Baby Talk

Hello and welcome back to yet another week of indiscriminately untrustworthy information here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question submitted by an entity going by the name of “Patty,” though I have reason to believe that it is an assumed name. “Patty” asked:

How come people – especially myself – ask and answer questions when they talk to babies? “Are you smiling? Yes, you’re smiling. Are you a cute baby? Yes, you’re a cute baby. Are you eating? Yes, you’re eating.”

Despite Patty’s perhaps less-than-spotless credentials, this is a very pertinent question. Many, no doubt, have experienced the very phenomenon that our friend Patty describes. In so few other situations do people answer their own questions aloud so quickly, that it drives us to wonder about the reason for it.

The answer, however, is a simple one, one which sheds light on (or is pointed to by) the intrinsic nature of babies. While usually very young, all babies are exceedingly intelligent. Their minds contain multitudes, a vast sea of knowledge which the adult world cannot hope to comprehend.

Considering the inordinate intelligence of babies, it should come as no surprise that they invariably know the answer to any question that could be posed to them – indeed, in most cases, they arrive at the answer without even taking significant time for thought. In their infinite wisdom and kindness, babies wish to share this wealth of knowledge and information that they hold, particularly when we ask questions, displaying our thirst for this very knowledge.

Unfortunately, no matter how much they know within their minds, most babies at that tender age have not yet developed the facility with tongue and lips to be able to communicate through spoken language – and, due to the differences in age and culture, pantomime is of only a very limited effectiveness.

Fortunately, though, the vast knowledge of babies includes sciences beyond our imagination, such as the near-mystical (to us) art of telepathy. They can answer our questions quite simply by sending the answers directly into our heads.

However, most adults, unversed as we are in telepathy ourselves, are unable to recognize knowledge that has been sent in from an outside source. We are given to doubting ourselves, to assuming the information is merely the product of a leap in our own imaginations. So the babies prod a little more with their awesome telepathy, prompting us to speak their answers aloud so that we will hear them, and understand the information that they themselves cannot yet voice.

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Disclaimer: the above post is unapologetically false. Do not trust information predicated on the musings of spambots.

Bright and Early

Hello and welcome to yet another wonderful week of warped truths and outright fictions here at Factually Deficient! Despite the lateness of the hour, this week I will answer a question posed by my friend Tohrinha. Tohrinha asked:

Why is getting up before sunrise called “bright and early”?

Tohrinha has asked an excellent question, based on the fact that before sunrise it is neither bright–with the sun not up, the sky is frequently reasonably dark–nor early–before the sun rises, it is still night, and therefore very very late.

On the surface, therefore, one might think that this phrase were totally inaccurate, or merely sarcastic. However, the one thinking that would be wrong.

The word “bright” has more than one meaning. While it can, and frequently does, refer to the intensity of light, it can also refer to intelligence.

Many people have heard of an expression that claims, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” There are many things wrong with this expression: for one thing, it is grammatically incomplete–it is not a real sentence! For another, Factually Deficient’s crack team of scientists informs us that early rising and early sleeping, in conjunction, repeated for any number of days, do not produce wealth. However, there is one truth to that expression: early rising causes wisdom.

Rising before the sun comes up is an inducer, and therefore an indicator, of intelligence – thus, it is termed “bright.”

As for “early”, this word, too, originally had a different meaning. When describing rising before the sun, “early” does not refer to preliminary timing–as stated above, that would be absurd, considering that pre-sunrise is actually very late.

Rather, “early” is actually “Earl-y” – in a manner resembling an earl. In medieval times, early rising was a mark of nobility. While the peasantry were lazy and stayed abed, the highest-ranked of the gentry–chief among them, earls–would be awake in time to watch the sunrise in all its glory, confident that it had been designed specifically for them.

One who is up before the sun can truly be called “bright and early”–wise and noble, in every sense.

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Disclaimer: Many of the claims made in this blog post are extremely false. The medieval peasantry were not uniformly lazy.