12 Half-Truths We Live With | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

12 Half-Truths We Live With

Say it isn't so. Various news organizations have recently reported that on occasion the Subway sandwich chain's $5 footlong measures 11 inches instead of 12 — as advertised. Sure enough, the bacon, lettuce and tomato jewel we bought Friday fell a little short.

But it was delicious. And Subway did explain to CNN and the world that methods of baking the bread can cause a slight size differential. Makes sense.

Perhaps the point is, things may not always be exactly what they seem and — perhaps more precisely — we already know that. We go on.

Our Facebook friends are not necessarily our friends. Catfish are not just for outdoor types anymore. A barista may not really care whether we have a nice day or not.

Some things we accept have more serious consequences than others, of course. Ask those involved in the strange and strained stories of Lance Armstrong or Manti Te'o.

This much is true: We live with half-truths — of varying kinds and sizes. A year is not always 365 days. A billable hour is not necessarily 60 minutes. Pluto isn't precisely a planet.

Having finished our sandwich, we offer a list of 12 misleading notions we accept in everyday life:

1) A two-by-four at a retail lumberyard is not 2 inches by 4 inches.

2) Peanuts are not really nuts, but legumes.

3) A hydrogen bond is not a true bond, but a type of electromagnetic attraction.

4) The American buffalo is not a buffalo, but a bison.

5) A koala bear is not a bear; it's a marsupial.

6) A starfish isn't a fish; it's an echinoderm.

7) A palm tree is not a tree, but a form of grass.

8) A penny is worth more than a penny, costing more than two cents to make.

9) "Swollen glands" are not actually glands; they are a series of lymph nodes.

10) A mountain goat is not really a goat.

11) Pink is not exactly a color.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, March 31, 2015

You can learn the secrets of a specific dance form or see a local production of a novel-turned-Broadway play.

NPR

Our Food-Safety System Is A Patchwork With Big Holes, Critics Say

More than a dozen federal agencies play a part in keeping food from making Americans sick. Critics say the system has gaps, and we'd all be safer if federal food safety efforts were under one roof.
NPR

Indianapolis Mayor Calls On Legislature To Repeal Or Ammend Bill

Steve Inskeep talks to Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, a Republican, about the impact of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was recently sighed into law by Governor Mike Pence.
NPR

With 'Single-Stream' Recycling, Convenience Comes At A Cost

Many Americans now have access to a commingled recycling system, which lets users mix plastic, glass, paper and metal together in one bin. It's much easier, but not nearly as efficient.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.