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Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?

Mr Red 20 May 15 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,DaveRo 20 May 15 - 05:38 AM
Hamish 20 May 15 - 06:53 AM
Steve Shaw 20 May 15 - 08:02 AM
meself 20 May 15 - 10:28 AM
Steve Shaw 20 May 15 - 10:31 AM
GUEST 20 May 15 - 10:54 AM
Rumncoke 20 May 15 - 12:48 PM
Steve Gardham 20 May 15 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,Roger 20 May 15 - 03:11 PM
GUEST 20 May 15 - 03:14 PM
Joe_F 20 May 15 - 03:15 PM
Jim Dixon 20 May 15 - 04:25 PM
Steve Parkes 21 May 15 - 03:59 PM
Steve Parkes 21 May 15 - 04:05 PM
Don Firth 21 May 15 - 04:07 PM
GUEST 21 May 15 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,saddo 21 May 15 - 07:06 PM
GUEST,henryp 21 May 15 - 07:19 PM
mayomick 21 May 15 - 08:16 PM
meself 21 May 15 - 11:46 PM
Tattie Bogle 22 May 15 - 04:30 AM
Nigel Parsons 22 May 15 - 12:32 PM
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Subject: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: Mr Red
Date: 20 May 15 - 03:59 AM

Several people have come up with a mnemonic for how to tighten a nut.
"Righty Tighty, Loosey lefty"
The only problem is: this pre-supposes two things, 1) it supposes a top-centric viewpoint & 2) is assumes you are looking at on the nut directly (as opposed to underneath wot you are looking at).

When I was helping at Stroud FM we had microphones mounted on angle-poise arms and had a knurled nut to set the rotation position. Many times I had to get pliers on the thing to undo it. Other times it was hard at the other end doing nothing. Despite my notice that said "This nut turns both ways, one is WRONG" and numerous e-mails to that effect.

Any other sayings that are really useful if everyone has the same mindset?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: GUEST,DaveRo
Date: 20 May 15 - 05:38 AM

I'd never use 'to the left' or 'to the right' about turning a knob or a nut. It's always struck me as an unhelpful description. I would always use 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise'. But you still have to adjust for perspective - as anybody who's reached down under a car engine and worked out which way to unscrew the oil drain plug will know.

But I know people who have no natural feeling for which way nuts tighten. They just try one way then the other. They probably didn't have Meccano sets as children.

When instructing people helming boats, especially with tillers, it's best to avoid using 'right' and 'left'. Many a collision has resulted...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: Hamish
Date: 20 May 15 - 06:53 AM

I couldn't get the hot tap (fawcett as you over the pond call it, I believe) to work in a hotel room. Standard looking fitting, but the thread was for lever type handles so to turn the water on you had to turn it the wrong way. Never even occurred to me to try the other way. Phoned reception and everything...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 May 15 - 08:02 AM

I don't know whether it's to do with my being left-handed, but I can never work out which way to try to turn an over-tight nut or screw. The problem increases if I have to do it from the side or underneath. I sometimes do a dry run with a screw top bottle. Or just ask Mrs Steve what to do. I have a terrible problem about once a year attaching the gas regulator to my barbecue gas bottle as it has a left-hand thread. A year is plenty enough time in which to forget what to do.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: meself
Date: 20 May 15 - 10:28 AM

I have just discovered after many decades that not only can you unscrew (lefty-loosey) the cap of a rum bottle, to open it, but you can screw it back on again (righty-tighty), to close it. Why didn't anyone ever tell me that?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 May 15 - 10:31 AM

I've discovered after many decades that you can unscrew (lefty-loosey) the cap of a wine bottle and that there's absolutely no point screwing it back on again. I've found that out all by myself.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 May 15 - 10:54 AM

I can never work out which way to try to turn an over-tight nut or screw.
I have to visualise turning on a tap first.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: Rumncoke
Date: 20 May 15 - 12:48 PM

In my kitchen I have two sinks, and one has the levers twisting inwards and the other ones turn outwards - yes, I did ask for them to be that way, it is a sort of test.
If the little grey cells start to degenerate, there are all sorts of things to do before it is too late, so I want to catch it early.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 May 15 - 03:02 PM

Despite working in a life and death situation in an engine room where if you don't do clockwise close, anticlockwise open you can end up dead, if I think too hard about turning a nut with a spanner I can lose the plot, particularly if the nut is underneath like on the toilet cistern this morning. If I don't think about it I can usually get it right straight away. Good philosophy, Rumn.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: GUEST,Roger
Date: 20 May 15 - 03:11 PM


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 May 15 - 03:14 PM

I find I never have to put the cap back on a rum bottle!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: Joe_F
Date: 20 May 15 - 03:15 PM

Hamish & Rumncoke: I used to wonder what perverse inventor (misbegotten on a plumber by a baboon) came up with those faucets that turned in opposite directions. But they seem to have disappeared almost entirely in America. I haven't seen such a sink for years.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 May 15 - 04:25 PM

We have a summer cabin in northern Wisconsin. (Actually my wife owns it jointly with her sister. It was built by their grandfather and passed down through the family. My wife and I take principal responsibility for maintaining it.)

The cabin isn't winterized, so every fall we have to drain the water out of the plumbing system so it won't freeze and burst the pipes. This involves opening and closing several valves. My wife is younger, smaller, and more agile than I am, and she is better at squeezing into small spaces than I am, so she usually does the work while I supervise.

She has memorized the phrase "righty tighty, lefty loosey" and is able to apply it correctly as long as she is looking at the valve straight on, but if the valve stem is pointing away from her, and she has to reach around behind something to put her hand on it, she always gets confused. Fortunately, she knows she gets confused so she always asks me which way to turn it. At times like this, she also gets confused about left and right, so she asks me: "Do I turn it toward the lake, or turn it toward the highway?"

By the way, the trend these days is for plumbers to install ball valves rather than the older gate valves. My wife finds these less confusing because the handle only moves 90 degrees, and it is easier for her to remember that the valve is open when the handle is parallel to the pipe, and closed when the handle is perpendicular to the pipe. I like them too, because you can tell at a glance whether the valve is open or closed, and you can't over-tighten them.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 21 May 15 - 03:59 PM

I've never had much trouble turning nuts in awkward positions. I know if I turn it clockwise it will move away from me, and if I turn it anti-clockwise it will move towards me. As long as I know whether I want to tighten it or loosen it, I'm OK.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 21 May 15 - 04:05 PM

Many years ago, my late uncle turned off the water before going on holiday. I don't know what you Americans call a stop cock, but it was one of those gate valves Jim refers to above. When everyone got back home, he found the tap had jammed, so he got his trusty adjustable spanner (wrench) and applied sufficient torque to ... shear the tap off the spindle.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 21 May 15 - 04:07 PM

I'm lost....

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 May 15 - 04:33 PM

That righty-tighty nonsense doesn't help you with threads, because they have a circular motion, not a linear left-to-right motion. The proper way is to use the Rule of Thumb. Point your thumb in the direction you want the bolt or nut or whatever to go, and your fingers will show you the direction you should turn it. If it's a right-hand thread (as most are), use your right hand. If it's a left-hand thread, use your left hand.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: GUEST,saddo
Date: 21 May 15 - 07:06 PM

Clockwise and anti-clockwise don't make sense to kids in a digital age


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 21 May 15 - 07:19 PM

One of the more ridiculous popular sayings is 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger', trotted out by pop singers and football pundits alike.

Its origin is attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche; 'That which does not kill us makes us stronger.'


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: mayomick
Date: 21 May 15 - 08:16 PM

It took me ages to work out which way "from left to right" in a group photograph was supposed to go. "The man standing to the left of Mr X" Did that mean from the perspective of Mr X or from my perspective viewing the photo ? I used to have similar confusion over wind direction - whether a westerly wind comes from or blows to the west.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: meself
Date: 21 May 15 - 11:46 PM

Aren't you supposed to wet your finger and then stick it your ear and sing Blowin' in the Wind if you don't have a weatherman to tell you which way the wind blows? Or is that just another urban colloquialism?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 22 May 15 - 04:30 AM

Agree with "saddo". Trying to call dances with a student clientele, they mainly don't understand clockwise and anti-clockwise. As for "fall back into place" - one young man lay down on the floor!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: ambiguous colloquialisms ?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 22 May 15 - 12:32 PM

I remember being stuck at a Scout camp with a (hired)mini-bus with a flat tyre. Despite my build & youth (at the time) I couldn't shift the wheel nuts.

Fortunately a passing wise-arse pointed out that this make of bus had left-handed threads on one side of the vehicle.


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