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

wow -- i remember learning that in 1997! i was at my job processing visas for other people's overseas travel and i learned that Bombay is called Mumbai by a disgruntled customer.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:22 (yesterday) link

lol would a strong cockney accent preserve the rhyming i dunno englishes

Hunt3r, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:23 (yesterday) link

yet they still call the popular snack Bombay Mix.

calzino, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:23 (yesterday) link

Congrats to you all for learning that the former Bombay changed its name.

I can't mark the year, but it was pretty late in life that I realized Bombay and Mumbai weren't two different cities.

I mean, there's no catchy song about it like Istanbul has.

pplains, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:25 (yesterday) link

Constantinople?

pomenitul, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:26 (yesterday) link

now picturing bewitched reboot cast with s. asian dr. mumbai character, or did they actually do this already.

Hunt3r, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:26 (yesterday) link

i learned it as part of my job at the time, not sure how i would have found out otherwise
you know they don't say Calcutta anymore too right?

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:32 (yesterday) link

Kolkata

that one only changed in 2001, though

untuned mass damper (mh), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:34 (yesterday) link

No one in France got the memo. It's still Bombay, Pékin, Calcutta. I think the assumption is that most foreign place names are 'wrong' anyway, so why bother.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:37 (yesterday) link

that's very french of them

untuned mass damper (mh), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:37 (yesterday) link

Indeed it is.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:38 (yesterday) link

you should hear how we pronounce “orleans.”

Hunt3r, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:38 (yesterday) link

Or, God forbid, Des Moines.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:39 (yesterday) link

Black holes are named after the Black Hole of Calcutta Kolkata!

Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:45 (yesterday) link

Madras is now Chennai, Bangalore is now Bengaluru, there's lots of others too, not just British colonial names being changed. This is an interesting piece on the Hindu nationalist motivations behind some of it I posted in the South Asia news thread: https://scroll.in/article/902177/no-hindi-hindu-hindustan-implemented-fully-bjps-hindutva-renaming-will-wipe-out-a-lot-of-india

ogmor, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:50 (yesterday) link

Chennai was the one I was most shockingly old to learn about. Cricket is useful for this sort of thing.

Let them eat Pfifferlinge an Schneckensauce (Tom D.), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:56 (yesterday) link

wow -- i remember learning that in 1997! i was at my job processing visas for other people's overseas travel and i learned that Bombay is called Mumbai by a disgruntled customer.

The name was only changed in 1995 so you did OK.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:01 (yesterday) link

Oh wait, I think that was your point.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:01 (yesterday) link

Or, God forbid, Des Moines.

― pomenitul, Wednesday, September 18, 2019 10:39 AM (twenty-three minutes ago)

this one hit a little close to home

untuned mass damper (mh), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:03 (yesterday) link

Had an argument with the wife once about whether it is in fact correct to pronounce Notre Dame the university differently from Notre Dame the cathedral.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:05 (yesterday) link

I'm at a point where whatever people from hood x or y say is correct as far as I'm concerned. I struggled for years before embracing the French pronunciation of 'tupperware', though:

https://forvo.com/word/tupperware/#fr

pomenitul, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:09 (yesterday) link

(leyana's, that is.)

Also, I still vaguely cringe when I hear Spider-Man pronounced 'speeder-man'.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:10 (yesterday) link

John Fahey a similarly juicy example

ogmor, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:12 (yesterday) link

I have no idea how you pronounce John Fahey's name. Is this about to become a thing I was shockingly old when I learned it?

pomenitul, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:13 (yesterday) link

Sund4ar, what side of the argument were you on?

there are a ton of midwestern towns that have messed up pronunciations and eventually you just have to roll with it

Nevada (nuh-VAY-duh) and Madrid (mad-rid) come to mind

untuned mass damper (mh), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:14 (yesterday) link

Locals pronounce Prescott AZ as "Press-kit". Guy fixing my computer was adamant it should be "Press-cot" because that's how the guy it was named for pronounced his name. Pick your battles man! Just made him sound like a pompous tool.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:16 (yesterday) link

Is someone about to blow my mind by suggesting that 'Fahey' and a popular brand of Greek yogurt are homonyms, is that what's about to happen

Welcome To My Lifemare (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:18 (yesterday) link

As a general rule, no speaker of English should ever defer to the way Americans insist on pronouncing words. It's just bad form.

Welcome To My Lifemare (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:19 (yesterday) link

I can't deal with Coeur D'Alene being pronounced "Cortle Lane" but I do it anyway

I draw the line at Louisville's preferred pronunciation as being "Lowvull" I will call it "Lew-i-ville" so the rest of the world doesn't look at me like an insane person

fgti (flamboyant goon tie included), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:19 (yesterday) link

It's the same name; I can pronounce them the same. She was probably right. xp to mh

Residents of Windsor, ON, even ones who can speak French, are bizarre with the many French names in the city: "Pierre St" is pronounced "peery" even though no Windsorite would pronounce Pierre Trudeau's first name that way. The common surname "Dupuis" = "doopy"; "Ouellette Ave" = "oh-let", etc.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:21 (yesterday) link

Shit like 'maudlin' for 'Magdalen' in Oxford comes across as a snobbish shibboleth. Maybe I'm being uncharitable.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:22 (yesterday) link

Cache le Poudre River is my local fave, you could get almost anything even locally. Usually just “Pooder River.”

Hunt3r, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:23 (yesterday) link

My pretentious father had a predilection toward pronouncing certain European city names with exaggerated local pronuciation-- Paree, Praha, Veen, Köln. I started reciprocating by going all-in when talking about Göteborg and Linköping and Firenze and he eventually got the hint and stopped doing it.

fgti (flamboyant goon tie included), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:24 (yesterday) link

road names are fun. Fleur Drive -> floo-er drive

untuned mass damper (mh), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:26 (yesterday) link

I draw the line at pronouncing Milan - the football club - as Mee-lan because Milan is an English word, the club having been founded by Englishmen who used the English name for Milano.

Let them eat Pfifferlinge an Schneckensauce (Tom D.), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:27 (yesterday) link

Likewise I'm not pronouncing Racing Club, Rah-seeng Cloob, or PSG as Pay-Ess-Zhay.

Let them eat Pfifferlinge an Schneckensauce (Tom D.), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:28 (yesterday) link

I spent way too much time putting together this video of Alex Trebek saying the word "genre," so now you have to RT it. Sorry, I don't make the rules pic.twitter.com/VacI730SJv

— Alex Jacob (@whoisalexjacob) September 13, 2019

mookieproof, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:29 (yesterday) link

omg

untuned mass damper (mh), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:30 (yesterday) link

He's a native French speaker tbf.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:31 (yesterday) link

I had no idea. Or that he was even Canadian, for that matter. Thread strikes again.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:35 (yesterday) link

Fahey is pronounced with a short a and a properly aspirated h by the Irish (willing to defer here ofc) and British but is a kind of slurred Fay-hee (h almost gone) the way he said it

ogmor, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 18:10 (yesterday) link

The differences between FAY-hee and FAY-ee are so minimal. A close friend’s last name is Taheny (Sligo stock) and he’s fine with TAHN-ee tho most of us make the effort to respirate a TAH-hen-ee for the boy

fgti (flamboyant goon tie included), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 18:32 (yesterday) link

That horizontal comes from horizon. Wtf @ me.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 18:36 (yesterday) link

actual giggle at that one

yet they still call the popular snack Bombay Mix.

they don't tbf

now let's play big lunch take little lunch (sic), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 18:49 (yesterday) link

afaict Kolkata sounds close enough to Calcutta that people have just carried on saying Calcutta.

Let them eat Pfifferlinge an Schneckensauce (Tom D.), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 19:01 (yesterday) link

sorry, sorry, wait up

Black holes are named after the Black Hole of Calcutta Kolkata!

whaaaaat

The Pingularity (ledge), Wednesday, 18 September 2019 19:06 (yesterday) link

Okay, I might walk that back, the line in Wikipedia is

"According to Hong-Yee Chiu, a long-time astrophysicist at NASA, the Black Hole of Calcutta was the inspiration for the term black hole referring to regions of space-time resulting from the gravitational collapse of very heavy stars. He recalled hearing physicist Robert Dicke in the early 1960s compare such gravitationally collapsed objects to the infamous prison.

But the link is to an article titled "50 years later, it’s hard to say who named black holes" (which isn't there any more).

Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 19:11 (yesterday) link

xp fgti - yeah it's mostly about the a, which dictates how you say the h

ogmor, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 19:32 (yesterday) link

xpost, I think the black hole thing might be right. I just asked my spouse (astronomer who used to do most research on black holes) who coined it/why and he said Wheeler, because light doesn't escape blah blah. But we just looked up a bunch of things and he agrees that the above is good enough.

Yerac, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 19:53 (yesterday) link

Awesome, thank you!

Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 20:18 (yesterday) link


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