speculate.

Last edited by ftg; 09-07-2019 at 07:41 AM.
  #84  
Old 09-07-2019, 09:44 AM
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I'm sorry you get asked about the dike.

But I don't understand the problem with the driving question.
I live in England and have played chess many times in the Hoogovens chess tournament at Wijk aan Zee (now sponsored by Tata Steel.)
For the first few years, we did drive there (taking a car ferry to France.)
Of course now you can use the Channel Tunnel - so it's certainly possible to sit in a car for the whole journey.
Isosleepy's location is in Pittsburgh. People ask him if he drove there from the Netherlands. So, yes, that is a rather silly question, until that trans-Atlantic highway ever gets built.

Last edited by cochrane; 09-07-2019 at 09:48 AM.
  #85  
Old 09-07-2019, 10:41 AM
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Not a dumb question if they think you might be forwarding your calls.
Right. I can take calls to my desk phone from my cell. I don't, because that might encourage people to call me. But it's not new technology.
  #86  
Old 09-07-2019, 10:41 AM
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Nevertheless both my mother and I (at separate times) have asked a cancer specialist that very question.

In each case the specialist took us seriously and answered us politely.
Again, I'm not a medical doctor. As I already posted,
Quote:
The OP asks for the dumbest questions [I've] been asked more than once. I am not a doctor; I am a person who had cancer.
(Bolding added for emphasis.)

To elaborate:

Me: "I had cancer" (in conversational context).
Yutz: "Did they get it all?"

Last edited by susan; 09-07-2019 at 10:42 AM.
  #87  
Old 09-07-2019, 10:45 AM
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Because heavy items with handles are more comfortable to be carried by the handle instead of by a plastic bag?
Yet I can schlep many gallons of milk at once if they're in bags. Not many if they're not. This was more of an issue when my parking spot was a long way from my apartment.

You could carry all your small items separately too and not have to deal with a heavy bag or waste a bag.
  #88  
Old 09-07-2019, 11:56 AM
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A couple from my college bookstore days:

"Where are the blue books?" Usually asked within five feet of the large blue book display, right under the big "BLUE BOOKS" sign hanging from the ceiling. (My guess was that a significant portion of the people asking had no idea what a "blue book" was, they were just told in a class that they needed to go buy one at the bookstore for an upcoming exam.)

More than once I had a college girl come up to me with an article of clothing in her hand and ask me "If you were a guy, would you wear this?" (Hint: the dumb part of the question wasn't the "would you wear this" part.)
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  #89  
Old 09-07-2019, 12:23 PM
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I spent many years working in a small coastal town that had a nice little harbor, with many moored boats. Twice, I was asked by tourists how we keep all the moored boats pointing in the same direction. The harbor master would quip, "we have a guy that takes care of that."

Also, in Maine, if you harvest a deer, moose or bear during hunting season, you have to take it to the closest available place to have it "tagged" by a state agent. These are usually general stores, outdoor-supply stores or the like. These places are given yellow, state issued signs designating these places as "Game Inspection Stations" and are how the state tracks the annual harvests. One local shopkeeper, known for his smart-assery, would answer the inevitable question from unsuspecting tourists, "What's a Game Inspection Station?" with a standard answer of, "See, you bring in your Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, Parcheesi, whatever, and we'll go through it and make sure you have all the cards, money, dice, little dog piece, top hat, car, whatever..." This was also a place where the local lobster fishermen hung out, so there was usually an audience.

If you were lucky enough to be in the store when one of these exchanges took place, you'd have to bite the inside of your cheek to keep from laughing out loud, he was very convincing and serious.
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Old 09-07-2019, 03:22 PM
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I have mentioned this stupidity several times here over the years. And people somehow want to defend this dumbness. It is getting really ... weird ... in this regard. But I shan't speculate.
It's an arbitrary set with some made up definition that could easily have included or not included zero, it could have excluded negative numbers, etc.

If someone had asked me to provide the definition for the following things, i would have failed at all of them:
1 - Whole numbers
2 - Natural numbers
3 - Even numbers
  #91  
Old 09-07-2019, 04:08 PM
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It's an arbitrary set with some made up definition that could easily have included or not included zero, it could have excluded negative numbers, etc.

If someone had asked me to provide the definition for the following things, i would have failed at all of them:
1 - Whole numbers
2 - Natural numbers
3 - Even numbers
Again, you do not know the actual questions used and are purely guessing to come up with a excuse that is still very, very inadequate.

Binary numbers and parity are very important in Computer Science. If you don't know that zero is even you are in deep, deep trouble.

It's like not knowing the atomic number of hydrogen when you're an upper division Chemistry major. Hardly obscure trivia.
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Old 09-07-2019, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by River Hippie View Post
I have a co-worker that has a desk right next to mine. We share a phone. We have very different responsibilities. His subordinates are always walking up to our area and not seeing Ted, they ask me "Where's Ted?".
Not to mention that, if you sit near the copying machine, everyone assumes you know how to fix it.
  #93  
Old 09-07-2019, 07:02 PM
saje is offline
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More of a comment than a question, but ...

I used to have a beautiful Dalmatian that was born deaf. She was a beautiful dog, a liver spot with bright blue eyes. I trained her with hand signals (I also had a Lab that I was training for obedience competition, so it wasn’t as hard as it might have been). Tess was sharp, and was almost always focused on me. Even out and about off lead she’d keep checking in and looking for/at me and she happy a *really* good recall on her.

Inevitably someone would watch Tess look at me, me give her a Come Here hand signal, watch her come barreling at me, and say “Wow, she does so well for being blind!
  #94  
Old 09-07-2019, 07:34 PM
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When I was a teenager, it was "are you girl?"

I was shy, and polite, so I never answered "ask your wife."
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Old 09-07-2019, 08:48 PM
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From my public library days: "Is the copier working?", while looking right at a copier with an out of order sign.
  #96  
Old 09-07-2019, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
It used to be the stupidest question I'd been asked, but now I can say I've been asked it more than twice.

At the end of a lengthy conversation in English, "do you speak English?" No, hon, for the last half-hour we've been conversing in Quenya...
Actually the stupidest question would be for them to shout, "DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?????'
  #97  
Old 09-07-2019, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ftg View Post
Asking "What was President Lincoln's first name?" is a fair question. But it's a quite dumb one for adults in the US and a seriously dumb one for a college student majoring in US history.
I had a co-worker once ask me which came first, the American Revolution or the Civil War.
  #98  
Old 09-07-2019, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River Hippie View Post
I have a co-worker that has a desk right next to mine. We share a phone. We have very different responsibilities. His subordinates are always walking up to our area and not seeing Ted, they ask me "Where's Ted?"

I try to be cool about it but I am getting increasingly sarcastic in my response. I have no idea what Ted is doing or where he is. My usual response is to slowly (and pointedly) look around and say "I don't see him." Some of the people that have been around a while have caught on but there is so much churn that there are always new people that think my job is to keep track of where "Ted" is. Sadly a lot of higher ups have the same notion and I have to act like I normally keep track of him but am not sure at the moment.

Not a big deal but after the 10,000th time it gets old.
I can see their point. As somebody who works near Ted, you're a likely source for information about him. And if they're at Ted's desk, you're likely to be nearby.

I'll grant that the more accurate question would be "Do you know where Ted is and, if so, where is he?" but I think "Where's Ted?" is an inevitable conversational shortcut.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 09-07-2019 at 10:38 PM.
  #99  
Old 09-07-2019, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glee View Post
I'm sorry you get irritated by that question.

I don't know whether you think it's obvious your birthday differs or not. (I'm guessing you think it is.)
Of course it's obvious. With the exception of people born on February 29th whose original birth date only exists 25% of the time, no one's birth date varies from year to year.
  #100  
Old 09-07-2019, 10:49 PM
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Being born on Christmas must suck since you don't get two sets of presents.
I know you're joking, but my brother in law was born on Christmas Eve, and I always make a point of getting him two presents.
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