Obvious Things You Can't Get Your Head Around

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  • cubbymoore 20 Aug 2013 13:23:08 36,510 posts
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    I do a lot of manual counting and mental arithmetic in my line of work, but even after years and years of doing this calculation it still doesn't fully sit right in my head.

    What is that calculation?

    7 + 3

    I know it makes 10, because I've remembered that it does, but not because I can picture it. With most other calculations I can picture it, almost abacus like, and see how it all fits together, but this one eludes me. I have to reassure myself sometimes by physically counting up from 7 (8, 9, 10) and still find myself amazed that it worked, even though I've done it many times before.

    What things are a stumbling block for you, that might seem obvious or intuitive to others?
  • RyanDS 20 Aug 2013 13:25:13 10,701 posts
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    In my driving test the instructor went "Can you take the next left... no the other left."

    Mid thirties and I still need to stop and pause when I have to figure out left or right.

    However when I was a sailor I knew port and starboard instinctively.
  • mrpon 20 Aug 2013 13:25:46 30,706 posts
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    cubbymoore wrote:
    What things are a stumbling block for you, that might seem obvious or intuitive to others?
    The OP.
  • thedaveeyres 20 Aug 2013 13:27:46 12,186 posts
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    You must think in Russian. Think in Russian.
  • elstoof 20 Aug 2013 13:28:51 9,941 posts
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    Are you missing a finger or something cubby?
  • Load_2.0 20 Aug 2013 13:32:23 21,088 posts
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    Months in the middle of the year.

    May June July.

    So if you ask me, "what is the fifth month of the year?" I can't tell you immediately, I have to double check by counting from Jan.
  • Deleted user 20 August 2013 13:33:57
    EuroStalker wrote:
    The one that's got me into trouble a few times is anus and vagina.
    Clue: it's women that have a vagina.
  • speedofthepuma 20 Aug 2013 13:37:05 13,352 posts
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    I often struggle with my age for some reason. Also when I type I routinely make the same errors, yet see to be unable to prevent it.
  • speedofthepuma 20 Aug 2013 13:38:02 13,352 posts
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    EuroStalker wrote:
    The one that's got me into trouble a few times is anus and vagina.
    I think they're referring to you either way.
  • quadfather 20 Aug 2013 13:40:56 17,514 posts
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    Can never work out family tree's. Nieces? Uncles? Aunts? Haven't a fucking scooby
  • Trowel 20 Aug 2013 13:42:56 18,937 posts
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    HIJK

    I swear they charge order every time I look at the alphabet.
  • mothercruncher 20 Aug 2013 13:48:41 9,914 posts
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    Sweetcorn.
  • spindle9988 20 Aug 2013 13:51:03 3,939 posts
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    Ive been to the missus grandads dozens of times. Its not difficult to find. Yet I always get lost on the way there
  • Rhaegyr 20 Aug 2013 13:51:59 3,298 posts
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    Second, third and fourth cousins once, twice or three times removed.

    ...what?

    I have a huge family and still have no idea, despite being told many times
  • quadfather 20 Aug 2013 13:52:39 17,514 posts
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    @Rhaegyr - Yup, same here. Twice removed? From what?
  • ResidentKnievel 20 Aug 2013 13:59:10 6,437 posts
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    Aeroplanes, treadmills and audio cables.
  • CosmicFuzz 20 Aug 2013 14:09:27 29,058 posts
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    Load_2.0 wrote:
    Months in the middle of the year.

    May June July.

    So if you ask me, "what is the fifth month of the year?" I can't tell you immediately, I have to double check by counting from Jan.
    Ha! This. When I'm writing the month of June as a number I need to count it down in my head first.
  • neilka Funniest Forumite, 2014 20 Aug 2013 14:11:06 17,071 posts
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    vizzini is an actual human being
  • iancognito 20 Aug 2013 14:17:58 2,461 posts
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    If I'm in a pub with a menu that says something like "served with your choice of chips and peas or a side salad" I will look at if for ages trying to understand what it means.

    - Chips, and in addition to those chips, peas or a side salad OR
    - Chips and peas OR
    - A side salad

    I suppose it's their fault for not having careful punctuation but I don't really think it's a punctuation problem. Maybe if from years of dealing with specifications, etc. No one else seems to have a problem with it.
  • CosmicFuzz 20 Aug 2013 14:19:36 29,058 posts
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    I would assume that's chips and peas OR side salad
  • mal 20 Aug 2013 14:23:32 24,331 posts
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    Yes, for once maths and english have the same rules - 'and' has a higher precedence than 'or' so 'a and b or c' means (a and b) or (c).

    Umm, perhaps it's clearer if you replace the 'and' with a 'n'. Fish'n'chips or curry - you're not going to get chips with curry sauce there.

    Edit: Cubby's mental number line is broken. Persumably he can visualise how 6+4=10, or 8+2=10, just not three steps on from seven.

    Edited by mal at 14:25:34 20-08-2013
  • Tomo 20 Aug 2013 14:27:37 14,156 posts
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    Where certain letters come in the alphabet.

    I can never remember if k is before l, u is before v and more. I basically always end up reciting the alphabet to myself in my head.



    Also, whether East is left/right and similarly for West.

    Never Eat Shredded Wheat!
  • Whizzo 20 Aug 2013 14:31:47 44,029 posts
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    Tomo wrote:Also, whether East is left/right and similarly for West.
    That's rather dependent on which way you're facing and where you are.
  • iancognito 20 Aug 2013 14:33:02 2,461 posts
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    Some of those pub menus play fast and loose with grammar and I don't always trust them. Potatoe's, etc. I think it's also a problem with me almost reviewing it and seeing it as an area for potential confusion. If you can read something in two way, someone will definitely read it in the 'wrong' way.

    I've just checked a Flaming Grill menu online and they've created a bit of a break in the sentence with "Crispy wholetail breaded scampi with chips and your choice of peas or mushy peas".

    Sometimes pubs use an "&" to make it "chips & peas or a side salad".

    Edited by iancognito at 14:37:31 20-08-2013
  • kinky_mong 20 Aug 2013 14:40:51 11,677 posts
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    I always need to pause for a split second to remember which way round East and West are.

    This used to be a particular problem when I got the Picadilly line every day and had to spend a bit longer to actually remember which direction I was supposed to be going as I always visualise that line as running north to south rather than east to west.
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