How Did I Not Know That?!?

by Madeline Pillow on February 17, 2014

By: Madeline Pillow

Moss Building and Design

It’s kind of embarrassing*


Jeannine Miller, Moss Building & DesignBy – Jeannine Miller (


I think of myself as a reasonably smart person.  Not so much in the high-IQ department as in the overall-ability-to-navigate-life department.  But every now and then something comes up and I’m like “How on earth did I not know that / catch that / question that?”

Some cringe-worthy examples:

  • Every time my hair dryer got that burning smell from being clogged, I bought a new one.  I had no idea the screen could be removed, rinsed and put back.
  • When I was a kid, I always thought it peculiar that there was an Adult Toy Store because I didn’t think adults really played with toys.
  • The numbers on a toaster don’t represent intensity, they represent duration.
  • The "C "on a calculator means clear; the "CE" means clear just the last entry.  (I usually just hit both a few times.)
  • It’s wheelbarrow, not wheelbarrel. (I’m sorry, but that’s just dumb.)

I love words and language, in general.  Using a double entendre or making a clever play on words puts you on my A-list.  This fact makes it all the more embarrassing (*apparently this means to show one’s arse--I did not know that) that there are so many obvious ones I’ve missed over the years.

  • Did you know he’s called Eeyore because that's the sound a donkey makes?  Or that Cruella De Vil is a play on the words cruel devil?
  • If you can believe it, I’ve always assumed K-9 was some internal police code that was used for the dog unit and that other units had similar codes like A-5 or B-3.  Only recently did it click that K-9 is phonetic for canine.  (This is inexcusable since my childhood nemesis called me J9 the K9 and I sure as heck knew what he meant by that.)
  • My husband was perplexed when I asked what “zing” meant.  He had no idea what I was talking about.  I said “I guess it’s pronounced zing.  On road signs it’s spelled X-ING.”  I won’t soon live that one down.

Moss Building and Design

In my defense, I do come by it honestly.  My mom has naively said many inappropriate things over the years, much to the mortification of her children.  One favorite (that’s actually printable) is when she was in the stands of a high school football game and joined in on a student chant.  The kids were yelling “Whoomp…there it is” from that 90s hit song.  My mom, however, was yelling “Whoop…that a$$.”

If you think there might be some things about home maintenance you just didn’t know, call the experts at Moss Home Services. Call 703-961-7707 to schedule an appointment.

In addition to blogging about all things home and family-related, Jeannine Miller manages Moss Building & Design’s Community Relations Department, which includes the popular HandyMOM 101 and HandyGirl 101 workshop programs.