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Old 30 November 2013, 04:35 AM
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E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
 
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Default Things that were surprising that probably shouldn't have been

Every now and then you make a discovery that seems surprising....for no very good reason.

The example that mainly occurs to me: I work for a company whose largest business segment is online sales/delivery of flowers. When taking phone orders, or reviewing orders placed online, you get to find out what people say in the card messages. In doing so, I was somewhat surprised to discover that, by and large, gay men sending flowers to their partners use pretty much the same terms of endearment that hetero couples use ("sweetie" seeming particularly popular).

Why is that surprising? Search me. I don't know what I would have thought they would have used instead.

(It's harder to tell with regards to lesbian couples, as it's not particularly uncommon for women to send their female relatives or platonic friends flowers with expressions of love, and it's not always obvious as to whether the card is one of those or something to a romantic partner -- except where it actually something like "To my wife" which is becoming somewhat more common. Hooray!)

Anybody else stumble across anything that seemed surprising when encountered, but in retrospect ought not to have been?
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Old 30 November 2013, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
It's harder to tell with regards to lesbian couples, as it's not particularly uncommon for women to send their female relatives or platonic friends flowers with expressions of love, and it's not always obvious as to whether the card is one of those or something to a romantic partner -- except where it actually something like "To my wife" which is becoming somewhat more common. Hooray!
They're the same for us too.
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Old 30 November 2013, 05:03 AM
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I'm always surprised when two somewhat different things that are identified by the same word in English are also identified by the same word in Spanish. For example, there's cooking oil and then there's motor oil, and although they're both called "oil," it somehow surprised me to learn they're also both "aceite." Whichever one it refers to, I always seem to initially picture the opposite whenever I come across the word, and give a little shudder at the mental image of someone either pouring evoo into their engine or putting Pennzoil on their salad before my mind resets with the correct definition. "Cinta," likewise, means "tape," both as in cassette and adhesive. I guess I just encountered so many examples of English words with multiple meanings, each of which had a separate word in Spanish, that my mind resists the idea that it can ever be that simple.
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Old 30 November 2013, 05:30 AM
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When I was a kid, I met some people from Germany on a vacation in the Redwood forest and they mentioned visiting Australia on a different vacation. At that point in my life the world was separated into "here" and "everywhere else" and I was surprised to find out that people from one "somewhere else" would go to a different "somewhere else" for vacation.
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Old 30 November 2013, 06:12 AM
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I grew up in the Midwestern United States and have what many of my American friends have described as a "neutral" accent, while others say I have no accent at all. So it always throws me a bit when one of my online friends from somewhere else in the world, asks 'Sorry, was that Kallah, or Sue, I'm still learning the voices?' on our guild voice server - and Sue has a thick Southern, or New York, or Californian accent. I mean that's not even close, right? Then I realize a split second later that I have occasionally mixed up one Australian pal for a friend from Britain, and it hits me that yea, I probably don't sound that different from Sue to an outside ear. This really shouldn't be shocking at all, given that I've been using voice chat online for over a decade, but I always do that double-take.
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