I have come to a startling realisation: it is just incredible how little attention we pay to detail, how imprecise we are, how much rubbish we inadvertently talk.
For instance, yesterday in a reply to a text message I said the trains weren’t working. No sooner did I hit send than I realised that was nonsense: the trains were working fine, the problem was with the rail infrastructure. I only realised because I sent this false statement to my dad, who works in the rail industry. Worse, despite sending a second text to correct myself, I realise as I sit here writing that within 2 hours I had repeated the same inaccurate statement to the journalist I was meeting.
I can only confess to the rubbish I notice myself talking – “The ferries are on strike” is an enduring classic – God only knows what else has passed unchecked. Before you point and laugh, please excuse my lack of tact in pointing out that you talk rubbish, too.
In fact everyone talks rubbish and one piece of rubbish that a lot of people talk goes along the lines of “pensions are rubbish”. If any of them actually paid attention to what they themselves were saying, they would never make such a vague and ridiculous assertion. What they really mean varies: perhaps, that investment returns over the last x number of years have been much lower than they expected (nothing to do with pensions, as such) or that they have realised they will not be able to achieve their retirement aspirations (which were absurdly optimistic).