Things you were shockingly old when you learned

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I think I was like 16 or 17 when I learned that cows and bulls were the male and female versions of the same animal and not two distinct animals.

What sort of seemingly basic facts did it take you a surprisingly long time for you to learn?

filthy dylan, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 05:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

How a candle works.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 05:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

Practically everything.

Abbott of the Trapezoid Monks (Abbott), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 06:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

that SHIFT + 6 = ^. I think I figured it out a month or so ago. I always wondered how people got that character.

ILX MOD (musically), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 06:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

DO you have a Mac?

The best things about macs is that making any character is stupid easy.

¢™
øºÖØ°

Abbott of the Trapezoid Monks (Abbott), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 06:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

&¶¶¶¶¶¶

Abbott of the Trapezoid Monks (Abbott), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 06:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

!

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 07:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

That (most) BMWs are named according to engine size (I was a car freak as a child but never knew this until being informed by a German flatmate while I was a PhD student).

i.e. 318 = 3 series 1.8 litre engine etc.

krakow, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 07:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

Didn't know that black and green olives are identical, just different stage of maturity, until a few months ago.

Didn't realise that Adam Ant was a pun, until a year or so ago. Likewise Lipps Inc.

Zelda Zonk, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 07:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

I've got a mac and I still don't know how to do any of, um, ^ those ^

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

I end up going to wikipedia and copy-and-pasting when I want unusual characters

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

The cows-and-bulls thing, plus Adam Ant, are the only things on this thread that I do know

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

how to cook an artichoke properly

nelson algreen (get bent), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

(a julia child recipe steered me right)

nelson algreen (get bent), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

How to tie my shoes (velcro, you see..)

Sugar hiccup, Makes a pig soar and swoon (Pillbox), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

Didn't realise that Adam Ant was a pun, until a year or so ago.

^^^ this. Same with Sandy Shaw.

NotEnough, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

Fay Fife of the Rezillos.

Mark G, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

(i.e. it's a pun on "I am from the town of Fife, my good fellow" in broad scots)

Mark G, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

What's the Adam Ant pun? Adam Ant = adamant? If so... pretty lame pun.

Mordy, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

That's it.

Mark G, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

xpost Tell that to Lai Mpun, the lead singer of Bangkok's Phleng Chat.

I CRIED (G00blar), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

I am 33 and didn't know any of these things. Wait - how the hell DOES a candle work?!

Savannah Smiles, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

Same with Sandy Shaw.
OK I was 32 when I found out this was a pun.

I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE UP TO (Colonel Poo), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

i don't know how to explain it but i used to think chickens had a really weird way of "mating", something to do with the rooster's legs. (!!?!?) :)

Ludo, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

I thought penguins were as tall as humans until that march of the penguins movie

I CRIED (G00blar), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

"that SHIFT + 6 = ^. I think I figured it out a month or so ago. I always wondered how people got that character."

^^^Dude, you beat me by a month. Thanks!

I once spent a half hour trying to eject a cd from a Mac before someone finally told me there's an eject button on the keyboard. I was going through all these crazy menus and preferences...

Nate Carson, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

I think I was like 16 or 17 when I learned that cows and bulls were the male and female versions of the same animal and not two distinct animals.

What sort of seemingly basic facts did it take you a surprisingly long time for you to learn?

― filthy dylan, Wednesday, November 12, 2008 5:30 AM (6 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink


I did not know that oxen were cattle until about a week ago.

With a little bit of gold and a Peja (bernard snowy), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

I thought penguins were as tall as humans until that march of the penguins movie

loooool one of my friends thought this and it was since passed into running joke territory.

I think I've done that Mac eject button thing too :(

Pronounced lapels like 'labels' for years until corrected but happily don't dress well enough to use it often

The Slash My Father Wrote (DJ Mencap), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

My girlfriend was shocked to learn, at the age of 33, that a 'Flea Circus' is actually a rather charming mechanical toy, and is in no way operated by any parasitic insects.

Huey in Bristol (Huey in Melbourne), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ismael, at the age of 32, is shocked to learn the same thing. This thread is getting embarrassing

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

WAT! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flea_circus

Øystein, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

I thought penguins were as tall as humans until that march of the penguins movie

one of my friends thought this and it was since passed into running joke territory

no but seriously, what is this about?

negotiable, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

i mean i can see that there's rarely anything to size them against in the big white antarctic, but why would anyone then automatically think okay here's a bird i could play tag with

negotiable, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

u could still play tag w/it tho

SNAKES! (ice crӕm), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

But you could make the same assumption with ostriches in the big yellow desert (or wherever they live), and in that case you'd be right!

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm still in touch with several grown adults who genuinely believe there's 'something' to supernatural claims about ouija boards, despite its fairly obvious origins in parlour games / illusions which utilised the (admittedly fucking spooky) ideomotor effect.

Huey in Bristol (Huey in Melbourne), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

aw no-one said 'where babies come from'

Cittaslow Mazza (blueski), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

I've had a lot of experiences in my adult life with mispronouncing words I understood as part of written text, but hadn't heard aurally in the context of conversation etc. For example, I was well into my twenties before I knew the word "vehement" wasn't pronounced veh-hee-ment. I wish others would politely correct you when you do that instead of letting you blindly sound like an idiot.

Sugar hiccup, Makes a pig soar and swoon (Pillbox), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm a bit like that, but now I'm in the habit of saying works incorrectly, I can't get out of it. Canal is not pronounced can-el, but there's fuck all I can do about it now.

NotEnough, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

^ This happens to me all the time too - so much so that I actually now find it quite amusing when I realise, midway through a sentence, that a word I've never heard before is looming at the end. I suppose that people who talk a lot, rather than reading, must find the same with spelling. It only annoys me when some moron uses it as an opportunity to score cheap points (sadly fairly often)

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

I was going to start a thread like this, but it was going to be more about 'life lessons' that took you forever to learn, rather than trivia.

Anyway it's taken me this long to fully realize how unreliable first impressions can be when it comes to people.

invisible jet (wanko ergo sum), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

but why would anyone then automatically think okay here's a bird i could play tag with

haha

Ant Attack.. (Ste), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

TAL have an episode on this in the "best of" section on their wesite. people who thought unicorns were real, etc., lots of awkward silences at cocktail parties: good stuff.

rent, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

i like to tag birds. (runs)

Sugar hiccup, Makes a pig soar and swoon (Pillbox), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

There's a penguin here and he wants to say "you didn't touch me ner ner ner"

Mark G, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

I thought penguins went "weh weh weh"

╓abies, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm still in touch with several grown adults who genuinely believe there's 'something' to supernatural claims about ouija boards, despite its fairly obvious origins in parlour games / illusions which utilised the (admittedly fucking spooky) ideomotor effect.

― Huey in Bristol (Huey in Melbourne), Wednesday, November 12, 2008 7:08 AM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

you couldnt get me in the same room as a ouija board

a country packed with ponies (sunny successor), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

I was about 35 when I figured out Open Sesame = Open Says Me.

Rotgutt, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

i used to think HAZCHEM was a foreign word for danger like Achtung

Cittaslow Mazza (blueski), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

I just figured out, like 2 days ago, that the lyrics are "highway to the danger zone"

(until then, thought they were "I went to to the danger zone")

homosexual II, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 15:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

Necessarily to do with blanks, I should have said.

Alba, Thursday, 19 April 2018 19:57 (one month ago) Permalink

Having lots of shooters (with real bullets) is to guarantee the guy ends up dead quickly.

nickn, Thursday, 19 April 2018 20:08 (one month ago) Permalink

much better to assume that even a skilled marksman might not kill you in one shot. you want at least ten guys, you're gonna get guaranteed dead

mh, Thursday, 19 April 2018 20:59 (one month ago) Permalink

Gotta say if I had to get executed I’d want firing squad if guillotine weren’t available.

valorous wokelord (silby), Thursday, 19 April 2018 21:05 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah it’s the only option where you get to look cool and smoke a cig right before you die

flappy bird, Thursday, 19 April 2018 21:06 (one month ago) Permalink

plus you get a tombstone pizza iirc

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Thursday, 19 April 2018 21:21 (one month ago) Permalink

Silby:

"Both King Charles I and Queen Anne Boleyn are reported to both have showed signs of trying to speak following their beheadings (by executioners' swords, rather than by guillotine) [source: Maslin]. When he spoke out against the use of the guillotine in 1795, German researcher S.T. Sommering cited reports of decapitated heads that have ground their teeth and that the face of one decapitated person "grimaced horribly" when a physician inspecting the head poked the spinal canal with his finger [source: Sommering]."

Nooooooope

Right column Leftist (sunny successor), Thursday, 19 April 2018 21:35 (one month ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I hadn't thought about it until a local mexican food chain had "rolled taquitos" on the menu and I thought "wait, what would a non-rolled..."

taquito means, literally, "little taco"

I mean, it's the literal translation, but for some reason I never think of a taquito as a taco, let alone a little one. If someone had ever said "what does the _word" taquito" mean I'd have instantly said it

mh, Tuesday, 8 May 2018 19:45 (one week ago) Permalink

egg timers are timers for eggs, not necessarily timers shaped like eggs.

adam the (abanana), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 21:00 (one week ago) Permalink

lol

Right column Leftist (sunny successor), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 21:05 (one week ago) Permalink

ooh that's a good one

mh, Tuesday, 8 May 2018 21:11 (one week ago) Permalink

Taquito is a good one. But then etymological revelations of the English language still semi-regularly knock me on my ass.

Love Theme From Oh God! You Devil (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 21:28 (one week ago) Permalink

I think of an egg timer as being a little version of an hourglass

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 21:45 (one week ago) Permalink

Speaking of, I just realized that HOURglass is an inaccurate description of basically every hourglass I've ever encountered.

Love Theme From Oh God! You Devil (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 21:49 (one week ago) Permalink

See? It's troublingly easy to blow my mind.

Love Theme From Oh God! You Devil (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 21:50 (one week ago) Permalink

I'm struggling to imagine an egg timer shaped like an egg

chilis=lyrics...hypocrits (sic), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 21:58 (one week ago) Permalink

[does one google]

wtf, America

chilis=lyrics...hypocrits (sic), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 22:00 (one week ago) Permalink

we’re a very literal conglomeration of people from the diaspora

mh, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 00:25 (one week ago) Permalink

lol

Dan S, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 00:29 (one week ago) Permalink

"Vintage" means the process of making wine (and, by association the year in which that process takes place); from the French, obv. It does not mean "old". When it's used to mean old (vintage cars, vintage clothing) it's being used metaphorically; vintage wine is not simply old wine.

mahb, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 09:32 (one week ago) Permalink

that's good, makes perfect sense but never considered it

Roberto Spiralli, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 10:53 (one week ago) Permalink

Yeah that's a great example

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Wednesday, 9 May 2018 11:07 (one week ago) Permalink

"Unequivocally" does not have the letter "b" in it. Feeling pretty stupid atm

Dan I., Friday, 11 May 2018 18:22 (one week ago) Permalink

Trying to figure out where a 'b' would even go. 'Unequivocallyb?'

Delightful in Microdoses (Old Lunch), Friday, 11 May 2018 18:30 (one week ago) Permalink

(Not goosing you, btw. I both said and wrote 'unwieldly' well into adulthood.)

Delightful in Microdoses (Old Lunch), Friday, 11 May 2018 18:31 (one week ago) Permalink

thread delivers

flappy bird, Friday, 11 May 2018 18:31 (one week ago) Permalink

guessing "Unequivocably"

chilis=lyrics...hypocrits (sic), Friday, 11 May 2018 18:32 (one week ago) Permalink

Unbequivocally

Westworld more like Worstworld right? (Phil D.), Friday, 11 May 2018 18:35 (one week ago) Permalink

Suddenly hearing the word as uttered by Mushmouth.

Delightful in Microdoses (Old Lunch), Friday, 11 May 2018 18:36 (one week ago) Permalink

Last night I learned that Thandie Newton, of whom I've ~been aware~ as an actress since Mission: Impossible 2, pronounces her name "Tandy." Boy, would I have had egg on MY face if I ever met her.

Westworld more like Worstworld right? (Phil D.), Friday, 11 May 2018 18:37 (one week ago) Permalink

woah

Colonel Poo, Friday, 11 May 2018 18:42 (one week ago) Permalink

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Damn that took me 34 years

Ross, Friday, 11 May 2018 19:14 (one week ago) Permalink

I found out pretty late in life that "mores" (as in "social mores") is the word that rhymes with "morays," not a word that rhymes with "s'mores."

bed, bath, and beyond the thunderdome (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 11 May 2018 19:22 (one week ago) Permalink

yeah i think it is often spelt with an acute accent over the e

Stevolende, Friday, 11 May 2018 19:25 (one week ago) Permalink

I'm certain that I only know the correct pronunciation because of an ethics class I took.

Delightful in Microdoses (Old Lunch), Friday, 11 May 2018 19:27 (one week ago) Permalink

Character is the most important thing of all

Peaked redundancy (Ross), Friday, 11 May 2018 19:45 (one week ago) Permalink

That's a moray

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 11 May 2018 20:05 (one week ago) Permalink

"when an eel bites your heel and the pain makes you squeal..."

stevolende, I guess that is so, but it isn't strictly speaking correct, is it? The word is an import from latin, not French.

bed, bath, and beyond the thunderdome (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 11 May 2018 20:09 (one week ago) Permalink

social moires

mh, Friday, 11 May 2018 20:24 (one week ago) Permalink

social moires

blurred lines...

bed, bath, and beyond the thunderdome (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 11 May 2018 20:59 (one week ago) Permalink

and relevant xkcd is https://xkcd.com/1814/

bed, bath, and beyond the thunderdome (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 11 May 2018 21:00 (one week ago) Permalink

Perhaps relatedly? A few years ago, there was a news story on the radio about the plight of the cops in Egypt. Sounded like things were pretty bad for Egyptian cops.

I'm like huh? until I realized they were saying Copts.

Earlier today I was on a work conference call with some people in India, and we were discussing a business proposal where everything was expressed in dollars and needed to be changed to rubies.

Rubies? Are we seriously talking about being paid with chests full of gemstones? WTF? Is this like a fairy tale or something?

Then I realized everybody had been saying "rupees."

bed, bath, and beyond the thunderdome (Ye Mad Puffin), Monday, 14 May 2018 19:52 (six days ago) Permalink

don’t go to vietnam

karl wallogina (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 02:36 (five days ago) Permalink

That "arms akimbo" means hands on hips with elbows out (the George Reeves Superman stance), not arms flailing about.

Hideous Lump, Tuesday, 15 May 2018 03:22 (five days ago) Permalink

That the name pronounced "al-o-WISH-us" is the same word as the name spelled "Aloysius."

Hideous Lump, Tuesday, 15 May 2018 03:33 (five days ago) Permalink

How did your head spell it before?

chilis=lyrics...hypocrits (sic), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 19:12 (five days ago) Permalink

My name is Alloy Zeus, look upon my works, ye mighty...

emil.y, Tuesday, 15 May 2018 19:15 (five days ago) Permalink

Until the moment of revelation (which may have come while reading the back of an Elvis Costello album), I'd never really thought about how al-o-WISH-us was spelled.

Hideous Lump, Wednesday, 16 May 2018 04:47 (four days ago) Permalink

Marsala and masala are not at all the same thing.

Dan I., Wednesday, 16 May 2018 15:02 (four days ago) Permalink


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