(Original post by philistine)
... yet they stuck to their story, and used the 'argument from respect' fallacy. It's happened to everyone at least once, and I think it'd be interesting to see what the point of discussion was. Doesn't matter whether the event(s) took place in primary school, high school, college or university. I can remember quite a few, mostly from high school, though this is the first time that it had happened:
I was in year five, and it was 1998; the days of not seeing a single mobile phone amongst your peers, raging every five minutes at the AOL dial-up connection, and obscenely large quantities of pastel coloured garments. Life was good, man.
I was in red group (the top one), with five or so other children, and we been assigned the task of sorting inventions by century. I think we had twenty or so picture cards, and a table of each century to put them under. Many were quite straightforward, though some were tricky.
After breezing along with the cards, we came to the last one: the automobile. I was convinced, despite being only eight and knowing bupkiss about cars, that the automobile was in fact invented in the nineteenth century. I was damn near certain of it. It may have been the 'important discoveries of the world' poster I had in my room that gave me the hunch, though I couldn't be absolutely sure of it. I stuck with my guns, and convinced my group to file the car under the column for nineteenth century.
So the teacher comes round, correcting the various errors of each of the groups (yellow group had the blockheads, and they totally failed it); she was a wretched harridan of a woman, though I later heard she slipped on a mossy paving stone and broke her hip-- regardless, she came round and graded the activity. We were all feeling quite smug about ourselves; a regular group of Charlie potatoes, confident we'd get maximum points.
But we didn't. We got one thing wrong: the automobile! 'No (name), the automobile was invented in the early twentieth century, not the nineteenth', she said mockingly, reducing us all to a dolorous state, before having them look at me, as if to say, 'this is your fault!'
I argued, naturally, in my own way, though there was no having it; we had balked a point, and I had convinced myself afterwards that maybe I was wrong; maybe it was invented in the twentieth century, and I had simply been mistaken. A shame set in. Like the Japanese novelist Natsume Soseki, I had been reduced to a puddle of human turmoil; to be found ignorant on a subject, despite not even knowing how a willy goes into a hoo-hoo, was deeply shameful.
Several years later, I'm not sure how old I was, I remember seeing a DK information book on- yep, you guessed it- the history of the automobile! I will never forget what the first page said:
The modern-day automobile... existing in various states... generally considered to be invented by one Karl Benz... in 1885.
It was from that day onward that my laurels grew so weighty and spacious, they had trouble returning to earth until I was about eighteen.