Sunday, 14 February 2010

Things I know are true, but can't quite bring myself to believe.

That the word 'draught' is pronounced 'draft' and not 'drought'. I must have confused the two words early on, and then read 'draught' as 'drought' to myself so many times that, even now, the sentence 'There's a drought coming in under the door' doesn't sound wrong to me. I know it is wrong. But it doesn't sound wrong.

That if today is a Sunday, you can find the date of next Sunday by adding seven to today's date. I mean, of course you can. There are seven days in a week. I know that; that is definitely one of the things I know. But still, when people casually do that calculation - 'let's see, it's the fourteenth today, so next Sunday's the twenty first' - I'm amazed at their confidence. Don't they want to check? For instance, after writing that sentence just now, I checked it.

That if you're in the vanguard, you are at the front of something, not the rear. I know exactly whose fault this misconception is, too: Thomas the Tank Engine's. Because if Thomas taught me anything - and he definitely did - it was that the guard's van is at the back of the train. And clearly being 'in the vanguard' and 'in the guard's van' got fatally confused in my brain at some early stage, and have never been entirely disentangled.

That eyes evolved. Don't get me wrong, I'm quite sure they did. But did they really? Yes, they did, they definitely did. (But not really.) No, seriously, they did. I know that. (But not really.) 

    4 comments:

    Amanda said...

    Re: pronunciation - it's my belief that everyone has at least one word that trips them up like that, even though they know perfectly well how it should be pronounced. I still have trouble with the silent W in "sword". When I was a child, I used to teach the other children to read, so I'm probably responsible for an entire town of it (not that you'd notice any out-of-the-ordinary stupidity there).

    Also, this is further proof that Thomas the Tank Engine warps childrens' minds. I blame Ringo Starr. In general.

    simon said...

    And I'm exactly the same in my lack of confidence in predicting the date: "This Sunday's the fourteenth so next Sunday will be -Aaah, NO because there are SIX days IN BETWEEN so you DON'T - is it the eighth day after - so this - because it's the same DAY and not..."
    On reflection I blame this spinelessness on anything valid for seven days from the date of purchase.

    Stu said...

    For the French (get this), there are 8 days in a week; if someone says they'll be away for HUIT JOURS, then they'll be away for what we would call 7.

    A fortnight is fifteen days; if someone says that they'll be away for two weeks, it's QUINZE JOURS.

    If I say that I'll be away for one week, the reply often comes back, "oh, huit jours?"

    To which I reply by showing them the valid date of purchase ... Simon has a point, you know.

    Rachel said...

    Ah, I love your voice! Not-well, okay yeah your actual voice too, but specifically the general tone of your posts. It's simply delightful. Very straightforward, very honest, very relatable. Just wonderful, wonderful. I can't get enough of it. The way your mind works is delightful and you're a complete hero to me. You must never stttoopp. <3333