My new thing is to download the most recent This American Life onto my IPod and listen to it during my commutes to and from work. This new trend started because 1. I am sick of every single song I own and 2. It’s just a great show and the stories make my ride to work so very enjoyable.

So, last week’s show was titled “A Little Bit of Knowledge” and the theme was how people (everyone, at some point) will talk like experts about things they don’t know much, if anything about. The prologue covers several people’s stories of what and how they found out too late in life that they had false information about something they had been spouting about all of their lives.

  One woman, in her twenties, learns from a crowd at a party that unicorns aren’t real after wondering out loud whether they were endangered or extinct.

 Another woman had always thought that the X-ing signs were pronounced “Zing” and also learned the truth in an embarrassing manner way too late in life.

 One guy lived his life thinking that the Nielson ratings were only conducted by families with the last name Nielson. Again, lesson learned too late and out loud.  

Listening to this show this morning had me laughing hard enough to look like that crazy person on the bus and have mentioned it to several people since – who then offered up their own examples, which have been hilarious.

Mine you ask? Two have come to mind today:

1. When I was little my dad told me that the foam in the ocean was whale pee and it seemed more than believable at the time and so I never questioned this until my early twenties, while at the beach, running away from a very foamy wave, yelling to my friends “AAAAH, WATCH OUT FOR THE WHALE PEE!”

2. Until two years ago I thought it was “for all intensive purposes” (rather than intents and purposes)

Two of the best I’ve heard so far today:

“Flash in the pants” (instead of pan, of course)

“Cufflings” (as in little baby cuffs, instead of cuff links)

Now it’s your turn.

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