I wasn't sure what to write about for this blog series, considering the recent conclusion of the previous one. The idea of an open choice series seemed really intimidating; pair that with my atrocious decision-making skills and you've got yourself a big lumpy blob of confusion. As I scanned over the suggestions list, I noticed "Common Misconceptions" stuck right in the middle, and I realized that there were so many different things I had believed when I was younger that turned out to be false, some of which I just learned were untrue a few days ago.
I might as well rename this series "Childhood Lies".
Today's blog post is going to cover things I was taught as a child that are apparently wrong.
Whenever my mom used to give me a piece of gum, she'd warn me to keep it in my mouth and make sure not to swallow it, or else I wouldn't be able to digest it for up to seven years. She only told me this to keep me from constantly swallowing gum (which is clearly unhealthy), and so, being the impressionable kid I was, I would chew cautiously, making sure that piece of gum didn't go anywhere near my esophagus.
Think about it, though. Seven years. That was practically my entire life's worth at that time.
Naturally, I had to swallow a piece of gum at some point in my life. I completely lost it.
More importantly, I was thrilled to hear a few years later that gum does not, in fact, stay in your system for years. It's mostly indigestible, and goes through your system like every other food. It may be a bit slower, but it's pushed through nevertheless. As long as it's not a gargantuan fist-sized wad of gum, it will pass through the body. Wish I'd known that sooner.
I remember this one coming straight from my dad. I was in 2nd grade and was home sick with the flu. My dad was staying home to take care of me. I had just woken up and went to eat breakfast- a bowl of cereal and milk. At this point, my dad leans over from the couch and tells me that eating dairy (yes, that includes milk, Serene) made my cold even worse.
Dairy doesn't make more mucus, it just makes it slightly thicker. The rumor wasn't completely erroneous- it had just been tweaked. Personally, I think it was just a ploy to stop me from eating ice cream when I was sick.
I've loved Sherlock Holmes ever since I discovered the wonders of reading. Needless to say, I enjoyed quoting Holmes whenever possible. Little did I know, this was never an actual quote said by the detective himeslf. Instead, each phrase was uttered separately in the novels. "Elementary" and "my dear Watson" were stated several times, but in different places.
The whole clause eventually found its way into the movie adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, where it became incorporated into pop culture.
These cut-off quotes are pretty widespread, seen even in common phrases such as "curiosity killed the cat". Many people leave off the second part of the quotation- "but satisfaction brought it back". Perhaps it's because that part defeats the entire purpose of the first clause, and would invalidate someone's argument. Maybe warped quotations come from people who switch words around to buffer their reasoning for something. It's always a shock to me when I find out something I've been saying for so long was never actually its true form.
As I've been writing this, I've realized just how strange my childhood was. There are so many things I've been taught that were really just tactics to get me to behave. I guess it's all for the best, though, and to be honest, it's pretty funny to remember how naive I was. Stay tuned for the next blog post!