Flubbed small talk
1. Once, a colleague politely asked if she could ask a question. I muddled up "fire away" and "go ahead", telling her to "go away".
2. I was complaining that I'd printed something on the wrong type of paper while also answering a call. I said "good afternoon, yellow paper" and then immediately hung up in embarrassment.
3. In a bistro in France, a friend had some lovely pea soup. With genuine enthusiasm she loudly declared "you can really taste the pea-ness".
4. Someone remarked on how big the cat is to me the other day and I meant to say "he's like a panther" while deciding against saying "I hope you don't mean fat" and I actually said, "He is my father".
5. I answered the phone at work and instead of saying "Can I help you" or "Please hold for a moment" I said "Can I hold you?"
6. Once forgot a colleague's name in a meeting, my brain completely froze, so I just pointed and said "this woman". Mortified.
(Shared on Twitter)
Drawn to the letter 'Z'
A reader writes: "For years, I have noticed that when I turn the page of a book, any capital Z (but not lower-case) on that page leaps out at me. A friend of mine, a voracious reader, reports the same lifelong experience. Is my eye drawn to it because it is the first letter of 'Zealand', or is there some other explanation? The shape of the letter does not seem unduly attention-grabbing — no more, say, than X or even O. Do other readers have the same experience, I wonder? And does it vary by nation: do Germans see 'D' (for Deutschland) or Americans 'U'?"
Bad font choice
That sinking feeling
"Just finished renovating my house," writes Mele. "My daughter moves in and rang me at work and said I need to call the plumber to fix the sink. It's blocked, she said. It can't be, I said. Ask your brother to come and look at it, I said. Daughter calls back laughing and explains that she wasn't used to my modern sink plug, the kind you push down to close and push again to open."
Fifty ways to get into a pool…
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