You can’t tell me this never really happens…

Cidu Bill on Jan 28th 2013


Filed in Bill Bickel, Bill Whitehead, Free Range, comic strips, comics, humor | 9 responses so far

9 Responses to “You can’t tell me this never really happens…”

  1. J-L Jan 28th 2013 at 09:52 am 1

    I’m sure this does happen — we just don’t like to admit it.

    This reminds me of a Geology test I took in college. I mixed up two terms (I knew their meanings; I just couldn’t remember which meaning belonged to which word) and a section of the test had questions where each one gave a geological process, and we had to respond with which term it was an example of.

    I missed every single question on that section, due to mixing up their meanings. It was like getting every question wrong on a true/false test.

    (On a physics test I almost did the same thing when I mixed up the meanings of “concave” and “convex.” It’s odd how their meanings are so clear and distinct before the test, but during the test you forget that crucial part that reminds you which term is which.)

  2. Kilby Jan 28th 2013 at 11:22 am 2

    The answer to the question in the cartoon is easier if you connect the words to “currently” and “sequential” (it helps to know that the prefix “con-” means “with”).

    P.S. @1 - I always hated it when tests required parroting rote memorization. I once took a math history test that contained two long multiple choice sections matching Greek terms (in their original orthography) to brief meanings in English. Apparently the professor expected students to study and memorize the appearance of the words, but this turned out to be a waste of time for the test as it was designed. Even limited knowledge of the Greek alphabet made it relatively easy to parse the pronunciation of most of the words, which immediately revealed at least 75% of the answers, making it much easier to guess for the remainder.

  3. Judge Mental Jan 28th 2013 at 11:32 am 3

    I once had a co-worker, who in the midst of a diatribe in trying to explain a computer reporting problem, kept repeating the phrase “those two jobs always run simultaneously, one right after the other”. He literally said it at least 20 times in a period of 10 minutes.

    Certainly his meaning was clear, therefore since he was the type that didn’t take very kindly to being questioned, I didn’t point out the poor choice of terminology. But after the ninth or tenth time, it was difficult to keep a straight face while continuing to nod in agreement.

  4. Powers Jan 28th 2013 at 11:34 am 4

    How is his meaning clear? He’s contradicting himself. How do you know which meant?

  5. furrykef Jan 28th 2013 at 12:43 pm 5

    Powers — I assume “one right after the other” is the one he really meant. Much more plausible for someone not to know what “simultaneously” means than what “one right after the other” means.

  6. Judge Mental Jan 28th 2013 at 12:55 pm 6

    furrykef has it. When I said “his meaning was clear”, I meant “I (and the others in the room) knew exactly what he meant”, not that his words were unambiguous. I guess *I* am not clear with my words either, but unfortunately in a way that is not nearly as humorous.

  7. James Pollock Jan 28th 2013 at 01:29 pm 7

    I would guess that it would be far more likely that the judge would be leaning to the side, and asking the court administrator, than leaning forward, asking one of the lawyers in the court. Depending on whether that’s the prosecutor or the defense attorney, he might not get the correct answer out of him.

  8. Mark in Boston Jan 28th 2013 at 10:11 pm 8

    Sometimes getting the right word can be vitally important. There was a man who told his doctor he wanted to be castrated. The doctor said, “Are you sure?” The man said, “Absolutely. I talked with my wife and with my priest and with another doctor. I am 100% decided on this.”

    So a hospital operation was scheduled. After surgery the man woke up in a semi-private room. He asked his roommate, “What are you here for?”

    “I’m here to be circumsized” said the roommate.

    “CIRCUMSIZED!” said our hero. “THAT’s the word I wanted.”

  9. D McKeon Jan 31st 2013 at 04:27 pm 9

    ISTR an example of the judge’s confusion is recounted in Alex Haley’s
    biography of Malcolm X - a defendant is convicted and sentenced
    to T terms of Y years each, to be served concurrently -
    which he misunderstands to mean consecutively.

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