Things that confused you that you’re now embarrassed to admit

Since very few people here know my IRL name, I’ll confess that the first time I was taken to the YMCA to swim I really didn’t want to go and thought we wouldn’t be allowed in since I’m not male and don’t identify as Christian.  Yeah, looking back that was embarrassing to admit to  question


A looooong time ago someone told me that they removed buried tanks.  Yeah.  That’s what I thought.  So glad I didn’t ask him any questions about it.  


I really thought Billy Idol was just alone in a room dancing to music.


I pronounced Houston Street like the city in Texas for a while when I first moved to NYC.  Oddly enough, when I subsequently moved to Texas, I had a similar problem with Guadalupe Street in Austin which is not pronounced the way anyone with a familiarity with Spanish might think.


In my youth, I really did think the expression was "for all intensive purposes."


Just the other night, while transferring westbound at Newark Broad, I was the first to board a Gladstone car, one with a handle door inside.

I pulled the handle down and tried to slide the door open. Nothing.

I did it again, more force this time. The door wouldn’t budge.

Finally, I pushed. Oh, right.

Thank you, people behind me, for your patience.


In my early 20s I thought La Jolla, California was pronounced like “jolly” but with an “a” on the end instead of “hoya.”


I like this thread. I found myself thinking about it last evening. It's important to be able to laugh at oneself. In that vein:

When I was about 18 or so, I drove up to Montreal. Having taken Spanish in school, I really didn't know any French. This explains why I got confused trying to find the "Le Pont" bridge . . . .


yahooyahoo said:

In my early 20s I thought La Jolla, California was pronounced like “jolly” but with an “a” on the end instead of “hoya.”

 I thought it was pronounced like that until I read your post  question


Klinker said:

I pronounced Houston Street like the city in Texas for a while when I first moved to NYC.  Oddly enough, when I subsequently moved to Texas, I had a similar problem with Guadalupe Street in Austin which is not pronounced the way anyone with a familiarity with Spanish might think.

 Guadl-oop. Texans are known for mutilating Spanish words, even when they know better. Like jalapeenyo. It's kind of embarrassing. 


kthnry said:

Klinker said:

I pronounced Houston Street like the city in Texas for a while when I first moved to NYC.  Oddly enough, when I subsequently moved to Texas, I had a similar problem with Guadalupe Street in Austin which is not pronounced the way anyone with a familiarity with Spanish might think.

 Guadl-oop. Texans are known for mutilating Spanish words, even when they know better. Like jalapeenyo. It's kind of embarrassing. 

 I grew up in Phoenix, so we have our own mix of that sort of thing. There are even towns like Casa Grande (off I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson, so the sort of place you pass more than go to) that could probably be pronounced 4 different ways.

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/14/us/in-casa-grande-rival-pronunciations.html?mtrref=www.google.com&assetType=REGIWALL


kthnry said:

 Guadl-oop. Texans are known for mutilating Spanish words, even when they know better. Like jalapeenyo. It's kind of embarrassing. 

 The worst part is that now, when I run into that word, that is the way I instinctively pronounce it.  Embarrassing indeed!


I thought that the ball dropping in Times Square on NYE was a natural phenomenon. Like sunrise and sunset.  I didn't figure it out until high school.


unicorn33 said:

In my youth, I really did think the expression was "for all intensive purposes."

 I remember one of my students writing about a doggy-dog world. 


I didn't know Times Square was named after the New York Times til I worked there...


Confusion about "greenback" vs. "*******" - give me some slack, though, i was probably under 7, and it was a long time ago.  Still, why did i even know those words??

eta:  Wow, that's some knowledgeable/sensitive "***"-inserter. 

jamie, is that an off-the-rack service, or ??, just curious how these things work...


addiemoose said:

I didn't know Times Square was named after the New York Times til I worked there...

 I didn't know this either until 10 seconds ago.


(And Herald Square = The New York Herald.)


When I was little I thought every single star in Hollywood attended the Oscar ceremony, not just the nominated ones.



Up to about the first grade I thought fire was actually a living thing...


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

unicorn33 said:

In my youth, I really did think the expression was "for all intensive purposes."

 I remember one of my students writing about a doggy-dog world. 

 I love "doggy-dog world"! lol


I don’t pay attention to credits, so halfway through season two of Lost In Space I just now realized that Dr Smith is not played by Ally Sheedy


Why theres a D in fridge but not in refrigerator.  


A lot is two words.


I thought Charles and Ray Eames were brothers. And I was working at the time at a design magazine, so the Eames did come up in work conversations.


Aretha's "I say A Little prayer for you"

I run for the bus, dear
While riding I think of us, dear
I say a little prayer for you
At work I just take time
And all through my coffee break-time
I say a little prayer for you


I always thought she was saying "And all though my coffee break-down" which seemed far more apropos to me..


When I was in grade school I thought the Underground Railroad was an actual railroad, kinda like a subway of sorts.  Though looking at the internet I am not the only person who mistakenly believed this, so it is probably more of an issue of teachers introducing a subject while assuming the students already know the terminology 


spontaneous said:

When I was in grade school I thought the Underground Railroad was an actual railroad, kinda like a subway of sorts.  Though looking at the internet I am not the only person who mistakenly believed this, so it is probably more of an issue of teachers introducing a subject while assuming the students already know the terminology 

 I think that was a commonly-held perception. I know I thought that as a kid. Railroad? It must be a railroad!

I just finished reading Colson Whitehead's crushing but excellent historical novel, "The Underground Railroad." In it, the Underground Railroad is, in fact, a railroad with tracks and stations that run underground. I guess it was an iconic approach to what has been a mythical construct. 


Here's an interesting  piece of an interview with Henry Louis Gates from the NYT.

There’s no arguing that popular storytelling and factual scholarship can be combined in useful ways. What I’m curious about is your opinion on the limits, if there are any, of that combination. It’s an excellent question. It took a long time for black scholars and filmmakers to feel comfortable representing black historical figures in three dimensions. Take Harriet Tubman. Students think Harriet Tubman was basically leading a train of slaves out of Grand Central Station. But I think the number she saved was closer to 70 — which was a lot, by the way. Or: The myth that our ancestors were kidnapped by your ancestors, David, is just untrue. The fantasy is that my 10th-great-grandmother and -grandfather were out on a picnic and some white people jumped out of the bushes and they ended up on a plantation in Virginia. That’s not how it happened. But one of the things that I’ve dedicated my career to is showing that black people are just as complex, positively and negatively, as anybody else. For years, the mythos that undergirded black history was that the slaves were the victims of European dominance. But really it was the Europeans who were selling guns to African kings, who engaged in wars against other Africans in order to defeat them and then sell the victims to Europeans. I remember once I was asked to consult on a project about Martin Luther King. I said, “You can’t do hagiography anymore.” King was complicated. He had affairs and doubts. He was a flawed person but also a great man, and showing him in his full complexity would make for a better film than pretending he was a walking saint. But the historian who was involved in this project said: “Too many racists. They’re not ready for that.”


addiemoose said:

I didn't know Times Square was named after the New York Times til I worked there...

 I didn't know this until I read your comment here.


“ Ijust finished reading Colson Whitehead's crushing but excellent historical novel, "The Underground Railroad." In it, the Underground Railroad is, in fact, a railroad with tracks and stations that run underground. I guess it was an iconic approach to what has been a mythical construct.”

We read this in our Science Fiction Book Club a few months ago.  I found it devastatingly good, meaning that it was terrifically great writing, and emotionally devastating to me, in a fundamental way. I haven’t recovered from reading it yet, and that’s a good thing. I needed some shaking up. 



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