Friday, May 6, 2011

I've Been Wrong All This Time

Since pretty much nothing other than rain happened today, I thought I might write about something just a little different.

I mean, things happened, they just weren't very exciting. I found a broken padlock that mysteriously fixed itself when it got into someone else's hands. When I was heating up my hamburger I dropped my mustard packet into the ketchup. The parking brake slipped off of the cart and I had to chase it down the hill and pulled a muscle in my back trying to get it stopped again. We all thought there was going to be a tornado when the storm front rolled in, but one never appeared. Sausage chattered at me until my brain tried to chew it's way out of my skull. And it rained on me every time I stepped outside.

But other than that, nothing really happened.


I found out this morning, while doing unrelated research, that I have been using the word 'Hyperbole' wrong all of my life and nobody ever corrected me on it. I was even pronouncing it wrong and no one ever said anything. I always said Hi-Per-Bowl instead of Hi-Per-Buh-Lee, like it's supposed to be.

I do like my pronunciation better. But that's beside the point.

For years I have been using the word in place of the word 'hypothetical'. Saying "In a hyperbole situation like, what would you do if you found a live swordfish in your glove compartment?"

Now that I realize that I have been doing that, I feel really stupid. And I've been doing it for years. Why didn't anybody ever say anything?

I am such a nimrod sometimes.

I guess now that my dirty little secret is out, I'll just go check the calendar then go sulk under the covers. I have to be in early tomorrow for shotgun training anyway. Pfui.

Friday is going to be Beverage Day. Hoist a few for me! It is also Joseph Brackett (?) Day, Nurse Recognition Day, No Diet day, No Homework Day, No Pants Day and Tuba Day.

P.S. I looked it up for you. Joseph Brackett was a songwriter and Elder in the Shaker church. He wrote a song called "Simple Gifts" which apparently got big a hundred years after he wrote it.


  1. If it makes you feel any better I went $25,000 in debt to learn how to say hyperbole in German (die Hyperbel) and I still don't fully understand its meaning.

  2. "Hyper Bowl" sounds like a futuristic foot ball game where the players have cybernetic implants and they move at supersonic speeds. I'm not much of a sports fan, but I would definitely watch that.

    I probably would have set you straight if I had heard you. Someone should have said something. It's like no one telling you your fly is down. Anyway, it could be worse. Here's a story from one of my old posts:

    "About nine years ago I was working as night security guard at a salt mine. It was just a few months after the Sept. 11th attack. One night, just around shift change, a semi truck pulled into the lot. There were two Arab men in the truck, and they got out to ask me for directions to a nearby town. As we stood there and I gave the men directions, the 2nd shift miners were leaving and they all stared as they passed us in the parking-lot. Tension was running high then, of course. A few hours later I got a call from one of the miners, and he starting going into this whole thing about how he had noticed that the semi's trailer wasn't properly sealed. 'I don't mean to sound like a pedophile.', he told me. Well, the thought hadn't really crossed my mind until then. I didn't have the heart to explain his mistake to him. I can only hope that he doesn't find himself feeling paranoid around the wrong people."

    ...Of course, I didn't set that guy straight. But then he was a jerk anyway.

  3. Your confession about hyperbole made me smile.

    I have theories about why nobody ever said anything:

    1. They didn't know what word you were trying to say and assumed you were just really smart and had a bigger vocabulary. (And not wanting to appear stupid they pretended to know all along.)

    2. They thought you were just mispronouncing hypothetical.

    If it makes you feel better, though, I totally thought it was pronounced hyper-bole the first time I saw it.

    And on the bright side, you've probably got all those other people saying "hyper-bole" instead of "hypothetical." That's pretty funny when you look at it.

  4. I think there's a few words like this that people read but don't hear that often, so they don't know the pronunciation. "Facade" comes to mind. I thought this was "Fay-kade" for a long time, then I turned twelve and learned that it was "Fuh-sawed" and never looked back. (See, because I'm so smart that at such a young age I knew how to pronounce a difficult word. Sorry, darev, Chanel needs me to explain my jokes.)

  5. Drew- That's okay, I don't think the Germans understand hyperbole anyway.

    Doug- I thought of you immediately when I found it.

    Bryan- I think I would actually pay to watch the Hyper Bowl. And your story almost made me spit coffee all over my keyboard.

    Chanel- Or 3. They weren't listening to me in the first place. My wife read the post and she said she had never noticed I was using the wrong word. And her vocabulary is at least three times what mine is.

    Brent- I used to love learning difficult words when I was a kid. And knowing words the adults didn't know how to pronounce either didn't really help all that much. I said alot of them wrong for years.

  6. My favorite one was from my daughter. She read the rumor online somewhere that Lady Gaga was a hermaphrodite." When she she told me about it she said that she had heard that Lady Gaga was a herma-fry-dite. I was like, "What!?"

    She often reads words online that she's never seen before out loud. There was also an incident involving "FAQs". I think you get the idea.

  7. Bryan- That's so funny. I saw a picture the other day of someone holding up a sign at a rally that said "GOD HATES FAQS". I laughed so hard my belly button almost fell out.