What is common knowledge?

Who decides what you should know?

I found myself lacking in a few areas this month, which prompted me to try and confirm what material comes under the vast umbrella of the common knowledge category?

For example; At no point during any of my driving lessons did I learn how to fill my petrol tank. It isn’t a requirement for an instructor to teach you this necessity, and to be honest I didn’t even think to ask.

Fast-forward, I’ve passed my driving test and purchased a car. I’m at the petrol station and I realise- I’ve never done this before. I have a basic understanding, I’ve seen people use petrol pumps enough times. But, I’ve also seen and heard many people joking about watching others struggle to ‘get their own petrol cap off’ or having to ‘help this daft woman fill her own car’. (I did spend a summer working in a petrol station. You might be surprised by the amount of times we had to help push a diesel car out of the forecourt because it’s owner had filled the tank with petrol mistakenly.)

You are just sort of expected to know how to perform this task, but why?

Here’s another; My boiler has broken. The plumber is asking me if I have a combi-boiler, as if it’s a simple question. I have no idea? Now I feel silly. I own my house, surely I should know what type of boiler I have? When he arrives the plumber is surprised to find I have a combi-boiler and I have my immersion heater switched on. Unbeknownst to me I have been using gas to heat water at the moment it is required using the combi, as well as using gas to maintain an entire separate tank of hot water throughout set periods of the day. That’s an expensive mistake. I only need to switch the immersion on if my combi-boiler isn’t working. How could I know that? It’s not like buying a house came with a welcome pack of ‘how things work’!

So I ask, what is common knowledge? Who decides what fits under that particular umbrella?

We are not born with knowledge, so why should anyone think it acceptable to poke fun at anything a person has not yet learned?

Is there anything you learned later than everyone around you?

Have you felt the embarrassment of not knowing something labelled as ‘common knowledge’?

Hit me up in the comments.

Review: The Witches- Roald Dahl

For those who didn’t catch my post for Roald Dahl day (find it here) you may not know that up until Sept 13th 2018 I had never read The Witches! Of course I had to rectify that, especially since I proudly own the Roald Dahl collection of children’s fiction. So to celebrate the greatest children’s author of all time I finally sat down to devour it last month.

Page Count 224/ Publication year 1983

SYNOPSIS

BEWARE. Real witches dress in ordinary clothes and look like ordinary women. But they are not ordinary. They are always plotting and scheming with murderous, bloodthirsty thoughts – and they hate children.
The Grand High Witch hates children most of all and plans to make every single one of YOU disappear.
Only one boy and his grandmother can stop her, but if their plan fails the Grand High Witch will frizzle them like fritters, and then what . . . ?

*****

For years I’ve been hearing others tell of their fear after reading and/or watching Dahl’s The Witches. I’m honestly amazed I didn’t read it as a child, I loved to be scared even then. So I entered into this determined to try and visualise it through the eyes of a young whippersnapper.

Of course The Witches is a truly magical tale, I expected no less of Dahl but it had been such a long time since I’d read his work and much longer still since I experienced any of his books as new to me.

One of my favourite things about Dahl is the way he tackles fear, monsters and even death in such a matter of fact manner and with blunt honesty, much like young children tend to do. He writes of these things without glamour but gives enough gentle assurance so as not to traumatise any young minds.

Whilst I can see why so many people found this book scary in their youth I think Roald Dahl balances scary and silly perfectly, leaving a lasting impression of entertainment rather than fear. His description of a witch walks the line between nightmarish and hilarious,

‘REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women and they work in ordinary jobs.’ 

‘REAL WITCHES are bald as a boiled egg’

I also love that Dahl uses heroic children as main characters in his tales. There are often brave kids with good morals for young readers to look up to and a safety blanket in the form of a caring, no-nonsense adult figure (often a family member) features in most stories.

Reading The Witches took me right back to my childhood and was still just as fun. How, how, how did I ever forget about the little rhymes Roald Dahl weaves into his stories? This is how I shall leave you..

“Down vith children! Do them in!
Boil their bones and fry their skin!
Bish them, sqvish them, bash them, mash them!
Brrreak them, shake them, slash them, smash them!
Offer chocs vith magic powder!
Say “Eat up!” then say it louder..”

 Happy Halloween!

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#SixForSunday; Favourite Trilogies/ Series

#SixForSunday is a cheerful little prompt created by Steph, to view upcoming themes, join in, or see posts from the master of S4S click here.

Continue reading “#SixForSunday; Favourite Trilogies/ Series”