9 embarrassing knowledge gaps. Admit it. You've got at least one.

‘Sometimes in life, no matter how educated or street smart we are, we just miss stuff’


Sometimes in life, no matter how educated or street smart we are, we just miss stuff. Obvious stuff. Stuff that might seem completely and utterly obvious to the people around us, yet through upbringing or circumstance, we ourselves, fail to recognise.

I once worked with an extremely smart lady. An accountant that had somehow made it through her entire life thinking that a carpenter was someone that laid carpet.  I am not even making that up.

And whilst it would be really easy to mock her for this, I didn’t. Well I did, just a little but not for very long because I knew I was guilty of exactly the same kind of cultural crime.

It’s called the ‘Knowledge gap’. And it happens to best of us.

It hurts, but maybe if we share we’ll all grow silently smarter and more knowledgeable together. Either that or we’ll just get to laugh and make fun of one another. Either way, it’s going to be really enlightening.

Let me give you some examples from “anonymous” sources:

1. Word Pronunciation.

“The word awry provided a moment of embarrassment when I was doing my best to impress the woman who is now my wife. I said “aww-ree”.

Quinoa. I, for one was pronouncing this ‘Quinn-oh-ah’ when really I should have been saying  ‘Kee-no-wah’ I still maintain that I’m the correct one. Plus, who cares.

Epitome. “It wasn’t until I used this word at a major presentation and pronounced it as ‘epi-tome’, like ‘epi-home’ that I realised I was saying it wrong.” And let’s not forget that one time that Jessica Mauboy pronounced the word ‘début’ live at the Arias as ‘day-butt’.

2. Animal Basics

“My friend had never been around cats before so when she house sat this one time and the cat sat on her lap and purred, she freaked out and took the cat to the vet because she thought it was having a cat asthma attack.”

3. Word knowledge.

“I somehow managed to make my way through almost three degrees and forty years of life before I came across the term ‘yawning chasm’. Now I see it everywhere.”


4. Basic hygiene

“I had no idea that men don’t use toilet paper to wipe their penis after doing a wee.” Guys. You shake it right?

“I didn’t understand, as a general rule, that you had to wash your hands after visit to the bathroom.” SERIOUSLY?

5. The wrong term

“My family would always go to pubs and order a basket of ‘wedgies’. One day I couldn’t stand it any longer and I had to correct them. They are WEDGES you guys. Wedges.”

6. Evolution

“A client asked me if he could pay a little more for ‘real’ dinosaurs at the event I was helping him plan.” Yeah, no, that won’t be possible. *resists Clive Palmer Joke*

7. Perception

“For a long time I thought that the whole world was actually in black and white until around 1970.”

8. The Latest of the Latest

Sometimes we miss out on some really good shows. Or songs. Or books. We are vaguely aware of these, have heard of them and even consider ourselves relatively knowledgeable about all things hip. How then, do we miss out on something that features someone like say for instance, Jon Hamm? This is just my personal observation. This could also possibly be because I’m still using the term ‘hip’.

9. Technology

“Today my accountant requested that I send him my zip file or dropbox him a CSV. I still have no idea what he wants”

Here’s the thing though, when we acknowledge our knowledge gaps and if surrounded by the right people, we can personally and academically, grow. Either that or we will be hanging shit on each other for the rest of our lives.

What was your knowledge gap?