“Oh, that’s easy”

I’m reminded constantly that there are things I know that I figure “everybody” knows, but of course, they don’t.

I was having a conversation – which is to say a face-to-face conversation, in person, not online – with someone recently. Something in the flow of the conversation led to me recalling a time at a job when I needed help finding information. Invariably, she would say, “Oh, that’s easy.” This would usually irritate me, on two levels: 1) it wasn’t necessarily easy for me, and 2) she was giving short shrift to her own skills.

The conversation proceeded and my friend told a story. When it was over, I said, “Now THAT’S a blog post. You need to write it. And if you do, I’ll link it to MY blog.” And so now I have.

I’m reminded constantly that there are things I know that I figure “everybody” knows, but of course, they don’t. URL shorteners, such as bit.ly or tinyurl, are especially useful when the URL is so long it cuts off in the e-mail. Searching Google at top-level domains (for instance, .edu, .gov) by typing site:.edu or site:.edu. It also works with .pdf, BTW. BOTH of these tips I shared with two different people who had no idea.

Still, I’m a bit surprised when I’m watching JEOPARDY! on TV, the topic is the Internet, and NONE of the contestants, who are clearly younger than I, get the question right, but I do. “The animal for which this computer program is named is actually a red panda.”

The answer is Firefox.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

9 thoughts on ““Oh, that’s easy””

  1. Thanks, Rog. It can be colossally annoying too. I remember being confused getting around a new office and this guys says, “it’s not complicated.” I replied, “To you. You know it already. If I let you loose in my house I’ll bet you might have trouble telling room from closet too.” Let’s not be jerks, right?

  2. Spirit – once, maybe, but several times, it became frustrating. If it’s ALWAYS easy, and it isn’t easy for me…

  3. Lisa- I’ve noticed that the hardest reference questions are the ones that seem, at first blush, to be easy.

  4. That’s a phrase that I use far too much. I tend to use it when I mean “I feel this is easy – you can do it, too!”

    I should probably substitute “you’ll get the hang of it” for “it’s easy!”

  5. Roger, I went over, read that piece, and commented in part that it takes a person of strong character to be able to tell that story about his/herself. The embarrassing moments can prove to be the best lessons. THANKS. Amy

  6. There are people who distrust URL shorteners, simply because they don’t give you any clue about where the link is actually going.

    Twitter is a hotbed of shortened URLs; TweetDeck, before Twitter bought it, was savvy enough to decode a shortened URL before you clicked on it, by putting the real URL in a bubble. This feature has been killed off. Then again, Twitter now pushes its own shortener: t.co. I use bit.ly myself.

  7. I use bit.ly myself, and usually add the full URL (or if it’s too long, the root address).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.