Saturday, October 28, 2006

Wrong Information

Were you ever given information as a child from your parents, other relatives, and adults that later turned out to be totally wrong? I mean stuff they told you in good faith, believing it true themselves, and not attempts to mislead you.

I can remember being in the fourth grade or so and asking my mother what B.C. and A.D. meant. She got it half right; she told me B.C. meant "Before Christ", but she thought A.D. meant "After Death". It was several years later that I learned it was Anno Domini. I became suspicious of the accuracy of what she said when I realized that Christ was supposed to have died in 33 A.D., so what about the previous 32 years? It wouldn't make sense if A.D. was "After Death".

Another time, I asked her what would happen to our house if a tornado struck. She told me that the house could withstand it, which I don't think she actually believed, but told me that so I'd not worry. Nevertheless, I didn't quite believe her, my common sense telling me different after having seen the Wizard of Oz.

I remember my mother's aunt telling me that via meaning "by way of", as used in postal communications should be spelled "vie". I didn't say anything to my aunt, but even at ten years old that didn't sound right to me.

Lastly, I remember learning about the Hindenburg in school and then discussing with a friend at his house, referring to it as a "dirigible". I pronounced it correctly, but his father broke in and told me I was wrong; that it should be said, "dur jibbel". Again, I knew he was dead wrong, but I held my tongue, though later I laughed about it with my parents.

What kind of wrong information did you get as a kid?

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