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/.

NPR

Mary Ellen Mark And The Caged Prostitutes Of Mumbai

The photographer, who died this week, turned her lens on the marginal people of the world. One of her most acclaimed projects was her series of photos taken in the brothels of Mumbai.
NPR

Trickster Journalist Explains Why He Duped The Media On Chocolate Study

John Bohannon, the man behind a stunt that bamboozled many news organizations into publishing junk science on dieting, talks to NPR's Robert Siegel about why he carried out the scheme.
NPR

Hastert Due To Be Arraigned Next Week

The Los Angeles Times reports that the FBI spoke with two individuals who made accusations of sexual abuse against the former Speaker of the House.
NPR

Tech Giants Compete ... For Your Vacation Albums

With ballgames, family reunions and trips to the beach, summer is full of chances to snap photos. Apple and Google are in a battle to help you store, organize and share all those visual mementos.

Leave a Comment

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