I was at Home Depot the other day. Yes, Home Depot (and not Lowe's) because the other store we had to go to shares a (massive, sprawling) parking lot with Home Depot and I wanted to stick it to the man by walking in between errands.
Also, does anyone else call it "Home Despot"?
I was looking for one tiny item; namely, these:
So after spending the better part of 10 minutes tracking down a customer service representative - and when I found one, I found four of them, huddled together. I don't think they should hang out in packs, maybe that's why they're so scarce in the actual store? - I asked where I could find said items.
But I couldn't remember what their actual name was. So I asked where to find "those white plastic things that police use as handcuffs at riots and stuff." After they all had a good laugh at my expense, one of the employees showed me to the right place, and also told me that they're called "zip ties."
Come to think of it, there are quite a few things in life that I either don't know the name for or I do know it, but I've been pronouncing it wrong all my life. Sometimes, these errors are caught by trusted friends before I expose myself to general ridicule. Other times, I'm not so lucky. Recent occurrences include being told that Reuter's is pronounced "Royters," not "Rooters;" that the "t" is silent in both "Colbert" and "Report" (how could I have known that one?!?); and that all this time, the book's title is Far From the Madding Crowd and not Far From the Maddening Crowd.
At least now I know. And knowing is half the battle.