I think I was off the day they taught ...

by Simon 47 Replies latest social humour

  • Simon

    Does anyone else have those things that everyone else seems to know ... except you? It's like you were off the day it was taught in school and you don't know that you don't know about it. But everyone else does.

    I have a couple ...

    First, days of the month. I don't know how or why but I am pretty clueless when it comes to how many days are in each month. I know about December (31 right?) and February is special but the ones in the middle ... it's all a bit hit and miss. It doesn't help that the stupid mnemonic rhyme that everyone seemed to learn doesn't help whatsoever because you can mix up the months in it however you like:

    "30 days have that-ember, June, April and another-mber, all the rest have 31 except for stupid February"

    I have to ask Angharad or check on my computer every time. Also, why does February have an extra "r" in it when everyone says Feb-You-Airey?

    The last one is actually more obscure so I don't feel so bad for not knowing it but I just never noticed it until someone told me and it's handy to know. If you don't know it you'll either go and check or next time you go out you'll remember and sit there smiling and thinking "that son of a bitch was right !"

    Have you ever been in a car driving up to get gas / petrol and you can't remember which side the tank opens on? Maybe it's a hire car or you always let your spouse fill up (ooh, controversial). Well, look at the fuel gauge on the dash - right next to the fuel symbol is a little arrow which will point either to the left or right where the filler cap is. Brilliant!

    How about you? What can't you remember or didn't you learn that everyone else did?

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath
    i cant remember when i last had a drink---oh--heres a new one.
  • Ucantnome
    sometimes my name
  • blondie
    Thirty days hath September,
    April, June, and November.
    All the rest have 31,
    Except for February all alone,
    It has 28 each year,'
    but 29 each leap year.
    A mnemonic I learned in school.
  • millie210

    I have been known to confuse my right and left....sad, no?

    Well this one is even sadder - I have pushed the button on the elevator for the floor I want and THEN noticed it is a "going down" elevator, thereby insuring myself an even longer wait.

    I could keep going!

  • blondie
    February or Febuary?
    Here we are in February, so an opportune time to talk about the origin and pronunciation of this word.

    In ancient Roman times, this was the last month of the year, a suitable time for ritual purification and atonement for sin in preparation for a fresh start in the new year. In particular, February 15 was the feast of ritual purification called Lupercalia. Men wearing nothing but a wolf mask and a loincloth ran through the streets striking passersby with strips of goat hide. This was supposed to impart fertility. I wouldn't recommend reviving this custom in Canada. Or anywhere, really.

    In Latin, the word februa meant "purification". It's possible the word derived ultimately from the same Indo-European root word that gave Greek its word for sulphur, which was used in purificatory rites. So February was literally the month of purification.
    When Christianity came to England, the Roman month names came with it, replacing in this case the evocative word meaning "Mud Month" that the Anglo-Saxons used for this time of year. (Along the same lines, the calendar designers of the French Revolution called it Pluviôse, or Rainy Month.)

    It seems that ever since then people have had some difficulty pronouncing the two r's in such close succession. When two identical sounds are found close together in a word, a phonetic phenomenon called "dissimilation" tends to occur, in which one of them changes to make pronunciation easier.

    With two r's, a particularly difficult phonetic feat to accomplish, one often morphs into an l. For instance, the word "laurel" was originally "laurer" (and still is laurier in French, though the second r is now silent). And indeed, there is medieval evidence of February also being called "Feverel", following the same pattern.
    Another tactic would be to drop one r altogether, and as early as the 1600s we see spellings suggesting that people were not pronouncing the first r. To reinforce this trend, we conveniently have the name of January providing an analogy.

    This "Febuary" pronunciation has become more and more common, so that nowadays, most dictionaries include it, and many (among them the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, the New Oxford American Dictionary, and the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary) give it as the most common pronunciation. Although the Oxford Dictionary of English gives this pronunciation second, it then provides this note: "most people replace the r following Feb- with a y sound: Feb-yoo- rather than Feb-roo-. This is now becoming the accepted standard."
  • stillin

    I come up a little short in the amino acids that make up the proteins that make up our genome. I know they are called C,T,G and A. Maybe cytosine, guanine, and adenine. I forget what the "T" is...

    I mean, we should know this stuff, right?

  • Saintbertholdt

    Use the knuckle method, knuckleheads....sheesh! :)

    Image result for knuckles showing month days

  • Simon
    I have been known to confuse my right and left....sad, no?

    When I was first going out with Angharad and I was visiting her hometown and needing directions she'd often point one way and say the other. e.g. point right and say "left here". I learnt to follow the finger rather than the words.

    Fascinating info on Feb- ... erm, scared to say it now !

  • LoveUniHateExams

    Good OP.

    For me it would have to be computers and the internet.

    Like everyone else at school, I took IT, but for some strange reason, my name wasn't on the school's database. This meant that I could never save any work I'd done. We all treated our weekly IT lesson as a doss lesson anyway, so that was one reason why I couldn't be bothered to learn about creating Word documents and using internet explorer to explore the internet.

    Another reason: I was still a JW at the time (1995) and was brainwashed into believing that the main reason people use the interwebs is to view porn sites. I went back to full-time education as a mature student and have since caught up. Now I'm ok with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.

    But from 1995 to 2008 I was computer illiterate!

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