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) Permalink

How a candle works.

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

Practically everything.

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

&¶¶¶¶¶¶

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

!

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

how to cook an artichoke properly

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

(a julia child recipe steered me right)

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

Fay Fife of the Rezillos.

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

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

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

That's it.

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

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

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

u could still play tag w/it tho

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

aw no-one said 'where babies come from'

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

i like to tag birds. (runs)

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

I thought penguins went "weh weh weh"

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

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

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

How a candle works.
― Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 05:31 (ten years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

wait. how does a candle works

single bed mentality (||||||||), Saturday, 8 December 2018 18:28 (one week ago) Permalink

I like to go around London by bus when I get a chance so taht i do see what connects to what.
Have been aware of tubes giving a totally distorted view of what location fits where around the town since my mid teens. & the Tube map isn't based on the geography of the surface to any degree that you would recognise easily. probably at all since it was set up to show the interaction of tube lines.
You could find yourself having to go half way around town by tube to get between 2 points taht wouldn't take long to walk.

I guess buses aren't going to give an ideal picture since they're dictated to by traffic. & other people blocking your view of the streets. & you having to fit in what's out of view. Helps to have some spacial consciousness.

Oh & thinking about buses. I just found out last night that the bus into town ends later than the bus out of town. Worked out that every bus coming out has to return because there isn't a park up on the outskirts of town. So they've decided that they may as well make money out of the fact that the last 2 buses out of town have to go back in anyway.
Not sure how long they've been doing that . I don't remember it being on a timetable I've seen

Stevolende, Saturday, 8 December 2018 19:25 (one week ago) Permalink

In his 1995 travel book, Notes From A Small Island, Bill Bryson describes how a stranger to London would get from Bank to Mansion House using the Tube map.

He said he would take the Central Line to Liverpool Street, and then change to the Circle Line for another five stops to Mansion House. He would then emerge to find himself just 200 yards down the street where he had started from.

Gunther Gleiben (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 8 December 2018 20:24 (one week ago) Permalink

wait. how does a candle works

― single bed mentality (||||||||), Saturday, December 8, 2018 10:28 AM (two hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I was also shockingly old when I learned this. The wax or whatever in the candle is fuel that burns. Until adulthood sometime I thought the wick just burned and the wax slowed it down and melted away.

I have measured out my life in coffee shop loyalty cards (silby), Saturday, 8 December 2018 20:54 (one week ago) Permalink

The wex is not just wex. English wex, French wex, domestic wex...

kinder, Saturday, 8 December 2018 21:11 (one week ago) Permalink

BUSES: I just figured out that my route begins the earliest because it's one of only two that goes past the bus hangar.

pplains, Saturday, 8 December 2018 21:50 (one week ago) Permalink

The wax or whatever in the candle is fuel that burns.

In a similar vein, I was in my thirties before I discovered that what Americans call "kerosene" is called "paraffin" by the English. I simultaneously discovered that "paraffin wax" was a byproduct of petroleum refining. Until then I just thought it was another name for wax and had no idea where it came from.

A is for (Aimless), Saturday, 8 December 2018 21:58 (one week ago) Permalink

Well, I just this minute discovered that myself.

vocabulary is just a way to sound samrter than you actually are (Old Lunch), Saturday, 8 December 2018 22:39 (one week ago) Permalink

I remember researching and learning that, after I was puzzled as a US child reading about British arsonists always dousing things in paraffin, which would have entailed elaborate melting and dribbling.

I'm not certain why kerosene has the Greek prefix keros, which means wax, same prefix as in e.g. cerumen.

mick signals, Saturday, 8 December 2018 23:43 (one week ago) Permalink

The two locations thing…when I was growing up I’d come into New York City, go record shopping on 8th st off 6th ave in the West village, then walk south into Washington square park, walk around in circles and eventually end up finishing my record shopping on St Marks st in the east Village even though I always got lost and never know how I finally found sr marks.

It was probably ten years before I realiz d it was the same street.

dan selzer, Sunday, 9 December 2018 00:06 (one week ago) Permalink

I moved to a totally new and much bigger town last year after living in the previous place for 11 years and seeing how differently my wife learned to get around and how we mapped the place internally was crazy. Completely different landmarks and concepts of direction and distance and everything else. And trying to match the backs of houses on one block with the fronts on another is what I always do while walking the dog.

I also learned the candle thing when I was at least 25 or 30.

And just this week I heard the common basilisk lizard that can walk on water referred to as the jesus lizard and had never once in almost thirty years realized where the band name came from.

joygoat, Sunday, 9 December 2018 05:46 (one week ago) Permalink

ha, were you ogling splashing geckos like I was?

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Sunday, 9 December 2018 11:29 (one week ago) Permalink

My building is directly adjacent to two sets of elevated train tracks, and the street that my building is on stops abruptly at those tracks, so between that and several one-way streets, the route from my building to anywhere else is always a bit circuitous. There are a few local businesses that I always thought of in terms of being a winding, ten-minute walk from home, but it wasn't until I'd lived here a few years and glanced out a window while taking the side stairs that I realized these businesses were literally across the street (and two sets of train tracks) from me.

vocabulary is just a way to sound samrter than you actually are (Old Lunch), Sunday, 9 December 2018 14:03 (one week ago) Permalink

I saw a bunch of headlines about Jason Momoa being from Iowa over the last few years but never dug in and figured it was the other side of the state but apparently he’s from the town I’d commute past on my way to high school. Used to be smaller and somewhat of a rural/bedroom community but these days it’s closer to a full-blown developed suburb.

aphextriplet85 (mh), Monday, 10 December 2018 00:50 (one week ago) Permalink

Paul McCartney does not appear on The Beatles' "She Said She Said."

Plinka Trinka Banga Tink (Eliza D.), Monday, 10 December 2018 17:09 (one week ago) Permalink

- "haha, macca''s being a square and won't trip with us."

I mean, dudes. Be careful what you wish for. You know '66 Paul would be the " wow, you seeing this? You must be seeing these colors, right? RIGHT? What do you mean I'm talking too much? Maybe I'm just a voice INSIDE YOUR HEAD, RIGHT?" guy.

✈️✈️ (pplains), Tuesday, 11 December 2018 01:25 (six days ago) Permalink

Apparently they were rushing to get the song done because they were short a track for Revolver and had two leave on tour the next day, and Paul got salty about the number of takes they were doing and walked out. So George played the bass and sang the harmonies on the song.

Plinka Trinka Banga Tink (Eliza D.), Tuesday, 11 December 2018 14:03 (six days ago) Permalink

Ringo doesn't appear on the first two songs on the White Album for a similar reason. Whenever I hear those first two beats of Glass Onion, I remember Marcello Carlin writing that it sounded liking him knocking on the door and asking to be let back in.

fetter, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 14:32 (six days ago) Permalink

It's not unusual for me to have a moment when I finally consolidate two places in my head that are actually the same place, just approached from different directions on a regular journey.

This dis-integration of the head is so common I feel it should have a name. Could be a German name.

This morning (yes, after coffee), Brainpart One, obsessively pondering: "Where did the plastic lid to the cream bottle go? It's not on the floor. Did the kitten grab it? No, she's in the closet. I didn't put it in the cabinet, did I? Nope. Oh well."

Brainpart Two: "This garbage disposal machine sounds awfully clanky today, as though somebody had dropped a little plastic part of something in there that's now getting laboriously chewed up. Could it be a lime rind making that sound? If it was kind of dried out? Yeah, probably."

mick signals, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 15:40 (six days ago) Permalink

moussa sissoko who plays for spurs is thd samd moussa sissoko that won the ballon d'or in 2019

technically the international left but one (darraghmac), Tuesday, 11 December 2018 23:27 (six days ago) Permalink

confabulation is your brain making ip fake stories you actually believe for things your brain lacks the data to explain (but yr brain wont even tell u that). i was shockingly old when i made up this concept but it was 20yrs ago.

Hunt3r, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 01:47 (five days ago) Permalink

I knew but had forgotten about "She Said She Said" - it makes me yearn for a Fab Three from that era, that song is insanely high.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 02:16 (five days ago) Permalink

If only Paul had died a year earlier.

Alba, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 08:48 (five days ago) Permalink

That The KLF's 'Justified and Ancient' samples Jimi Hendrix's 'Voodoo Child'.

Dan Worsley, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 13:03 (five days ago) Permalink

I'd put this on the "Things you were shockingly old when you realized..." thread, but alas, this one will do.

Despite being born American, I do realize that the other 119 countries in the world call soccer by another common name. However, it wasn't until this morning that I realized that when Andy Partridge sings "And all the world is football-shaped..." he's not talking about kicking some sort of oblong planet into space.

✈️✈️ (pplains), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 13:17 (five days ago) Permalink

haha holy shit

fans annoyed as emily atack screams over nick knowles' kumquat (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 13:19 (five days ago) Permalink

His description of the world as 'biscuit-shaped' however is evidence of his sad mid-song transition into a staunch flat-earther.

my hand is finally unglued from my face (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 13:50 (five days ago) Permalink

(xxp) LOL you goshdarned American you, goldarnit!

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christ (Tom D.), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 14:24 (five days ago) Permalink

I think I assumed the same, tbh. A bit like the use of 'pear-shaped'.

my hand is finally unglued from my face (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 14:43 (five days ago) Permalink

divided by a common language smdh

fans annoyed as emily atack screams over nick knowles' kumquat (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 14:44 (five days ago) Permalink

Is that the US smdh or the UK smdh

my hand is finally unglued from my face (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 14:59 (five days ago) Permalink

Look honestly you should just be grateful we even know who this Partridge guy is in the first place.

my hand is finally unglued from my face (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 15:00 (five days ago) Permalink

He was great on that TV show as David Cassidy's little brother.

✈️✈️ (pplains), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 15:53 (five days ago) Permalink

i was shockingly old when i learned alan partridge was david cassidy's little brother

fans annoyed as emily atack screams over nick knowles' kumquat (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 15:54 (five days ago) Permalink

A-HAAAA!

We don't like hearing stories of a melted thermos. (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 15:55 (five days ago) Permalink

No, that's the Nordic guys who live in the cartoon.

Plinka Trinka Banga Tink (Eliza D.), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 15:55 (five days ago) Permalink

3rd Bass!

We don't like hearing stories of a melted thermos. (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 16:49 (five days ago) Permalink

This is a good one, an Italian guy I'm working with was telling me 'wow' is a Scottish word and, I'm like, "Aye, right!" But...

https://www.etymonline.com/word/wow

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christ (Tom D.), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 17:56 (five days ago) Permalink

... from the 1500s!

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christ (Tom D.), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 17:57 (five days ago) Permalink

Wow!

nickn, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 18:02 (five days ago) Permalink

OED's citations are exquisite

1513 G. Douglas in tr. Virgil Æneid vi. Prol. 19 Out on thir wanderand spiritis, wow! thow cryis.
a1586 Peblis to Play in W. A. Craigie Maitland Folio MS (1919) I. 178 Ane winklot fell and hir taill vp wow quod malkin hyd ȝow.
1721 A. Ramsay Prospect of Plenty 74 Wow! that's braw news.
1793 R. Burns Poems (ed. 2) II. 220 And wow! he has an unco slight O' cauk and keel.
1815 Scott Guy Mannering I. xi. 173 Wow, woman, the Bertrams of Ellangowan are the auld Dingawaies lang syne.
a1840 J. Baillie Fy, let us a' in Poems 16 But wow! he looks dowie and cow'd.
1892 J. Lumsden Sheep-head & Trotters 36 As below the brig we turn—Oh, Wow! the deavin' din there!

I have measured out my life in coffee shop loyalty cards (silby), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 18:11 (five days ago) Permalink

Woah

We don't like hearing stories of a melted thermos. (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 18:12 (five days ago) Permalink

Oh, Wow! the deavin' din there!

https://s3.amazonaws.com/popturf/original_1345832123walking_here2.jpg

Plinka Trinka Banga Tink (Eliza D.), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 18:13 (five days ago) Permalink

LOL

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christ (Tom D.), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 18:16 (five days ago) Permalink

fuck me, had no idea wow was a scotticism

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 18:17 (five days ago) Permalink

whence came 'big wowsers'?

kinder, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 22:06 (five days ago) Permalink

Rabbie Burns iirc

We don't like hearing stories of a melted thermos. (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 22:18 (five days ago) Permalink

Or perhaps Rabbie Nesbit, always confuse the two

We don't like hearing stories of a melted thermos. (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 22:19 (five days ago) Permalink

From 1356 and even previous practice, holy roman emperors elected by participating/assigned states.

i cant believe how little i learned or remember of the 30 years war. gotta think part of this is cause im yank tho

Hunt3r, Friday, 14 December 2018 17:59 (three days ago) Permalink


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