back to article There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

Blank faces abound. No, not all are blank: some are horrified, revolted even. What did I say? Security is swiftly called. The usual routine, I think, as a pair of uniformed bouncers slip unhurriedly into the open-plan office, fire doors swinging gently behind them. But no – they come to a halt several paces in front of me and …

  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

    That takes me back

    For anyone over the age of 40, these doughnuts look just like the crumbly bleached dog turds you’d see decorating every pavement curb corner.

    It's a shame there's not a white one in that photo.

    Let's have a commentard age census, upvote if you understand, downvote if you don't.

    1. Noonoot

      Re: That takes me back

      "like the crumbly bleached dog turds you’d see decorating every pavement curb corner. " - do these still sit on curbs or have dogs moved on as well and become cultural start-up freaks?!

      Geez, even shit moves on in the world!

      And what has become of the English language - it too evolves itself sprouting unusual innuendos. What do we expect as we all sit here, young and old, choosing emojis instead of writing "hey that's shit".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That takes me back

        "Geez, even shit moves on in the world!"

        "hey that's poo" - doesn't seem to have quite the same impact. Possibly because it doesn't have a hard sounding consonant at the end?

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: That takes me back

          "hey that's poo" - doesn't seem to have quite the same impact. Possibly because it doesn't have a hard sounding consonant at the end?

          How about 'sphincter bile'? Too long?

          1. Muscleguy Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: That takes me back

            Excreted Faeces to us scientists. Has to be excreted you see since it is still faeces when it is in the bowel and the rectum.

            Why yes, I have spent not an inconsiderable time taking out mouse digestive tracts from duodenum to rectum, slitting them lengthways and removing the contents*. Why do you ask?

            *under saline and I was breathing through my mouth. Mouse lab chow is VERY fibrous and largely looks like sawdust until the latter stages.

        2. ridley

          Swearing in the South

          I have long held the view that if you want to hear someone swear don't ask a southerner. They just don't have the right intonation for many swear words. Bastard said by a southerner sounds almost polite, by a northerner it is rightly agressive. Same with many of the others.

          1. Lee D Silver badge

            Re: Swearing in the South

            My era is defined by:

            "Re-record, not fade away, re-record, not fade away"

            "I'll be your dog!".

            "There's somebody at the door!"

            "Happiness... is a cigar called..."

            1. Aqua Marina Silver badge

              Re: Swearing in the South

              I’ve been try’na give it up’a but it’s one of those nights...

              1. The Oncoming Scorn
                Pint

                Re: Swearing in the South

                The infamous 'Secret Lemonade Drinker' jingle was written and sang by Ross McManus - The father of Elvis Costello (Who provided backing vocals).

            2. P. Lee Silver badge

              Re: Swearing in the South

              Harry's hover mower, just look ....

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: That takes me back

        What do we expect as we all sit here, young and old, choosing emojis instead of writing "hey that's shit".

        Don't get me started on Emoji's!!!

        Shopping last weekend, and in return for an extra shot in my latte (that's not a euphamism), I had to drag our 4 year old around some tat bazar the Mrs wished to browse.

        Mini-mrs runs off to find toys to look at, and returns hugging a giant emoji turd. She's grinning ear to ear as she dances about asking if I'll buy it for her. The staff are doubled up laughing as clearly she has no idea what it is she's hugging, it just has big eyes and a large smile.

        "Go ask your mam if you can have it."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That takes me back

          "The staff are doubled up laughing as clearly she has no idea what it is she's hugging, it just has big eyes and a large smile."

          It's entirely possible she did know, my youngest *insisted* on a poo emoji chocolate cake for her birthday party,,, her friends loved it.

        2. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

          Re: That takes me back

          "Don't get me started on Emoji's!!!"

          Oh dear Lord, yes! Just because you put a fecking smiley face on the end of your obnoxious request to have your database restored don't mean I'm gonna do it any fecking quicker, OK Mr or Miss Hipster?

          I'm not a 9 year old girl, I don't need a happy face to soften the blow of a request. I'm a grumpy, fat, balding middle aged IT contractor! We're both grown ups, we can both be civil and adult about the fact that you deleted the wrong data or loaded the wrong code through the change request, we can agree on the fix and the paperwork, then we can both get it done without resorting to the sort of silly messages that my daughter her mates probably send each other!

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: That takes me back

        "have dogs moved on as well and become cultural start-up freaks?!"

        No, they've simply trained the human race to pick up their crap for them.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: That takes me back

          No, they've simply trained the human race to pick up their crap for them.

          Cats did that decades ago , and without resorting to all that fawning and sucking up.

        2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: That takes me back

          "have dogs moved on as well and become cultural start-up freaks?!"

          No, they've simply trained the human race to pick up their crap for them.

          Mrs Slocombe's Pussy wonders what took them so long

        3. pyroweasel

          Re: That takes me back

          "have dogs moved on as well and become cultural start-up freaks?!"

          No, they've simply trained the human race to pick up their crap for them.

          which said humans then put in little bags, to decorate the countyside better...

    2. Rusty 1

      Re: That takes me back

      To spot the youngsters (and OK, people who didn't live in the UK way back), ask them: "Clunk click - how often?"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That takes me back

        Did you do everything Jimmy Saville asked you to when you were young?

      2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: That takes me back

        @Rusrty1

        or

        --?-- --?-- - made to make your mouth water!

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: That takes me back

          --?-- --?-- - made to make your mouth water!

          Once upon a time a finger of fudge was all you needed to give a child a treat. Try that nowadays and a mob of tabloid readers will have lynched you before you can say "it's confectionery".

          1. The Oncoming Scorn
            Alien

            Re: That takes me back

            Anyone remember Cadburys (Mars bar knockoff) Aztec bars?

        2. HarryCoh

          Re: That takes me back

          Easy - O---- F-----

          What about "Its the four minute smile, the longest lasting ----- --- in the world"?

          1. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip

            Re: That takes me back

            Easy

            Its the four minute smile, the longest lasting B--- J-- in the world"?

        3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: That takes me back

          EM AYE ARE AYE TEE AITCH OH EN....!

      3. Krack73

        Re: That takes me back

        On every trip.

    3. Spacedinvader
      Happy

      Re: That takes me back

      I'm not 40 and as soon as I saw that pic I thought "if there was a white one..."

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That takes me back

      I don't think you have to be older than 40 to know what mouldering dog shit looks like.

    5. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

      Re: That takes me back

      Have I stumbled into a Peter Kay routine by accident

    6. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

      Re: That takes me back

      Look closer --- face it! YOUR GETTING OLD! Your not in our demographic anymore...all you have to look forward to is showing off your fat tush in lime green leotards thinking about how you used to watch Spandau Ballet "music videos" (Remember THEM?) ripped off from pirate Czech satellite operators which your dad said was the best thing since watching Liam Ghallager getting truncheoned by a boatload of bobbies after an Oasis concert! You DO KNOW who your business partner is don't you?

      They Speak English in What? So you understand what I am saying....What does OLD AGE Look Like?

      Does it look like a B(*&^

      YOU ARE NOT RELEVANT! The STATE has no use for you! You Are Obsolete! Obsolete! Obsolete!

      Your life has no meaning!

      Eeeeewwwwww Old People! Exterminate! Exterminate Exterminate!

      Go Hide under you're cache of Simon Lebon posters and PRETEND that you are younger than Ed Sheeran's Mom and Dad!

      You're Just an OLD FOGIE NOW!!!!!!!! ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ahaahahahah ah ahah ah ah ah a

      You had Pentiums in your day! I worked on Zilog Z80 and 6502's and even VAX-780's !!!

      Welcome to Grandpahood ya Adult Depends-wearing spittle-drooling now-axed from IBM DB administrator wannabe!

      YOU ARE NOW OFFICIALLY OLD OLD OLD !!!!

      1. Martin
        FAIL

        Re: That takes me back

        You're getting old. Not YOUR. And you know that, because you used "you're" later on, correctly.

        If you're going to do a sarcastic rant, do it right. Have a downvote.

    7. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      Re: That takes me back

      Apparently the reason white dog turds aren't been seen any more is because dog food no longer contains bonemeal..

      Pretty certain you could reduce that age to 35, though. Yes, I am over 40 but reckon it'd extend a little beyond that..

    8. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Re: That takes me back

      For anyone over the age of 40, these doughnuts look just like the crumbly bleached dog turds you’d see decorating every pavement curb corner.

      White moulder.

  2. fluffybunnyuk
    Coat

    My solution to youngsters is to wave my dime bar in front of their face slowly saying D....I....M.....E BAR.

    Do you remember your first dime?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Stockholm 1978 - branded as the same-sounding "Daim" there. Thought it was exclusively a Swedish confectionery until Poundland in England started selling them.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      2. okand

        From what I've heard Daim/Dime was the main reason Kraft/Mondelez wanted to buy Marabou.

        1. Noonoot

          And subsquently ruined every choc bar.

          Curly Wurly included

      3. big_D Silver badge

        DAIM Bar

        They are still DAIM over here, in Germany.

        And I can still remember when Marathon bars got renamed...

        "Do you 'ave zee Snickers?"

        "No, it's the way I walk!"

        1. Franco Silver badge

          Re: DAIM Bar

          This is likely to spark a riot. Before long we will have people reminiscing about Opal Fruits and when Salt and Vinegar crisps were in a blue bag and cheese and onion were green.

          Oh, and a Star Bar was a Peanut Boost. Slightly rippled with a flat underside!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm_DkuxtmfE

          1. Zimmer
            Go

            Re: DAIM Bar and crisps!

            ...Salt and Shake (Salt your Own) were just Smith's Crisps...and the salt came in a twisted piece of blue paper... and that was the ONLY flavour available.. and kids were not allowed in the pub....(gosh, I feel old today..) RIOT!....

            1. DJO Silver badge

              Re: DAIM Bar and crisps!

              kids were not allowed in the pub

              Conversely proof of age was never required so if you could (at a pinch) pass for 18+ you'd get served.

              Some pubs didn't seem to care, my school had a different uniform for the sixth form so anybody in the ordinary one was definitely under 18 so the fifth form had to use a pub a good 20 minute walk from school.

              A drink and some exercise, what better way to prepare for a afternoon of study and diligent work (as if).

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Re: DAIM Bar and crisps!

                My sixth form pub, was a really grotty pub that nobody else would drink in, with a horrible grumpy landlord. Right between the school gate and the bus stop.

                It's since become a Michelin star restaurant run by a guy who's now become a TV chef.

                I tried to book dinner there a couple of years ago, and there was a 14 month waiting list for a weekend dinner. So it's literally harder to get into than when I was 16!

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: DAIM Bar and crisps!

                  "My sixth form pub, was a really grotty pub that nobody else would drink in [...]"

                  After the Prize Day evening in a local hall the headmaster would take the dignitaries to a pub. A member of staff - probably the Deputy Head - would tip off the rest of the staff and the VIth Form as to which of two nearby pubs it would be. The staff and VIth Form then went to the other pub - staff in the Lounge Bar - VIth Form in the Public Bar. The serving counters were between the two bars - so the staff tacitly ignored the under-age pupils that they could see.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: DAIM Bar and crisps!

                "Conversely proof of age was never required so if you could (at a pinch) pass for 18+ you'd get served."

                In the 1950s the off-licence attached to our local pub (England) happily served pre-teens with draught beer - or at Xmas sherry "from the wood". Your parents sent you on the errand with a suitable sized jug or bottle.

              3. The Oncoming Scorn
                Pint

                Re: DAIM Bar and crisps!

                At my school, some pupils were in the bar in full sight of the teaching staff, each pretending not to notice the other.

            2. Teiwaz Silver badge

              Re: DAIM Bar and crisps!

              .. and kids were not allowed in the pub....

              A curiously english rule.

              Scotland, I seem to remember used to be a little more lax - but in Ireland, especially in the south and certainly up to the mid to late nineties kids ran as much amuck as adults, usually high on the sugar from something like McDaids Football Special for most of opening time.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: DAIM Bar

            "Salt and Vinegar crisps were in a blue bag [...]"

            Nah - the only crisps were plain, made by Smiths, and the salt was in a little twist of blue paper. Sometimes there was more than one salt twist. Some poor sod was reported to have opened a bag to find it full of salt twists - and no crisps.

            If you were really lucky - you could sit on the steps of the pub and your dad would pass you a bottle of Dan dare Cherryade as well as the crisps.

        2. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: DAIM Bar

          And I can still remember when Marathon bars got renamed...

          I do, a Free Presbyterian threatened me with a snooker cue over my amusing patois at an amusement arcade.

      4. NLCSGRV

        They were pretty much limited to Scandinavia up to a point. I think IKEA were the first to start selling them in the UK back in the late 1980s.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Dime/Daim available much earlier than 1980's.

          NLCSGRV,

          Nope !!!

          They were available early 70's at least and had a completely different name.

          Remember that they were for sale in my local Newpaper Shop / Corner Shop [UK] somewhat North of Watford :).

          [Might even had been branded as another company other than Marabou. i.e. licensed to someone else !!!???]

          Cannot remember the name but they disappeared for a few years then came back as 'Dime' Bars.

          They then got re-branded to 'Daim' probably to make production/distribution cheaper as they could be made with 1 wrapper/name and shipped to whichever country needed the stock.

          1. ADRM

            Re: Dime/Daim available much earlier than 1980's.

            Was it a Swisskit? Would you risk it for a Swisskit?

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      DIME Bar?

      Nope - Didn't like the look of them - Brittle hard toffee/caramel with a thin coat of maybe-chocolate....?

      I encountered Highland toffee bars long before trendy Dime...

      Give me a Star Bar anyday - chocolate and caramel sleeve you could cunningly eat away to reveal yummy biscuity mash that had had the appearance not unlike a freshly delivered turd.

      Leave that on the floor of the toilets and cause a school hygiene crisis for a half day off.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: DIME Bar?

        ...there's a scene in Caddyshack with a Butterfinger bar in the swimming pool...

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: DIME Bar?

          I'll raise you a Mint Cracknell, some Pacers and a dentist-enriching packet of old english spangles.

          1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            Re: DIME Bar?

            a dentist-enriching packet of old english spangles.

            Oh god, happy memories!

          2. P. Lee Silver badge

            Re: DIME Bar?

            How about a 7p pack of polos?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: DIME Bar?

              "How about a 7p pack of polos?"

              That's inflation then - nearly 1/5d in real money. They were tuppence in 1950 (1p).

    3. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

      "Do you remember your first dime?"

      Ironically no, however I do know that my kids give me an odd look whenever I state that any food which is soft on the outside and hard on the inside is a surprising alternative to armadillos....

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        You might have an answer to online age verification... the user is presented with an advertising jungle from the 90s and has to name the correct product to proceed. A similar system using the theme music to cartoons might also work.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "the user is presented with an advertising jungle from the 90s and has to name the correct product to proceed""

          I stopped watching commercial TV before 1990. An advertising impact study once asked me about a TV advert. I could remember the rather wooden public figure delivering the product endorsement - but couldn't remember which company it was for.

          1. Lee D Silver badge

            "I stopped watching commercial TV before 1990. An advertising impact study once asked me about a TV advert. I could remember the rather wooden public figure delivering the product endorsement - but couldn't remember which company it was for."

            They stopped running the "easily-turn-off-and-on-able" ads because everyone thought they were for British Gas, I think.

          2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            @AC

            I could remember the rather wooden public figure delivering the product endorsement - but couldn't remember which company it was for.

            Sir Robert Mark? "I'm convinced they're a major contribution to road safety

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_2RLAIjroE

            Alternatively...

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BE15EtuA6Z8

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "advertising jungle from the 90s"

          .... that must be Um-bongo then (though that was probably more 80s than 90s)

        3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

          "You might have an answer to online age verification... the user is presented with an advertising jungle from the 90s and has to name the correct product to proceed. A similar system using the theme music to cartoons might also work."

          That's basically what "Leisure Suit Larry" used.

      2. Haku

        Two armadillos?

    4. Franco Silver badge

      "Do you remember your first dime?"

      No, I likes armadillos.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqeGxMgVOHI

      Also regarding Highland Toffee, it accounted for perhaps a quarter of my baby teeth. The rest were last to Wham Bars.

      1. fluffybunnyuk
        Happy

        Armadillo!!!!

      2. Sarah Balfour

        Fizzy Lizzies here (although I do find that, whenever I mention them, nobody but me can recall their existence) - and not baby teeth, either…

        For those that don’t - likely everyone - they were sort of like a short, thick Wham bar with sherbet in the middle.

        1. ActionBeard

          I remember Fizzy Lizzies - they were a staple from the ice cream van that used to come round our street 2-3 times of an evening.

        2. The Oncoming Scorn
          Childcatcher

          Sounds Like Swizzels Refreshers.

          Still see them about in Ex-Pat stores here in Canada, original size & super long\large versions (Which I would have killed for as a kid).

          https://swizzels.com/sweets/refreshers/

          I used to like "Little Pals" a fruit gum scotty dog at a ha'penny each, then 1p then 2p, fortunately I moved to High School before the price could jump higher.

          On a related note MacKintosh toffee (disappeared from my awareness in the late 60's early 70's) made a comeback, is freely available over here & tries to remove my teeth at a far cheaper & more pleasurable way than my dentist (Who is actually very very good, the worst part of my root canal was the initial injection).

    5. DuncanL

      Crunchy on the outside, smooth on the inside - armadillos!

    6. Sarah Balfour

      ARMADILLOS!

      Crunchy on the outsoid an’ sarft in the middle - ARMADILLOS!

      “You’re a bit thick, aren’t you…?” was a kind of meme round here for months (ah the days before social media, they were a simpler, gentler, kinder, more carefree time…).

    7. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Do you remember your first dime?

      Never had one, not sure what one is.

      But Marathon Bars, Jiff, Wimpy Burgers, OMO, Chocolate Cigarettes, a sachet of salt in every bag of crisps, Sherbet Dips very possibly being a mix of Cocaine and Novichok, Walnut Whips with an edible filling, Wagon Wheels being bigger back then - Now you're talking.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Texan bars at the cinema hall matinees.

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Happy

          Texan bars at the cinema hall matinees.

          A last request, Seeenor?"

      2. short a sandwich

        Is it me or does it smell vaguely of boiled cabbage and urine in here?

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          @short a sandwich

          Is it me or does it smell vaguely of boiled cabbage and urine in here?

          What's wrong with boiled cabbage?

          1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

            What's wrong with boiled cabbage?

            Let's start with the last word of that sentence, which will suffice to tell you everything that's wrong with boiled cabbage: it's gdmf CABBAGE, ffs.

            1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

              it's gdmf CABBAGE, ffs.

              No need to be sour about it

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              "Let's start with the last word of that sentence, which will suffice to tell you everything that's wrong with boiled cabbage: it's gdmf CABBAGE, ffs."

              It's also the main ingredient in coleslaw and one of the veg overflowing from your kebab. The only problem with boiled cabbage is most people boil it to death.

          2. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Is it me or does it smell vaguely of boiled cabbage and urine in here?

            People can't tell the difference between boiled cabbage and stir-fryed with bacon and onion it's a sad lookout.

            Today its steamed, or what did you buy that expensive trendy pot with a plug on it for anyway? It just sits in the cupboard.

          3. Alistair Silver badge
            Windows

            @Pen-Y-gors:

            Nowt wrong with boiled cabbage. Corned beef is bubbling away for tonight. Cabbage carrrots and taters to join it soon.

            1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
              Coat

              @Alistair

              Corned beef is bubbling away for tonight. Cabbage carrrots and taters to join it soon.

              to go on a roller-coaster adventure they were all destined for. They'll never be the same when they come out

        2. Fungus Bob Silver badge

          "Is it me or does it smell vaguely of boiled cabbage and urine in here?"

          No. You're the only one smelling vaguely of boiled cabbage and urine...

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Wagon Wheels being bigger back then"

        This especially. The modern variety are Wheelbarrow Wheels.

    8. TonyJ Silver badge

      Dime Bar...Harry Enfield..."Aaarrmmmadillo...crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside...." :)

  3. Spasticus Autisticus

    Brilliant! I'm out fishing with a young person (17) today, he has no idea about anything. Too much fun sometimes.

    1. ravenviz Silver badge

      To be fair I’m not sure I had any clue at 17 either.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Pint

      @Spasticus Autisticus

      I'm out fishing with a young person (17) today, he has no idea about anything.

      First he finds out that there is no Santa Claus, and now he will find out that fish have no fingers.

      Have a beer yourself. He'll have to wait until he is 18 (in the UK) to buy his own beer

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is self-defeating having to explain the King James Bible or Shakespearean quotes that are intended to portray some human condition.

    Even kids who religiously go to Sunday services with their mothers seem unaware of many biblical parables that were stock fodder at 1950s Sunday School.

    I've given up qualifying an apparently generous charitable donation with the figurative shrug of "it's not not The Widow's Mite".***

    ***although there is apparently some debate about the exact meaning of that parable.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      It is embarrassing, having to explain quotes from Cant, Goethe, Kleist, Schopenhauer, Kafka et al to young Germans...

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Thickies...

        This how we get people choosing stuff like "our little life is rounded with a sleep" to advertise beds

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Thickies...

          This how we get people choosing stuff like "our little life is rounded with a sleep" to advertise beds

          Perfect for Dr Kevorkian's Sleep-Tite™ range of beds.

      2. Roj Blake Silver badge

        re: Cant, Goethe, Kleist, Schopenhauer, Kafka et al

        It's good to see Brian Cant listed amongst the greats like that.

      3. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        Headmaster

        > ...having to explain quotes from Cant,...

        Kant. I found that using the full name "Immanuel Kant" is a somewhat "safer" choice at English speaking places 8-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Having to explain things

          I was stopped short yesterday when the chap I was talking to (in his 30's) didn't respond positively when I observed that the system he was using offered up more granularity than the previous one. I thought it was a compliment.

          He said something else and basically asked me whether I thought it was better or not. I responded, again, saying that the added granularity makes it a lot more efficient.

          He finally says 'look mate, I don't know what granularity means' - OH! I see now. So I say 'oh, it means more accurate I suppose'.

          To which he replies - 'Stick with accurate then, I'm from Suffolk'

          I couldn't help laughing (not in a cruel way).

          1. ravenviz Silver badge

            Re: Having to explain things

            Re not knowing what granularity is, at least he ‘fessed up!

          2. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: Having to explain things

            More precise, not more accurate.

            Having more significant digits doesn't mean you can trust them equally.

        2. John G Imrie Silver badge
          Happy

          Thank you

          Now I have the Philosophers Song going through my head.

        3. Duffaboy

          GrumpenKraut

          yawn

      4. Martin
        Happy

        It is embarrassing, having to explain quotes from Cant, Goethe, Kleist, Schopenhauer, Kafka et al to young Germans...

        Or even Kant.

      5. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        It's somewhat embarrassing to misspell Kant, too.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      The Widow's Mite".***

      ***although there is apparently some debate

      Really? It's quite simple - the rich ones were making a big song 'n dance about giving a (relative) pittance in the hope that people would think them good people because "they gave to charidee".

      Whereas, the poor widow gives a (much, much larger in relative terms) donation, in quiet, because she thinks it's the right thing to do.

      It's not the science of putting things into orbit to work out the moral of the parable.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        But the charity gets to claim tax rebate for the big donation but the widow is unlikely to be a higher rate tax payer.

        I thought that the parable was that churchs should concentrate on rich large donors and widows were just an annoyance.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          No. Both Widow attendace and large donations are KPIs.

          It's very important to engage all of our stakeholders in an inclusive dialogue, so that we can increase diverse learnings from all communitites and thus leverage our community value proposition into a full-spectrum service delivery.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge
            Coffee/keyboard

            @I ain't Spartacus:

            You, sir/madam, are Satan and I claim my thirty pieces of silver. Let's hope that leaves some change after I've bought a new keyboard.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          But the charity gets to claim tax rebate for the big donation but the widow is unlikely to be a higher rate tax payer.

          Well, the rich bastard giving the $3000 donation deducts it off his taxes as an itemized deduction and gets his name on a "list of donors" for all his friends to see. The widow who gives $300 doesn't, because she doesn't have enough deductions.

          The software engineer dad of three who donates can put an $800 donation on his itemized deductions, but the republicans screwed him over by eliminating the personal exemptions and increasing his taxable income by $16000 this year, making it far less likely that he'll donate anything.

          And remember folks, no matter what the conservative "christian" politicos say about charity being good, it's only a tax break for the rich.

      2. bpfh

        I’m sorry? Who has got mites?

  5. Fading Silver badge
    Facepalm

    So there you stand....

    Every eye turned to you in blank incomprehension. The rapid fire quip you made is outside of their cultural understanding - mere age has rendered your previous hilarious material to a mere damp squib. The icing on the cake? They don't even understand the relevance of the tumble weed that wafts passed their confused little minds...

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: So there you stand....

      mere age has rendered your previous hilarious material to a mere damp squib

      Which allows me to bring out my favourite depressing poem (can't remember who the Victorian author was but it's used in a song by a prog band called Cosmograf)

      Growing Old

      What is it to grow old?

      Is it to lose the glory of the form

      The lustre of the eye?

      Is it for beauty to forego her wreath?

      Yes, but not for this alone

      Is it to feel our strength -

      Not our bloom only, but our strength -decay?

      Is it to feel each limb

      Grow stiffer, every function less exact

      Each nerve more weakly strung?

      Yes, this, and more! but not

      Ah, 'tis not what in youth we dreamed 'twould be!

      'Tis not to have our life

      Mellowed and softened as with sunset-glow

      A golden day's decline!

      'Tis not to see the world

      As from a height, with rapt prophetic eyes

      And heart profoundly stirred

      And weep, and feel the fulness of the past

      The years that are no more!

      It is to spend long days

      And not once feel that we were ever young

      It is to add, immured

      In the hot prison of the present, month

      To month with weary pain

      It is to suffer this

      And feel but half, and feebly, what we feel:

      Deep in our hidden heart

      Festers the dull remembrance of a change

      But no emotion - none

      It is - last stage of all -

      When we are frozen up within, and quite

      The phantom of ourselves

      To hear the world applaud the hollow ghost

      Which blamed the living man

      1. ADC
        Thumb Up

        Re: So there you stand....

        Have an upvote for the Cosmograf reference :-)

    2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: So there you stand....

      I've always made comments or quoted things or made jesting references that fell on stony earth, because my education did not match their education. Now, however, I am seen as making 'old time' reference rather than obscure ones.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So there you stand....

      "The icing on the cake?"

      That reference will cause blank looks in future sugar-free generations.The "damp squib" has almost certainly been lost - also "light the blue touch paper and retire".

  6. illuminatus

    Thanks

    "deiseal" is a new one on me, but it's stored away now.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Thanks

      I might have fumbled the old-fashioned spelling. "Deosil" is probably simpler these days.

      1. Mr Humbug

        Re: Thanks

        I had to look it up. Collins gives 'deasil' as the more usual spelling.

        For low values of usual, I expect

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: Thanks

          Weird, I would have understood Deosil, but Deasil left me blank.

  7. Mooseman Bronze badge

    I wore a t-shirt with four candles on it at work a few weeks ago. Blank looks from all concerned, apart from one person who asked if it was my birthday. I tried to explain - "four candles....you know, fork handles?" More blank looks.

    My future as a curmudgeon looms.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I have long given up wearing my T-shirt that says "Dirty old men need love too". You have to be of a certain age to recognise the reference in its picture. A blonde woman in a bikini - standing head and shoulders above the scruffy bespectacled old man.

      "Say goodnight Dick"

    2. bpfh

      Sounds like a load up of Bull Hooks.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "I tried to explain - "four candles....you know, fork handles?" More blank looks."

      I suspect that most youngsters today can't get their heads around the idea of going into a shop, walking up to the counter and having to read your shopping list out to someone who then goes off and gets each item. Without that cultural reference, the rest of the sketch makes no sense to them.

  8. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Double entendre?

    The younger generation does seem quite adept at them. I managed to employ one at a meeting last week, at which point a new hire with a well oiled beard told me, "That's funny! I really like your double ender". We got some rather strange looks...

    1. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

      Re: Double entendre?

      I seem to recall an interesting Italian video with one of those....

    2. bpfh

      Re: Double entendre?

      I live on the South side of the Channel. A lot of Europeans believe that English humour is limited to Mr Bean which hacks me off no end. Some expressions, double entendre (which is French expresson to start with) and imaged expressions and insults fly way over peoples head.

      Now back to this being a younger generation thing: in the 50’s and 60’s a series of very well known French films with the dialogs written by Michel Audiard you could almost translate word for word the insults and sayings direct into English, and they work just as well - this was just the way people spoke in those days in that environment (“film noir”). I have seen people in extasy that TF1 is playing “Les Barbouzes” one evening on tv and they can recite some of the phrases by heart and laugh around the coffee machine... but use that same expression with the same end meaning in day to day life in similar conditions (and because that same equivalent phrase is also still used in Blighty) then you will be met with blank confused stares. I still struggle to get this cognitive détachement.

      Now get off my lawn, give me back my Amstrad PCW-5128.

      1. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

        Re: Double entendre?

        Interesting; I will have to check these out. I grew up in an ethnic neighborhood within a rust belt US town and sometimes my sense of humor seems to be a bit too brutal for the self-styled brahmins I work with. Within my family and military guys I'm good to go, but it's obvious that within our "homogeneous" culture there are some differences. I wonder just how uniform French humor is across their nation - I'm a lot more familiar with Blighty.

      2. P. Lee Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Double entendre?

        >double entendre (which is French expresson to start with)

        I seem to remember Mr Fry suggesting that the frogs do not use the fraise.

        My favourite funny of recent times was a comedian commenting on a room-mate who shopped at "tarjay." The comedian asked if a French accent really makes things sound better. "Ah I haven't see you in, what six years now. Where've you been?" "Ah, I've been in Pree-son. I was there for a double hommeeseed."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Double entendre?

          "I seem to remember Mr Fry suggesting that the frogs do not use the fraise"

          Do they just blow a strawberry instead?

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Double entendre?

      "That's funny! I really like your double ender". We got some rather strange looks...

      LOL, that reminds me of usenet and irc discussions where some kid would type "viola" or "walla!" in complete confidence that they got it right.

  9. CT

    Saracen and Roland - not surprised at the blank faces, too obscure even for me, and I had a grammar school education with real O-levels AND I remember white dog turds, jumpers for goal posts blah blah

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It did take a couple of seconds to drop - but the best puns always do.

      My first thought was - "armoured vehicle" and "music synthesizer"???

      1. Dr. G. Freeman

        I was thinking Gladiator and Rat.

      2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Are you seriously suggesting that schoolkids today don't read Chanson de Roland in the original Anglo-Norman? What kind of rubbish education our our children being given? How will they be ready for life in the modern world?

        Next you'll tell me that they've dropped Thucydides and Caesar J from the curriculum!

        1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          ...read Chanson de Roland in the original Anglo-Norman...

          Well, I was supposed to, but I only got partway through the first page. Same with Beowulf. Must go back and give it another try.

          I did read Hamlet all the way through on day. It made perfect sense. Next time I tried it...not so much. Apparently, I was "in the zone" for Shakespeareanan prose that day.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Same with Beowulf

            Efste suþweardan strang sunu godwines

            sige bið swete þin þenungwerod guþwerig

            ac wyllelm se bastard is nu æt pefnesea

            ond forbærnð þisne eþel þe þu gehiertest

            gadra þa garan on þam hliþan æt hastingan

            feoht oð deorcunge oð æfen acolað

            ond þu sceol forðferan eac swa angelcynn

            on þissum eard þe þu behete to healdenne

            I did think of learning Saxon at one point but decided that it was too much like hard work.. So I stuck to doing IT.

          2. DropBear Silver badge

            Well, let me know when you've finished the Kalevala...

            1. james_smith

              The Kalevala! That was a set text at college, but the alliteration and repetition made it extremely annoying to read.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "[...] but the alliteration and repetition made it extremely annoying to read."

                Presumably they were essential characteristics in the original Finnish oral history. Human memory seems to be aided by such devices.

                After nearly 60 years I still remember a homework assignment to memorise a piece of Lord Byron's verse:

                The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,

                And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;

                And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,.

                When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

                1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

                  "[...] but the alliteration and repetition made it extremely annoying to read."

                  "Presumably they were essential characteristics in the original Finnish oral history. Human memory seems to be aided by such devices."

                  Yes, mnemonical qualities were important. For many centuries there was no way to write texts down, they were passed on via oral tradition. But there's something else too - old chants have a hint of magic about them. Or, for a modern reader, an aspiration of magic. See 'shamanism'.

                  This nice overview has a bit about Kalevala too:

                  https://spiritboat.blogspot.com/p/overview-finnish-shamanism.html

                2. DiViDeD Silver badge

                  "The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,

                  And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;

                  And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,.

                  When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee."

                  As Nanny Ogg might say. that's proper poetry that is, all 'tumpty tumpty tump'

          3. hplasm Silver badge
            Coat

            "I did read Hamlet all the way through"

            TLDR . Hamlet: a small pig,

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: "I did read Hamlet all the way through"

              "Saracen and Roland" -> Blank look.

              And there was me wondering if it was safe to look up whilst at work - quite disappointed I must say.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Shakespeare...

              ...I was shocked to discover that my daughter's school no longer had a unit on the bard. Apparently it's not "hip" and modern (which I guess means "progressive") enough. So I recommended they rewrite Romeo and Juliet as "Romeo and Julio - a tale of gay Hispanic lovers".

              My God, what a reaction! You'd think I was deliberately trying to provoke the teacher or something. Oh, wait... Hold that thought.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Shakespeare...

                "So I recommended they rewrite Romeo and Juliet as "Romeo and Julio - [...]"

                According to IMDB filmed as "Private Romeo" (2011).

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Shakespeare...

                Well, that would definitely make it easier for younger kids to understand why everyone on both sides of the conflict would be so opposed to them getting together.

                It certainly would've spiced up that silly version from the mid-90's that starred the young Leo DiCaprio!

                Although, I don't think making the characters gay at this point would be modern enough--it probably wound't even register to most of these kids as being odd (or dare I say queer?). One of them (or both of them) would need to be trans--but in the end, all you'd really have is just a weird mashup of Shakespeare and The Crying Game. Which would still place that story firmly into the 90's!

                Honestly, without throwing in blatant references to modern technology, is there any possible way to make that story more modern that they were capable of back in the 90's? I'm starting to think we've reached peak Shakespeare!

            3. bpfh

              Re: "I did read Hamlet all the way through"

              I thought it was a cigar...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "I did read Hamlet all the way through"

                "I thought it was a cigar..."

                or a stick of rock.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Saracen and Roland - not surprised at the blank faces, too obscure

      I got it, but only because I'm a history geek..

      (Mind you, Roland wasn't as pleasant or gallant as the ballad makes out - he was a typical war-leader of the time).

  10. tfewster Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Ah, but the upside

    is when you meet another over-40 and you can have a secret but hilarious conversation in public. Remember when you and your pre-pubescent mates had a secret language that you thought adults couldn't understand? Or pig-latin? This is even easier!

    1. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

      Re: Ah, but the upside

      Especially when you run into a fellow Rik Mayall/Ade Edmonson fan, rattling of endless Young Ones, Bottom and Dangerous Brothers references, with a little sprinkling of Blackadder!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ah, but the upside

        Though, with Young Ones quotes there's always the danger of running into a youngster who's got a video!

        1. Richard Gray 1

          Re: Ah, but the upside

          "YOU'VE GOT A VIDEO!!!!"

          now where's the washing up liquid??

          1. Franco Silver badge

            Re: Ah, but the upside

            I feel the need now to reference Absolutely.

            IT'S VID-AY-OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ah, but the upside

            "YOU'VE GOT A VIDEO!!!! now where's the washing up liquid??"

            Shirley it is telephone reference?

            A visiting Israeli friend showed me her newly qualified business card - in Hebrew. She then translated her new career as a "sex-ologist". Combined with her accent I was immediately reduced to laughter - which required YouTube to explain.

          3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: Ah, but the upside

            Jif Micro Liquid where ARE youuuu?

      2. f4ff5e1881
        Megaphone

        Re: Ah, but the upside

        Melchett: “Tally-ho with a bing and a bong and a zing zang spillip!”

        Richy: “God you’re weird!”

        I admit I may have got them a bit mixed up what with the heat and the hay fever.

  11. Dave 126 Silver badge

    > An engineer stands almost motionless over a nearby wide-format inkjet

    That's a *technician*, not an engineer. If we want more people to use their brains in society, then respecting the rank of engineer is not a bad place to start.

    Countries like Germany properly recognise titles such as Engineer or Brewmaster as important - just as we do medical doctors - and not the sort of thing you grasp after a day's training.

    Cheers!

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      >> That's a *technician*, not an engineer.

      Funny, I trained a bunch of wide-format printer maintenance guys in the art of colour management with ICC profiles recently, and they referred to themselves as "engineers".

      1. Not also known as SC Silver badge
        Happy

        I'm an 'engineer' - company assigned job title. In my mind I'm just a keyboard monkey.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          My name badge says 'engineer' but in reality I'm little more than electronic pizza delivery boy.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        and they referred to themselves as "engineers"

        Yeah - but I could refer to myself as "a professional IT person" - it wouldn't mean I was!

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Professional just means you're getting paid.

          Doesn't mean you're any good at it.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Countries like Germany properly recognise titles such as Engineer"

      That's Germany. Here there's a tradition of referring to anyone who works with engines as an engineer. Perhaps what's really needed is to coin a new term for the up-market version.

    3. Thomas_Kent
      Coat

      Better let the "Sanitation Engineers" know!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Better let the "Sanitation Engineers" know!"

        I think you mean Dunnykin Divers.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Engineers build things, technicians service the things that engineers build, imho :)

    4. WereWoof

      As my father used to say about some people he interviewed for positions as civil/mechanical and electrical engineers - "Yesterday I couldn`t spell engineer, now I are one"

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That thing about the Dutch boy makes a lot more sense now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "That thing about the Dutch boy makes a lot more sense now."

      A little while ago there was a birthday card of a boy in clogs - arms outstretched - who said he was stopping three leaks in the dyke wall.

    2. MonkeyCee Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Not Dutch

      Just a FYI, it's an American story. Dutch people have heard of it, since American cultural baggage washes up everywhere, but think it's a pretty dumb story.

      Imagine a US kid's story advising them to "plug the levee" with their finger. Could have saved N'Orleans :)

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Not Dutch

        Just a FYI, it's an American story.

        I see you've been reading Wikipedia.

        The story predates any American publication by many years, and its origin is obscure.

    3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Just don't ever casually mention to a USian that you've spent the weekend in Norfolk at a dyke-jumping contest.

      1. Tim99 Silver badge

        "weekend in Norfolk at a dyke-jumping contest." Black Dyke band?

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Coat

          Whilst passing round the fags?

  13. Mr Dogshit Silver badge

    I remember back in the nineties watching Crimewatch where a middle aged detective was looking for a witness carrying a Take This bag.

    Take This being a popular beat combo at the time.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[...] AND I remember white dog turds, jumpers for goal posts blah blah"

    Yesterday a neighbour's kid asked me for an example of a plant that survives salty environments. Easy!

    "Thrift" - you know - the one on the thrupenny bit. Now as obscure as the "Wren" farthing that would buy a "Flying Saucer".

    1. Richard Tobin

      "Yesterday a neighbour's kid asked me for an example of a plant that survives salty environments."

      The modern answer would be "samphire".

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        The modern more correct answer would be "samphire".

        Thrift is more of a xerophyte and does well in coastal environments clear of the intertidal zone because they're often quite arid. Samphire really is a halophyte and you'll see it on salt-marsh.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yesterday a neighbour's kid asked me for an example of a plant that survives salty environments. Easy!

      Seaweed?

    3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      To those replying with examples of salt-tolerant plants ... whooosh! The OP's point was the obscurity of the reference, not the shift in botanical fashions.

  15. Alister Silver badge

    Education is no longer designed to teach.

    I recently made the mistake of helping my daughter with her "A" level biology homework - which given I used to work in the medical profession I thought should be a doddle.

    She had to describe in 'detail' the movement of blood through the circulatory system, so I started with the blood leaving the left ventricle through the semilunar valve into the aorta, and how it travels through arteries to the capillary beds and then back through the veins, through the inferior and superior vena cava, to the right atrium. (simplified)

    She was sitting looking puzzled, so I asked what was wrong. She said "Oh, we don't need to know all that"

    I was gobsmacked. How can you possibly learn human biology if you don't even need to know the names of the bits you are supposed to be talking about?

    I've noticed this before though, that students seem to be actively discouraged from taking a wider interest in any aspect of a subject outside the strict focus of the coursework.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

      What did they want? Something like, "it goes out of the thing in the middle, all the way up, all the way down, back to the thing in the middle, and then goes round all over again. Wheee!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

        too complicated - out the pumpy thing into the tubey thing and back again

        1. DropBear Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

          But that's too simplistic! Are those things before or after the whooshy-spongy thing...?

    2. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

      This isn't new, it's just the way school is. My French teacher never once mentioned the passé composé in the run-up to O-Level. The examiner for our French oral exam must have thought we had been taught the past tense by 16th century monks.

      1. rmason Silver badge

        Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

        @Dabbsy

        For my A levels in both french and german, the examiner for the oral exam *was* our teacher.

        We'd been ruthlessly coached in exactly what we had to use/say/demonstrate to tick the boxes for the relevant grades, we all got and an A or A*, which was a thing then.

        Jump through these hoops. Here is your A level.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

        Reminds me of my sister recounting her Germa O-level oral (probaly 35 years ago) where she decided to start off with a comment on the weather taken from her school's rather elderly text books ... the examiner looked up and replied (in English) "where on earth did you learn that ... no-one's used that phrase for at least 50 years!"

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

          As time goes by I realise just how special the comprehensive school was that I went to.

          I had several teachers who actively encouraged you to discover new things about the stuff they were teaching. My history teacher taught us how to research, my Physics teacher taught me how to think from first principles.

          My German teacher taught me the benefits of inviting attractive exchange students over to teach us, and my Chemistry teacher taught me that just because people are older and have degrees, they can still be stupid and biased.

          One form tutor taught me about tolerance and understanding, another taught me about encouraging people who are on the wrong path to channel their energies into more constructive activities without it having to be boring.

          My woodwork teacher taught me how irresponsible a teacher could be when they'd had enough and was buggering off round the world*.

          Bloody hell, the more I think about it the more I realise just how lucky I was.

          *This involved letting 30 kids run loose in the local Spinney and engaging in stone fights across a railway crossing just as it crossed a river.

      3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

        "My French teacher never once mentioned the passé composé ..."

        If you learn French now, the chances are that you'll never learn the Past Historic. (Possibly not even to the extent of knowing that it exists but you haven't been taught about it, which presumably cuts you off from just about any French text that is older than your parents.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

          "If you learn French now, the chances are that you'll never learn the Past Historic."

          IIRC in 1963 the JMB "O" Level French exam required you to write an essay using Past Historic.

        2. The Oncoming Scorn
          Headmaster

          Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

          I remember Mrs Perry at High School waxing lyrically about the PAST PARTICIPLE, but at no point do I recall her telling us exactly WTF she was referring to as it wasn't mentioned during the time at Junior or Middle school (A lot like "Chernobyl" at Swindon College who would go on & on about partial address decoding given half a chance).

          We had a new kid joining us in third year, who for whatever reasons had never had a French lesson in his life, his response to his coursework was scrawled into his exercise book "I don't understand this F***ing French", our form tutor "Peanut" reported that the Mrs P was quite upset about what he had written.

          Most of the courses I have been on over the years are structured for you to pass (including the reviewing of old papers), it takes a real idiot to fail one.

          Especially when one said idiot rarely bothered to turn up & asks a question during the exam on a 30 second point that everybody else had sensibly noted for future reference. The collective "Jeesh" was only exceeded in volume when the tutor then explained the basis of the XS3 code for the benefit of anyone that hadn't remembered that point. (No it wasn't me).

          Another tutor took a real hatred to this same student & would deliberately pass out the information on a upcoming field trip just before morning break (90 minutes in & a reasonable assumption that everyone should be there at the class), we were all fully aware of his intent & we were all equally pissed at this one individual who usually turned up 10 mins before this one class ended so we never informed him either.

          The day of the trip arrived, we piled into the mini bus & were on the road at 8.30, taking bets on what time "Jonathon" would arrive, he arrived at 09.15 a whole 2.5 hours early, found the class empty & wandered off to ask the course tutor where everyone was, who promptly made a point of checking his attendance records as the course was sponsored & we were paid to attend by the Manpower Services Commission.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

      students seem to be actively discouraged from taking a wider interest in any aspect of a subject outside the strict focus of the coursework their teachers' knowledge.

      FTFY

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

        students seem to be actively discouraged from taking a wider interest in any aspect of a subject outside their teachers' knowledge.

        To be a (eg) biology teacher, you need at least a degree in the subject, preferably a masters or PhD.

        The syllabus on the other hand, is set by a civil servant acting on the orders of a politician. Who do you think has a better grasp of the subject?

        Or to put it another way, would you prefer your kid to pass their GCSEs/A levels, or to know the names of some blood vessels? And which do you think will get them a job?

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

          "To be a (eg) biology teacher, you need at least a degree in the subject, preferably a masters or PhD."

          Ah yes, but that is "to be a biology teacher". It's not quite the same thing as "to teach biology". For the latter, you only need a degree in something, followed by particularly bad luck when the real biology teacher drops out of the profession in October and everyone in the staff room has to draw lots for the poison chalice that is "covering for the Year 11s until we can hire a replacement".

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

          "To be a (eg) biology teacher, you need at least a degree in the subject, preferably a masters or PhD."

          Perhaps I should point out the SWMBO taught biology and has a PhD - in that order and all a long time ago. As at the same time I worked briefly in a biological suppliers that went bust. Apparently I still owe her several pairs of dissecting scissors.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

        To be fair, the limitation is from the curriculum.

        The days of the depth of the teaching being under any kind of control of the actual teacher has long gone.

        The curriculum states exactly what you can and cannot teach.

        If you teach pupils more than the curriculum it can backfire, there have been instances where the answer given has been 'correct' according to real world knowledge but because it was NOT as defined for this subject the examiner has knocked marks off for giving the 'wrong' answer.

        Much like the focus required to pass exams you take to get IT 'Qualifications' from the vendors to demonstrate you know their products, schools are focused on 'how' to pass the exam NOT gaining any real/meaningful knowledge.

        It is the reason that so many people are surprised when they go to University and discover what real exams are like.

        Never did get the point of 'American' style exams, such as the IT Qualification type, where you learn a 'volume' of text and gain marks for repeating it back 'word for word'.

        The process seems to be learn all the 'key words' that require Page 201-203 paragraph 3-7 as the 'answer' and memorise the text so you can write it down when asked.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

          "Never did get the point of 'American' style exams, such as the IT Qualification type, where you learn a 'volume' of text and gain marks for repeating it back 'word for word'."

          In South Africa in the 1970s the Afrikaans language schools obtained very good grades in examinations. The English language schools fared less well.

          In the IT industry it was noticeable that those who had gone to Afrikaans schools were often poor at lateral thinking in problem solving. The English school people were much better at it.

          It was explained that the Afrikaans schools concentrated on teaching a given answer to a set question. Their pupils were ok if they recognised the question - but lost if it was paraphrased or an unknown variant. The English schools gave a more rounded approach to the subjects.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Terry 6 Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

          Precisely. For about two decades the school system has been getting narrower. Politicians deciding what needs to be taught, based on what they think is good for the working classes and what they learned at school 40 or 50 years ago.Then their imposing Behaviourist/rote teaching methods. All enforced by endless "high-stakes" testing.

          So; knowing times tables is very useful - but not the best approach for all kids*. Not everyone learns well by rote. So sensibly teachers should teach it, and if it takes move on, If it doesn't there are other approaches. And maybe for some kids there could be a narrower or more limited focus - such as making sure they at least know multiples of the primes to 7 and how to work with them. . But instead kids now all have to sweat to learn tables to 12x12 for a government test. Teach and test because of the Behaviourism and control. 12x12 because that's what the politicians had to learn** in the days of £s Shillings and pence and feet and inches (when we needed those calculations)..

          * The more pressure and anxiety there is to memorise something the harder it becomes to do so.

          **This being El Reg someone will now write about how useful 12x12 can be for some obscure reason. But that's not the point.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

            "This being El Reg someone will now write about how useful 12x12 can be for some obscure reason."

            No, this being el Reg I'll write to point out how useful pre-decimal coinage was because it ensured you learned your 12 times table.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

            "This being El Reg someone will now write about how useful 12x12 can be for some obscure reason."

            You need it for mentally calculating a gross of eggs @ tuppence three farthings each. Supermarkets these days apparently sell eggs in cartons of 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 24, 30. There is even a 30 dozen shipping box.

        4. Stork Bronze badge

          Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

          Sounds similar to Portugal then (my oldest is in last year before uni). At least he got to do a physics project, work out the distance to the Sun. That taught him a lot

    4. rmason Silver badge

      Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

      She isn't being taught Biology.

      She's being taught how to pass the Biology A level exam.

      Was the same when I did mine. Didn't matter what subject, you were taught the curriculum, then spent 6 months doing past exams before you did a "mock" exam, because the questions types, formats and even questions themselves are re-used with trivial changes.

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

        "She's being taught how to pass the Biology A level exam."

        This is true and it applies to all subjects. The problem is the schools are measured on exam results and targets. So they avoid any negative language at all, set the kids low targets that they will mostly achieve, the kids think they are great because they got their target, they learn a bunch of stuff by rote without having any deeper understanding of what it means, so they can't generalise, school gets the number of A-C passes they want (well they've changed them to 1-9 or whatever) teachers get their bonus (only joking) and eveyone's happy.

      2. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

        Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

        "She isn't being taught Biology.

        She's being taught how to pass the Biology A level exam."

        That's it, that's it right there. That's the God's honest truth in black and white! Well said sir/madam.

        Kids are not taught for fun, enjoyment or to gain a career they love, they're taught simply to pass exams in the hope that they'll just find something they like and having a degree from Scumbag University on the outskirts of Manchester will prove they're not completely stupid. I can't understand anyone not wanting to immerse themselves in something the love.

        My daughter loves English, loves reading. They're supposed to read for at least 30 mins a day in her class, she regularly gets through 1 or 2 books a week, even the hard going classics. She's already getting A* grades in English a year early before her GCSEs. I have no idea why or how, neither my wife or I read very much but I think it's all about finding something you have a passion for and being encouraged to chase it and enjoy it. Revising with my daughter the overnight in naming the layers of the Earth's crust for her geology GCSE and I was on the brink of walking up to the local dentist to have a root-canal without anesthetic, simply because it would have been less painful! Each to their own I suppose!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

          "I can't understand anyone not wanting to immerse themselves in something the love."

          Unfortunately making a career out of something you love can be very frustrating when PHBs and economic necessities mean you have to cut corners.

          Doing something you love as a hobby can be far more rewarding as no one*** stops you following your interest into any nook and cranny.

          ***especially if you are single and retired

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

        "She isn't being taught Biology.

        She's being taught how to pass the Biology A level exam."

        In my day being taught how to pass the Biology A level exam required being taught biology.

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

        "because the questions types, formats and even questions themselves are re-used with trivial changes."

        To be fair, you can't muck around too much with each years exam papers or you'd not be able to compare with previous or future results. But I completely agree with the comment re teaching to the exam. That was an obvious consequence of the "league tables" that most people saw coming. Not that that hasn't always been a problem, but the league tables exacerbated it.

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

      "students seem to be actively discouraged"

      this is the key point. You cannot be *INDOCTRINATED* if you start thinking for yourself. Next, someone will have to provide an army of those face-slappers from the Vogon planet that will slap the thinking right out of them, starting on day 1 in kindergarten...

      That's right. Let's create a generation of VOGONS and overly-sensitive SNOWFLAKES, ready willing and able to create a scene that requires security to intervene, and then photograph the "un-sensitive" individual [OH, the HORRORS!] that DARED to made reference to the story of the young Dutch boy that saved the town by STICKING HIS FINGER IN A DYKE!

      Obligatory reference to the red light district in the town that defined the trope...

      [political correctness can bite my hairy, naked, ass]

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

        Next, someone will have to provide an army of those face-slappers from the Vogon planet that will slap the thinking right out of them

        I'm shocked! I'm not bothered by the usual declining standards / conspiracy theory bit of the post. But by someone who references that genius Douglas Adams by way of that bloody awful film.

        Hitch Hikers Guide started on the wireless damnit!

        1. Alister Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

          Hitch Hikers Guide started on the wireless damnit!

          Wot, you mean it was a podcast?!

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

            "Wot, you mean it was a podcast?!"

            Funny you should say that. It quite probably is now. Radio 4Extra is currently broadcasting the original radio series every night so it's quite possibly on iPlayer.

        2. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

          But by someone who references that genius Douglas Adams by way of that bloody awful film.

          Phew, thought I'd had a stroke or passed into a parallel dimension...

          I was trying to grok face-slapper - kept thinking 'Bug blatter beast of traal'.

          New charas/additions I didn't mind, It was mucking about with the plot to make chasing the meaning of life by everyone that ruined it for me.

        3. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

          "Hitch Hikers Guide started on the wireless damnit!"

          Yes. And then it was a series of quite excellent books and a gloriously tatty TV series.

          I always thought it might make a rather good cinema film. Pity nobody ever made one.

          Denial? Moi?

        4. John Presland

          Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

          Bloody awful indeed! I and my friends made a point of being at home on transmission night so that we could discuss the genius of the episode at school the next day.

    6. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

      She said "Oh, we don't need to know all that"

      Of course not. That was all done and dusted at O-level.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

        Of course not. That was all done and dusted at O-level.

        Hahahahahahaaaaaaa... Oh sorry, did I just type that out loud?

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

        "That was all done and dusted at O-level."

        Back when we had O-levels.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I stuck my finger in a dike once...

    She jerked her head back & cleared the nostril. Snot got everywhere!

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: I stuck my finger in a dike once...

      "She jerked her head back & cleared the nostril. Snot got everywhere!"

      WRONG END! (you obviously didn't study biology)

  17. Alister Silver badge

    I'm in danger of revealing my grumpy-old-man status here, or even getting into a full blown rant, but it seems to me that the mental retention of literary allusions, cultural references etc is something older people do.

    It is my perception that younger people, who have grown up with the ubiquitous use of computers and smartphones, and particularly the advent of Google and Wikipedia, make no effort to retain such things, as they can just go and look them up when needed, and then forget them again until next time.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      I'm also a grumpy old man, but I'm glad Wikipedia was there to remind me of the approximate date of Juvenal's reference to panem et circenses.. It was Aristotle who said of youths: They think they know everything; it's not exactly a new phenomenon.

      Thanks to the Internet, I have the opportunity to be better informed about a wider range of subjects than has ever been possible hitherto. And so does everyone else, if they're prepared to take it. Is that a bad thing?

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Thanks to the Internet, I have the opportunity to be better informed about a wider range of subjects than has ever been possible hitherto. And so does everyone else, if they're prepared to take it. Is that a bad thing?

        No, it's obviously not a bad thing, and I too am better informed about all sorts of subjects as a result of the internet.

        But, I do believe that it discourages the individual retention of knowledge, because of its immediacy.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "Thanks to the Internet Register comments section, I have the opportunity to be better informed about a wider range of subjects than has ever been possible hitherto. And so does everyone else, if they're prepared to take it. Is that a bad thing?"

        FTFY, although the rest of the internet can sometimes be useful too.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "as they can just go and look them up when needed, and then forget them again until next time."

      Retention of facts is often used as a sign of "intelligence". What is probably more useful is to know the "flavour" of something- and then to be able to find and understand the detailed reference.

      The latter used to be difficult to do in the pre-internet days. You had to remember which book probably contained the information. That cut you off from the books you hadn't read on the subject.

      Nowadays Google usually provides enough links to be able to select which is most credible - even down to a paragraph in an out-of-print Google Book.

      On occasion I still have to find something in a paper book. It reminds me what a time-consuming process it can be - even when your memory has been near enough word perfect.

    3. DrD'eath

      Forget until next time

      It is my perception that younger people, who have grown up with the ubiquitous use of computers and smartphones, and particularly the advent of Google and Wikipedia, make no effort to retain such things, as they can just go and look them up when needed, and then forget them again until next time.

      To an extent that is what I have learned to do over 30 years of being a scientist. Schools used to over emphasize rote learning, over understanding basic principals. I don't remember the pharmacology over every drug, I know where to look up the information.

      Unlearning the idea that memorization equaled thinking took quite a while.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Forget until next time

        "Schools used to over emphasize rote learning, over understanding basic principals. "

        We understood our headmaster very well.

    4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      "it seems to me that the mental retention of literary allusions, cultural references etc is something older people do."

      Well that's almost obvious. We've been around for longer. I know *far* more than I did when I was a teenager, about a huge variety of stuff that I didn't even realise (back then) was a thing that you could know about. Given the time-spans involved, it would be a bit embarrassing if I didn't.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        You miss the point, Ken.

        IME Younger people don't bother to even try and remember stuff.

        Some of our younger staff here (who allegedly have a degree in computer science) have to be told, and told and told the most basic stuff, time and time again.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn
          FAIL

          Working For One Company

          Certain indu'hviduals would ask the same questions in Skype Conferences & our Skype webchats.

          How do I add a machine to the domain.

          How do I do a Winsock reset\DNS flush\release a IP address (Sometimes on a remote machine, I had a batch file with the restart command for when the network dropped & sysinternals).

          I have a problem\How do you image a Surface Pro. Same guy every week without fail on the phone conference

        2. DiViDeD Silver badge

          told, and told and told the most basic stuff, time and time again.

          Well, at >mumble..mumble< years old and several lifetimes in IT development, I still usually get my data connection strings from Google (and have to look up the syntax for commands I use every other day), so maybe it's not a young person's problem.

          Anyway, what doth it profit a man to know the proper syntax for a regexp search if means he forgets the words to the Immigrant Song?

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "younger people, who have grown up with the ubiquitous use of computers and smartphones, and particularly the advent of Google and Wikipedia, make no effort to retain such things, as they can just go and look them up when needed"

      What's "when needed"?

      The allusions usually make a point succinctly because they carry all the cultural associations. So, yes, the younglings who don't retain those things can look them up if there's a need to understand the point that someone else made albeit at the cost of taking rather longer to understand what the point.

      If the need is to make a point and they don't know such things they don't even know to look them up and therefore they lack the resources we oldsters have.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Dr Syntax. Agreed. The "unknown unknowns" strike again.

  18. jake Silver badge

    Most people are not just thick.

    Most people are also ineducable.

    I've given up trying, at least for the most part.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Most people are not just thick.

      Here's one from Facebook

      Her: "as if we can be expected to believe that novichok was in liquid form AND that it is destroyed by water"

      Me: "You do realise some liquids aren't aqueous?"

      Her: "I'm not as stupid as you are"

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Most people are not just thick.

        Me: "You do realise some liquids aren't aqueous?"

        Her: "I'm not as stupid as you are"

        And then went on to offer you some French Dressing?

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Devil

          Re: Most people are not just thick.

          I prefer french undressing...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Most people are not just thick.

          Our junior Physics teacher taught us that while liquid water is wet - liquid mercury is dry.

          We then played chasing beads of mercury across the bench - which had escaped from the large beaker that felt disproportionately heavy for its volume.

          1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            Re: Most people are not just thick.

            @AC

            Our junior Physics teacher taught us that while liquid water is wet

            That is open to a lengthy debate!

            It can be argued that liquid water itself is not wet - it is the things that have been in contact with liquid water (skin, clothes, grass, roads) that are actually wet. Wet describes a state of something that is not normally wet.

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: Most people are not just thick.

              "Yeah, but it's a dry wet"

              /Hudson

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Most people are not just thick.

              "Wet describes a state of something that is not normally wet."

              IIRC from nearly sixty years ago - the "wetness" of water is what causes it to have a U shaped meniscus in a glass tube. It is attracted to the surfaces. Whereas mercury or alcohol are not attracted to the surface - and have an inverted U shape meniscus.

              1. BlueTemplar

                Re: Most people are not just thick.

                Almost. Some surfaces will attract water, some will repulse it. Some will attract mercrury too I suspect...

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Most people are not just thick.

            "We then played chasing beads of mercury across the bench"

            I'm sure a good few generations of school children have been denied that experience by elfin safety - despite it still being acceptable to stuff it into teeth.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A friend had a similar misunderstanding (but culture related rather than age) when working in the States. He wanted to borrow a cigarette, but the way he phrased it meant something quite different over there.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Go

      A similar thing happened at school when I was younger. We had a new American teacher and one of my class mates started asking around the class for a rubber. She got quite upset, yelled at him and sent him out. She apologised in the next lesson, having spoken with her colleagues and finding out that a rubber in Aus was an eraser and not a condom as it was in the US.

      She was a pretty good sport about the continuous jokes she got for the rest of the year...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A friend working in the USA had a favourite expression when proposing to test an IT solution. She was taken to one side and told that a lady does not say "Let's suck it and see".

    2. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

      In parts of Ireland a sandwich is a "piece".

      So there was the old joke of the fella going over to the states, a burly police officer asks abruptly "Are you packin a piece?" to which the fella queries "I didn't know I had to bring lunch"....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "A friend had a similar misunderstanding (but culture related rather than age) when working in the States."

      I was in a small group from the coimpany I worked in assighned to a project in the US. One day was we were chatting a female local employee walked past, looked at one of colleagues and said "you look randy" and continued on as we burst out into laughter. A couple of minutes she came back from wherever she'd been going, stopped and saiid "Ok, from your reaction that obviously means something different in England - what did I just say"!

      1. Old Handle
        Paris Hilton

        I know what it means in the UK, but despite living in the US, here I have no idea what means here. I thought it was just a nickname.

  20. LucreLout Silver badge

    Odd thing about millenials...

    ....the ones I meet from other countries are not nearly so excessively emotional as the ones we have in the UK. I mean sure, they all have the same stupid clothes and suspect taste in music, and they're all utterly obsessed with right-on causes, but those in Sweden, America, and Singapore with which I am forced to interact all seem considerably more robust and emotionally balanced than our own stock.

    Mocking them is easy, but really they're the product of the "nobody loses, everybody wins, anybody can be famous" philosophy of schooling and media. Its a big part of why the real world comes as such a smack in the face to most of them. They might not help themselves, but its really not all their own fault.

    No post about Millenials could be complete without this:

    https://waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html

    Or a mention from another thread of googling "millenial doorbell".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Odd thing about millenials...

      I think one of the problems is mainstream press like the Guardian and Independent. My first thought when I saw the title of this article was 'when will the Twitter storm starts and will we have the pleasure of Dabbsy being dragged to the stocks for a public humiliation and trial by hashtag?

      (These papers seem to be running an age war because Millenials apparently have it harder than every other generation before them! I personally think that the papers are just doing this to encourage their next generation of readers and the only people they can now legitimately attack are the 'generation x-ers.)

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Odd thing about millenials...

      "....the ones I meet from other countries" ... have already been subjected to some kind of selection process, since they are meeting you. Maybe they are ones who are smart enough to be in jobs that involve foreign postings, or rich enough to enjoy foreign holidays.

    3. Trilkhai

      Re: Odd thing about millenials...

      [Millennials] in Sweden, America, and Singapore with which I am forced to interact all seem considerably more robust and emotionally balanced than our own stock.

      Millennials in the UK are less emotionally balanced and robust than the "snowflakes" dominating their generation in America who demand safe spaces & trigger warnings, refuse to do college coursework that makes them uncomfortable, and bring their mothers with them to job interviews? Someone please tell me I'm not the only American reacting to that idea with a mixture of disbelief and horror…

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Odd thing about millenials...

        Selection bias, I believe.

        One will only encounter foreigners who are willing to travel and/or engage with those weird almost-people who live in far-off places and have funny accents and strange culture.

        The locals have no such limitations.

  21. muddysteve

    Saracen and Roland

    Wow - that is an obscure reference. Mme D must be well-educated.

    1. Not also known as SC Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Saracen and Roland

      I looked it up on the internet (even us older people do that occasionally) . Is it the Song of Roland reference?

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Saracen and Roland

      No, just properly educated.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Saracen and Roland

        No, just properly educated.

        "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it"..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Saracen and Roland

          ""Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it".."

          Those who do - are doomed to make new mistakes.

  22. cklammer

    Unverständnis

    Also ich habe nicht ein Wort verstanden :-)

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Unverständnis

      ich auch nicht

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: Unverständnis

        Worüber man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen.

  23. jon909

    https://dogs.lovetoknow.com/dog-health/what-causes-white-dog-poo

  24. MatsSvensson
  25. fluffybunnyuk
    Pint

    I'll skip that dog poo link i'm just about to sit down to elevenses after just finishing 2nd breakfast.

  26. Richard Gray 1
    Facepalm

    I was sent off by my missus (Thai) to get some shopping for a BBQ this weekend, with the instruction

    "Oh and get some ice!"

    "Do you want some nice ice baby?" I reply... cue blank look

    Turns out Vanilla Ice was not so popular in Thailand back in the day...

    1. not.known@this.address Bronze badge
      Trollface

      "Turns out Vanilla Ice was not so popular in Thailand back in the day..."

      He was popular here? I must'a missed that... thankfully!

      1. Richard Gray 1

        Ok I'll admit that perhaps not popular in himself, but the ear worm "ice, ice baby" should be know to people of a certain age, even if we didn't actually like sodding song.

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          You mean the re-sample of Under Pressure by Queen / Bowie?

          1. The Oncoming Scorn
            Thumb Up

            Who The Feck

            Downvoted you for that, have a upvote with all due haste.

  27. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Nadsat eh? That makes me want to pop out to the Korova...

    ... for a synthmesk.

    <Exit, whistling The Glorious Ninth >

  28. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Yo Dabbsy

    Hey man, I was with you until...

    It’s only as I stroll back to the train station,

    We ain't in 'merica are we bro?

    Sorry, my faux youth mask slipped again.

    Now, now Mr Dabbs, anyone over the age of 40 knows that is it a Railway Station not a train station. Next you will be complaining about your train (which runs on a Railway gettit?) was due to leave from Track 12 and instead left from Track 12a (No track 13 in 'merica you understand) rather than using the correct term, Platform.

    now write 500 times...

    Passenger Trains run on Railways and stop at Railway Stations.

    When you are done, you can go home for the weekend.

    :) :) :) :wink:

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yo Dabbsy

      > anyone over the age of 40 knows that is it a Railway Station not a train station

      I use "train station" and everyone else I know does. I am well past 40, home-grown British.

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Yo Dabbsy

        Buses at a..er...road station?

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: Yo Dabbsy

          It's perfectly simple.

          Buses stop at a bus station

          Trains stop at a train station.

          Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to my work station

          1. Alister Silver badge

            Re: Yo Dabbsy

            Buses stop at a bus station

            Trains stop at a train station.

            Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to my work station

            Has work stopped??

            :)

        2. VerySlowData

          Re: Yo Dabbsy

          umm, here in Oz, buses stop at Bus Stops....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yo Dabbsy

        No one said "train station" before 1990. It's a nasty Australianism as far as I can tell.

      3. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: Yo Dabbsy

        Nope, it's rail station, or railway station. Trains run on rails.

        I'll grant that as I do most of my commuting and leisure via trains rather than driving I may have taken a bit of an interest in the correct terminology and state of the railways (Electrification engineering up North is currently disrupting services a lot)

    2. tim 13

      Re: Yo Dabbsy

      Glad I checked the comments before bringing up the train/railway station thing.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Yo Dabbsy

      I've always just said station. Unless I was trying to find the mass of a sperm whale, in which case I'd go to the whaleweigh station.

      Mark Kermode on air once tried to say airport, temporarily blanked and came out with aeroplane station.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Yo Dabbsy

        in which case I'd go to the whaleweigh station.

        There aren't enough downvotes in the world to cover that one...

      2. The Oncoming Scorn
        Joke

        Re: Yo Dabbsy

        As NTNN put into one of their books.

        Please do not unfasten your safety belt until the plane has completely come to a Stansted.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yo Dabbsy

      " [...] rather than using the correct term, Platform."

      Do railway stations in the USA all have platforms? Small town rural stations often seem to have only a hard surface at track level. The different countries' nomenclature therefore reflects actual physical differences in design.

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Yo Dabbsy

      "anyone over the age of 40 knows that is it a Railway Station not a train station."

      You must be a southerner.

      1. PhilBuk

        Re: Yo Dabbsy

        Exactly. It's usually 'The Station' or 'X Station' where X is its name. Train Station is OK but Railway Station is for long-winded Southerners.

        Phil.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Yo Dabbsy

          I wasn't sure, having lived in the South for so long. So I asked my sister - also in the South, but she has Manchester engraved on her heart. And "Train Station" it is. Because trains stop there. Railways don't. TBH mostly though, yes it's just the (or possibly name of place) station.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Yo Dabbsy

          "Exactly. It's usually 'The Station' or 'X Station' where X is its name. "

          Same here, "The Station" for our local one, everything else $name station.

          The only differentiator used locally was when we were referring to the Bus Station. There was never any confusion over arranging to meet someone because station on it's own always meant the railway station.

  29. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
    Coat

    Teletypes and Moogs

    I'm having some fun with the mechanical engineering intern at work. He's just finishing up his ME degree, and is working here for 6 months. Perfect ground in which to plant seeds of appreciation for obsolete technology.

    I've introduced him to Teletypes (thanks to YouTube) and ancient analog synthesizers. To his credit, he's fascinated.

    There may be hope.

    // IBM plugboard wires in the pocket, thanks

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Teletypes and Moogs

      ancient analog synthesizers

      Which are becoming a Thing again (or at least in Prog circles - I think it's that 'authentic' 1970's sound..).

      1. ActionBeard

        Re: Teletypes and Moogs

        They are indeed a "thing" again - you can buy a new Minimoog, if you have a spare few thousand.

        https://www.moogmusic.com/

      2. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: Teletypes and Moogs

        You can even get software analog synths that emulate the detuning that used to go on as the components warmed up! I have a couple myself for my LegacyCell (which is fast becoming obsolete technology in its own right).

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Teletypes and Moogs

      I thought the Moog was from Willow the Wisp...

  30. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker
    Thumb Up

    Thumbs up for the Weird Al videos.

    A healthy part of any Friday.

    (If only the icon had BOTH thumbs up -- two videos, after all.)

    For the love of Al, Dabbsy would have been my #1 Reg fave this week... if Simon hadn't posted BOFH today. Bad timing, gent. But truly excellent and apropos choices from Al's vast array.

  31. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    "It’s about pressing a button on your keyfob to find out where you parked your car"

    Which can, occasionally (OK once!) be useful. When you attend a gig at a large outside venue where parking is in a selection of unlit fields, none of which are signposted, the only way to find you car can be wandering around the field pressing the keyfob until something beeps at you.

    Sometimes it's even the right car.. (and I apologise to the strangers who, apparently, had the same keyfob code as me..).

    (It was Genesis, Leeds Roundhay Park in 1992. A great concert only spoilt by the shoehorning of Lisa Stansfield into the setlist.. - Runrig and Genesis were great).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "It’s about pressing a button on your keyfob to find out where you parked your car"

      Before radio key fobs it was not unknown to find yourself trying to unlock a car a few rows away from where your identical hire car was parked.

      One dark and stormy night I walked across a rain-swept customer car park to my car. On getting close I realised that the single car in the middle of the empty rows was a Mini. My same coloured Range Rover was back near the entrance.

      1. Peter Ford

        Re: "It’s about pressing a button on your keyfob to find out where you parked your car"

        I do a lot of kayak racing: my car is easy to find in a car park (except at kayak races...)

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: "It’s about pressing a button on your keyfob to find out where you parked your car"

      I find it much easier to just text my car, and it gives me a GPS link, which I load into a GPS radar app, which walks me to within feet of it.

      Not a fancy car. Just a £20 GPS tracker box off Amazon tied to the radio circuits and a £5 / month giffgaff SIM and some free apps.

      Also, it was great for knowing when my other half was coming back from her evening courses... I would activate the "text on motion" function once she was there, and when she moved it on her way back it would text me and I knew to get the plates ready for the KFC she would get on her way back.

  32. Daedalus Silver badge

    Keep an eye on these youngsters

    Before you know it, they'll be doing continent-wide formation dances as they join the Overmind, turning our fair planet into interdimensional energy.

  33. Cheesemouse

    Kippax

    Alistair. Are you a Leeds lad?

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Kippax

      What?

      Oh, you mean Dabbsy.

  34. Dropper

    Thickos

    I remember shortly after emigrating to Alaska, I was completely flabbergasted to find that not a single person understood the phrase "green cross code"...

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Thickos

      Pedestrian safety is nonexistent in the U.S.

      Your kung fu has to be superior or you had best stay off the sidewalks. Not even joking.

      1. Daedalus Silver badge

        Re: Thickos

        What sidewalks? You must be a city boy.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thickos

        "Pedestrian safety is nonexistent in the U.S."

        Yet they seem to be keen on fining pedestrians for jay walking? On the other hand letting traffic turn into a side street at a junction - in spite of a red light - seems guaranteed to mow down crossing pedestrians.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn
          Stop

          Re: Thickos

          Canada

          Yet they seem to be keen on fining pedestrians for jay walking, yes & also insisting that pedestrians have the right of way on crossing the road at crosswalks.

          I'm ashamed at being indoctrinated to standing waiting to cross when it's minus -28C with no traffic visible.

          You can always tell a Brit here, they follow the Tufty Club\SPLINK\Green Cross Code as they cross the road (Sometimes even changing the pattern of looking to compensate for North Americans driving on the wrong side of the road*).

          *Just because we are a minority doesn't make us wrong.

          1. PhilBuk

            Re: Thickos

            Driving on the wrong side of the road (the right hand side) was a scam introduced by Napoleon with the intention of making the roads safer. In Britain, we persisted with riding/driving on the left so that when we met oncoming traffic, they passed on the sword-hand side so we could take a swing if needed.

            Phil.

  35. ecofeco Silver badge

    Thick at any age

    Don't blame the kids. We was all like that wonst. But far too many people never grow out of it.

  36. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I make no apology and this week compound my offence by offering you a cover version of one of his finest 45rpm “pop” discs. Tacky, eh?

    Well.. that's refreshing as I had a moment's pause thinking you were going to Rickroll us.

  37. Fungus Bob Silver badge

    First time I felt old...

    ...was 25 years ago working at a place I shall only refer to as 'Chinaman Joe's PC Emporium'. One day I said something about vacuum tubes and the 22 year old girl who did the office stuff got this puzzled look on her face and said "What are vacuum tubes?"

    Where's the old fart icon?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: First time I felt old...

      "What are vacuum tubes?"

      The message transfer system that large department stores employed to carry payments/change between the sales counter and the cashiers' office.

      Alternatively - in the context of radios - the British used thermionic valves.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: First time I felt old...

      "What are vacuum tubes?"

      Maybe you should have told here that she looks at one every day. If not a computer screen (25 years ago, might not have had one on her desk then), but certainly her tv screen.

      1. Fungus Bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: First time I felt old...

        I did, but I still felt old.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yawn.....

  39. Corwin_X

    That picture of "doughnuts" is quite possibly the most horrifying thing I've ever seen. And that includes actual bloody horror movies!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      They look like rice crispys with a chocolate-like coating, moulded into doughnut-like shapes then drowned in icing sugar. I hope those "double points" are usable at the doctor surgery or a hospital.

  40. bofh1961

    Alistair, to anybody significantly older than you, you too a a thick youngster...

  41. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    Generation Slash and the Cluniac of DNS! (Its a f**k off);

    Excellent work Dabbsy, upping the game, for the consumer generation and the half-fuckwittery. #sauerkraut

  42. DJO Silver badge

    To be serious for a moment

    Statistically kids to day are no more or less intelligent than kids going back for thousands of years, what has changed is the concept of a "well rounded education".

    Modern education, at least in the UK & US, seems to be training to pass exams, not training for life.

    Over the last 30 or so years there's been a change in emphasis aimed more to meet targets then to benefit the students.

    Not sure what can be done except perhaps to ring fence and inflation link education spending and stop politicians from playing with the education system, maybe force the education minister to send their children or grandchildren to state schools.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    and they're deciding our future direction....

    "Young people really are thick"

    Any survey will be biased by these thickies and pressure us into thickness.

    Not to mention our current direction, that was biased by the thickies of the past.

    Those with any sense got out , the worst stayed on and worked their way to the top.

  44. CentralCoasty
    Thumb Up

    Statler & Waldorf

    I cannot disagree - especially my adjacent PM has a picture of Statler & Waldorf above his desk with his & my name super-imposed on it.....

    ..... and we are both proud of it...! Damned whipper-snappers! Call that PM'ing! Back in our day... .mumble, grumble... mumble...

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