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Thread: Say WHAT???

  1. #1
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    Say WHAT???

    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    A friend who is still gainfully employed has spent the day wading through curricula vitarum from job applicants. She reports that one person had chosen to record that they had previously struggled with "low selfie steam". I can see how that works.

    Grant Hutchison
    Grant's post in the "amuses me" thread inspired me to start a new one along these lines: what are some memorable things you've heard or read from people who've said one thing, when they meant something else? They can be amusing, annoying, maddening, disappointing...pretty much the entire gamut of reasons you might shake your head slowly while biting your tongue.

    I'll start with The Wife. Not her mind you! I'm not that stupid. It's just that she has access to perhaps the richest vein of misstatements, malapropisms, and mistaken beliefs that I've ever seen. It's her employer, who works just a few feet from her, five days a week. Just as I began composing this post, I received a text from The Wife quoting today's latest:

    There's too much water near the Anchorage port for it to get hit by a tsunami.
    Another:
    I've looked at the trees, they aren't changing into fall colors yet.
    Granted, we're talking about Alaska but come on...it's July. The fireweed is barely abloom.

    Other gems:
    I don't buy fresh juice. Frozen concentrate is pure juice.
    Did you know that parking in an RV lot isn't free?
    You don't feel a sunburn until it happens.
    He isn't the brightest crayon in the shed.
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    From Peter Ustinov, much missed, overheard on a bus ride, “ her leg is no use to her after that, not as a leg that is”

    From my daughter in law, on seeing a hand bag I bought for my wife
    “ oh it’s nice, it looks quite expensive … from a distance”

    From a son in law, correcting me on social issues “ no, I think people my age, and younger,, think ….”
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    I took a psycholinguistics course in college. When we were learning about how children acquire language, our teacher told a story that I still remember 40 years later.

    She was visiting a friend who had a toddler. The child asked its mom who was this person. She said it was her friend Pam. Apparently the lady had another friend named Pam who the kid had met. The kid was initially confused, but then told her mom that this was "A different kind of Pam".
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    I had a boss who said "It's a mute point" in EVERY--DANG--MEETING! Drove me nuts.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Certain midwest relatives eat cowflower and drink from brandy sniffers.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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    Back in my Customs days we had an officer who was (in)famous for his written reports. A couple of his efforts that I remember were written about following a suspicious person - "I followed him down the wharf - him in front and me behind" & when discussing his cunning tracking methods "I congealed myself behind some cargo". I didn't really believe the stories about him until he took the part of Father Christmas at the Christmas office party and caused mass laughter and confusion by mangling the name of every child to whom he was handing out presents e.g calling a little girl named Daniella - Dianella (which is the name of a suburb of Perth).

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    Well, I’ve mentioned my co-worker last year who called my brochure about the Perseids an “astrology” brochure several times in a row.
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    There was the time my middle sister said something silly and followed it up with: "well, that was a poe far".
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Well, I’ve mentioned my co-worker last year who called my brochure about the Perseids an “astrology” brochure several times in a row.
    And I think I’ve mentioned similar things. Long ago I learned not to mention my interest in astronomy until I’ve carefully gauged who I’m talking to. It really isn’t fun to mention astronomy and have someone say, “Oh, you’re into astrology too?” and start talking about astrological signs and related nonsense.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Back in my Customs days we had an officer who was (in)famous for his written reports. A couple of his efforts that I remember were written about following a suspicious person - "I followed him down the wharf - him in front and me behind" & when discussing his cunning tracking methods "I congealed myself behind some cargo".
    That reminds me of a relative that lived far from us, but regularly sent letters. Her letters were often a bit difficult to read because she constantly misspelled or used the wrong words, sometimes to the point it was difficult to interpret them. But the way she did it often made them unintentionally hilarious. You would hardly know she was a court reporter with decades of experience.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  11. #11
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    Irregardless. That is all.

    See also Really Trivial Things That Annoy Me.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    And it's WREAK havok not WRECK havok.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    And it's WREAK havok not WRECK havok.
    Hmmm. Is that a comic-book reference?

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Hmmm. Is that a comic-book reference?

    Grant Hutchison
    No, i have seen and heard that usage in many cases, including from professional journalists who should know better. But I suppose legacy journalism has suffered the sme apparent loosening of standards as many other areas of expertise.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    No, i have seen and heard that usage in many cases, including from professional journalists who should know better. But I suppose legacy journalism has suffered the sme apparent loosening of standards as many other areas of expertise.
    Well, journalists sometimes often never fail to underestimate an overestimate.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    No, i have seen and heard that usage in many cases, including from professional journalists who should know better. But I suppose legacy journalism has suffered the sme apparent loosening of standards as many other areas of expertise.
    We're maybe at cross purposes. My impression was that "Havok" is a comic-book character. In British English the expression is "wreak havoc", and as far as I can see it's the same in American English. Hence my question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    We're maybe at cross purposes. My impression was that "Havok" is a comic-book character. In British English the expression is "wreak havoc", and as far as I can see it's the same in American English. Hence my question.

    Grant Hutchison
    I have never seen the spelling havoc before. It must be a UK thing. But I also hear people use the wrong phrase verbally.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    I've only ever used havoc.

    In my notes from college, I have a list of the things my geology professor said. Not the geology we were learning, you understand, but the absolutely bizarre way he'd phrase things. A few examples.

    "Turtles are really weird. For example, if we just knew them from the fossil record, we'd consider them really bizarre."

    "They [deer, horses, etc.] had these legs that were just these--these legs!"
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I have never seen the spelling havoc before. It must be a UK thing.
    I can only report that my old American Heritage Dictionary has never heard of havok. Nor has the on-line Merriam-Webster. Both are happy with havoc, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I have never seen the spelling havoc before. It must be a UK thing. But I also hear people use the wrong phrase verbally.
    “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war” comes to mind , it is a good word. You don’t just wreak it. But do you wreak anything else?
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war” comes to mind , it is a good word. You don’t just wreak it. But do you wreak anything else?
    Lots of older examples of wreaking hate, disappointment, anger, etc, but wreak vengeance is the only one I think that has any currency, and that's not much.

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    There was a book not too long ago of examples of this that amused a magazine editor, including “the African svelte” and “the invasion is a feta con plate”.
    Last edited by KaiYeves; 2021-Jul-30 at 04:52 PM.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
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  23. #23
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    Text-to-speech and autocorrect will be the downfall of human civilization!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    My first wife delivered our first child while I was in USAF technical training. A short time afterward, I was handing out cigars around the student squadron when I encountered two of our Student Training Advisors. STAs are on special duty from their primary career field...for instance, one of them was from the missile maintenance field, as indicated by the "pocket rocket" on his uniform. Think of them a somewhat kinder, gentler version of a basic training drill instructor.

    Anyway, I greeted them each with a cigar and the following exchange happened:

    Me: Here, Sergeant Pocket Rocket. Have a cigar.
    SPR Oh, what's this for?
    Me: [beaming] My wife had a baby!
    SPR: Was it a boy?
    Me: No...
    SPR: [with a puzzled look] What was it?

    I was at a loss for words and the other STA just looked away, shaking his head. Three things that were the most dumbfounding to me:

    1. This was in 1978, so there was only one traditional option remaining, with "boy" having been eliminated.
    2. The cigar wrapper was emblazoned with the words, "It's a girl!" in decidedly pink lettering.
    3. This man was trained and certified to maintain missiles. Nuclear missiles. Intercontinental nuclear missiles. If it had been a movie, one would hope he was never confronted with having to cut one of two wires with 4 seconds left on the the timer. Is it the red one? Well, which one is it?
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  25. #25
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    Also from my time in tech school:

    Every morning before reporting to our classes in one of the school squadron's buildings/hangars, we had morning formation outside the student squadron main building. The STA would call roll, make announcements, etc. This particular morning, the STA was giving us a bit of a lecture about "35-10", the old Air Force regulation governing dress and appearance standards. Paraphrased:

    Alright, people. A lot of you are looking pretty ragged: uniforms not ironed, boots not polished, and hair too long. You're looking shaggy. You're all adults. You know what to do. You know when you need a haircut. It's all part of adultery.

    Restrained snickering ensued. Realizing what he'd said, the STA looked down and looked at his boots for a good while...then dismissed us to class.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    Also from my time in tech school:

    Every morning before reporting to our classes in one of the school squadron's buildings/hangars, we had morning formation outside the student squadron main building. The STA would call roll, make announcements, etc. This particular morning, the STA was giving us a bit of a lecture about "35-10", the old Air Force regulation governing dress and appearance standards. Paraphrased:

    Alright, people. A lot of you are looking pretty ragged: uniforms not ironed, boots not polished, and hair too long. You're looking shaggy. You're all adults. You know what to do. You know when you need a haircut. It's all part of adultery.

    Restrained snickering ensued. Realizing what he'd said, the STA looked down and looked at his boots for a good while...then dismissed us to class.

    I don't think the term "adulting" had been invented yet.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I have never seen the spelling havoc before.
    I don't think I've ever seen "havok" before.

    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war” comes to mind , it is a good word.
    Whatever farm animal of war.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I have never seen the spelling havoc before. It must be a UK thing. But I also hear people use the wrong phrase verbally.
    I think it’s that havoc is considered the correct spelling in the US as well, at least in normal writing. I have seen it deliberately misspelled, though, on t-shirts, for a kind of Teutonic effect I think.
    As above, so below

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I think it’s that havoc is considered the correct spelling in the US as well, at least in normal writing. I have seen it deliberately misspelled, though, on t-shirts, for a kind of Teutonic effect I think.
    Yeah. It's Middle English spelling come round again. That's why I wondered if there was some pop-cultural reference I was missing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I have never seen the spelling havoc before. It must be a UK thing. But I also hear people use the wrong phrase verbally.
    Really? I’m surprised. It’s not a word I use or see often, but I believe I’ve always seen “havoc,” never “havok.”

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    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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