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 (ten years ago) link

How a candle works.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 05:31 (ten years ago) link

Practically everything.

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

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

&¶¶¶¶¶¶

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

!

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

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:02 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

how to cook an artichoke properly

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

(a julia child recipe steered me right)

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

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

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

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 (ten years ago) link

Fay Fife of the Rezillos.

Mark G, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:35 (ten years ago) link

(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 (ten years ago) link

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

Mordy, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:37 (ten years ago) link

That's it.

Mark G, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:43 (ten years ago) link

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

I CRIED (G00blar), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:45 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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

I CRIED (G00blar), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:56 (ten years ago) link

"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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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

Øystein, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:59 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

u could still play tag w/it tho

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

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

aw no-one said 'where babies come from'

Cittaslow Mazza (blueski), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:14 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

^ 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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

i like to tag birds. (runs)

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

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 (ten years ago) link

I thought penguins went "weh weh weh"

╓abies, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:14 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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

Rotgutt, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:44 (ten years ago) link

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

Cittaslow Mazza (blueski), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:45 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

Only learned last night that you can use headphones as a microphone.

mike t-diva, Friday, 12 July 2019 08:15 (one week ago) link

I just learned that a "fathom" is only 6 feet/183cm, not some huge undersea depth as I had imagined.

I can't even begin to six feet why you would think that.

pplains, Friday, 19 July 2019 02:45 (three days ago) link

i am just now learning this as well!

Good morning, how are you, I'm (Doctor Casino), Friday, 19 July 2019 02:59 (three days ago) link

They changed the movie title bcz 43,744,532 Fathoms Under The Sea used more digits than most cinemas had for their marquees

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Friday, 19 July 2019 03:05 (three days ago) link

Um, literally the distance you can physically fathom or grasp with your arms outstretched? I suppose "fathom" for "grasp" may only be used in the abstract "understand" rather than the literal sense in English now? Norwegian has "fatte" ("understand" nearly always, physically "grasp" in some older literary usage), which may have helped me understand this unit without too much trouble.

anatol_merklich, Friday, 19 July 2019 18:05 (three days ago) link

The Verne title refers to distance traveled rather than distance from surface.

Stevolende, Friday, 19 July 2019 18:17 (three days ago) link

Uh, that's a league, apparently meaning about an hour's walk, not a fathom.

anatol_merklich, Friday, 19 July 2019 18:31 (three days ago) link

I think Stevolende knows that, he's just listing something else he realized late. I had the same misconception, "How can you be that deep, the earth isn't even that thick?!!"

nickn, Friday, 19 July 2019 20:04 (three days ago) link

It wasn't until I heard my college professor say Friedrich Nietzsche's surname outloud that I realized it wasn't pronounced the same as Green Bay Packers linebacker Ray Nitschke, even though it obviously doesn't have a K in it. This was long after I'd first tried to read him and probably attempted to name-drop him in a few weighty conversations.

punning display, Friday, 19 July 2019 22:10 (three days ago) link

That 'perk' is an abbreviation of 'perquisite'.

Good one!

Arthur Lowe & Love (Tom D.), Saturday, 20 July 2019 12:18 (two days ago) link

"pox" is just a 15th century re-spelling of "pocks", as in pockmarks

https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=pox

(this dawned on me while reading some twitter discussion abt chickenpox which has now disappeared from my timeline so no link - anyhow there was much talk of "pocks" so I might be the last person alive to have realised this)

a passing spacecadet, Saturday, 20 July 2019 12:32 (two days ago) link

I thought standardised spelling was only really happening thanks to the printed word which was only happening around that time, possibly even a little later. Otherwise there was a lot of spelling variation depending on what area you were in or where your education was from etc.

Stevolende, Saturday, 20 July 2019 12:39 (two days ago) link

That there is a science fiction element to Dude, Where's My Car?

Ward Fowler, Saturday, 20 July 2019 12:53 (two days ago) link

xpost/eckes poste

this is true, so I guess a better summary might be that in the late 15th century people began to think of "pocks" as a word/condition in its own right rather than a plural of another word, and would sometimes write it down accordingly in a less plural-looking manner, and we've* done so ever since

a bit less snappy though

* I've**
** ok I am not quite that old

a passing spacecadet, Saturday, 20 July 2019 13:02 (two days ago) link

high flying birds are on this:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D_6P3K7XUAMd86e.png

mark s, Saturday, 20 July 2019 13:06 (two days ago) link

that "Avenging Force" with Michael Dudikoff is a sequel to the Chuck Norris classic "Invasion U.S.A."

methanietanner, Saturday, 20 July 2019 13:41 (two days ago) link

For some reason i always mistakenly thought Maiden's Number of the Beast was a concept album...until my late 20s

Fuck Trump, cops, and the CBP (Neanderthal), Saturday, 20 July 2019 13:53 (two days ago) link

It is one if you want it to be.

pomenitul, Saturday, 20 July 2019 13:56 (two days ago) link

Lol true

Fuck Trump, cops, and the CBP (Neanderthal), Saturday, 20 July 2019 14:36 (two days ago) link

The Left Bank in Paris is not on the left side of the map but rather on the left side of the river when you're traveling downstream

Josefa, Saturday, 20 July 2019 14:50 (two days ago) link

Just learned at NCT today that “pump and dump” doesn’t in fact mean conscientiously expressing several bottles of milk in advance

Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 20 July 2019 15:41 (two days ago) link

I finally figured out today how to lower blinds. You just pull the strings at an angle! Where's my Mensa membership?

jmm, Sunday, 21 July 2019 17:42 (yesterday) link

a league, apparently meaning about an hour's walk, not a fathom

According to the introduction to my 20,000 Leagues, which I happened to be reading this morning, a league on land ("le plancher des vaches") is about 4 kilometers, but a nautical league is 5.555 kilometers: "la vingtième partie du degré d'un grand cercle de la Terre."

mick signals, Sunday, 21 July 2019 17:53 (yesterday) link

Colin Hay is Scottish by birth, and only moved to Australia at age 14. He has a strong Scottish accent. Hand to heart, I've only ever heard him sing before today. Never heard his speaking voice.

I don't get wet because I am tall and thin and I am afraid of people (Eliza D.), Monday, 22 July 2019 01:52 (twenty-one hours ago) link

loads of our famous people were born elsewhere, especially those who were famous before 2000

times 牛肉麵 (Autumn Almanac), Monday, 22 July 2019 02:01 (twenty-one hours ago) link

It's just so weird that I've been hearing his music for more than 30 years and it never occurred to me that he sounded like anything but a "typical" Australian, if not Crocodile Dundee. It's like finding out Michael Hutchence was Quebecois or something.

and he’s still got a distinct scots accent!

times 牛肉麵 (Autumn Almanac), Monday, 22 July 2019 12:13 (eleven hours ago) link

I think Malcolm Young had traces of a Scottish accent, Angus (and Bon Scott) none at all - George Young was entirely Scottish, from what I've heard.

Arthur Lowe & Love (Tom D.), Monday, 22 July 2019 12:21 (eleven hours ago) link

... John Paul, totally Aus!

Arthur Lowe & Love (Tom D.), Monday, 22 July 2019 12:21 (eleven hours ago) link

^ who?

It's like finding out Michael Hutchence was Quebecois or something.

better be sitting down, because Michael Hutchence lived in Hong Kong from ages 3 to 13, LA for a year when he was 15, and in Hong Kong from about 25 to death.

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Monday, 22 July 2019 13:44 (nine hours ago) link

I just this minute learned that 'Quebecois' refers to someone from Hong Kong. Thanks, sic!

I learned the left bank and right bank thing about rivers (flowing downstream) 2 months ago! xpost

Yerac, Monday, 22 July 2019 13:59 (nine hours ago) link

We should have a 'celebrities whose actual country of origin is different than you thought' thread if we don't already. Only very recently learned that Gregg Turkington is Australian!

Sam Neill is from Northern Ireland

Number None, Monday, 22 July 2019 14:07 (nine hours ago) link

rory mcilroy is british

phil neville jacket (darraghmac), Monday, 22 July 2019 14:09 (nine hours ago) link

oh god

I've been watching the On Cinema stuff after frequenting that thread and the thing I just learned is even more mortifying when it comes to my lack of being observant

I think I was used to seeing pictures of his comedic alter ego and I only just now realized that Gregg is the same Gregg who... oh man, I feel dumb

untuned mass damper (mh), Monday, 22 July 2019 14:10 (nine hours ago) link

so long story short, yes, he's the Neil Hamburger Gregg Turkington

however, he was only *born* in australia (to american parents) and has probably never claimed to be australian

untuned mass damper (mh), Monday, 22 July 2019 14:11 (nine hours ago) link

^ who?

John "Love Is" Paul "In the" Young "Air"

Arthur Lowe & Love (Tom D.), Monday, 22 July 2019 14:14 (nine hours ago) link

Sam Neill is from Northern Ireland

― Number None, Monday, July 22, 2019 10:07 AM (forty-one minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

OK now you're just fucking with me.

Jackie Chan is Welsh

jou're much too jung, girl (Noodle Vague), Monday, 22 July 2019 14:54 (eight hours ago) link

you'll be telling us Max Boyce was from Hong Kong next!

calzino, Monday, 22 July 2019 14:58 (eight hours ago) link

born there during the Sevens tournament iirc

jou're much too jung, girl (Noodle Vague), Monday, 22 July 2019 14:59 (eight hours ago) link

I learned just now that Phil Rudd is the only member of either main AC/DC lineup who was born in Australia.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:02 (eight hours ago) link

a real one is I didn't know the Van Halen brothers were half Indonesian - learned recently from Dave Roth interview on Marc Maron pod

Josefa, Monday, 22 July 2019 15:05 (eight hours ago) link

Ha, I learned that from an ethnomusicology prof in undergrad. I remember a fellow student tried to seriously consider whether there was an audible gamelan influence in their playing.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:08 (eight hours ago) link

I learned just now that Phil Rudd is the only member of either main AC/DC lineup who was born in Australia.

Mark Evans was born in Australia!


I just this minute learned that 'Quebecois' refers to someone from Hong Kong. Thanks, sic!

I just this minute learned that the words “or something” don’t exist

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:13 (eight hours ago) link

Ah, fair point. Evans played on probably my favourite AC/DC records during the two years he was in the band.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:28 (eight hours ago) link

John "Love Is" Paul

oh duh, as in not a Young brother, that totally threw me in a “puns you had missed” fashion

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Monday, 22 July 2019 15:33 (eight hours ago) link


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