Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

August 2016

Is there a name for the feeling that, when something a person values is not understood by others, it must be explained or corrected constantly?


Like my old friend Tim saying at least once a day, “It’s not pink, it’s salmon!” His car, a Chevy convertible, had a standard transmission so I had to drive it to his house when he bought it. My memory is of the snowstorm we soldiered through from Wakefield to Wellesley during a long, slippery trip on Massachusetts Route 128, me following Tim’s dad’s big Buick with Dynaflow transmission.

I didn’t notice the color of Tim’s car then, but, you know, decades after high school graduation, if asked, anyone who remembered Tim would say he had a pink car.


This condition, or whatever, that I am seeking to identify by name is really something, because no matter how often you are corrected you continue to see pink, not salmon, so to speak.


Like how often has Bernie had to correct the notion that he’s not a socialist but a democratic socialist. (Is that hyphenated? Should it be?) Yes, I got it: Bernie’s a socialist.


I’ve been married more than 50 years, and I can’t remember what things my wife prefers to put ketchup on. That’s crazy, no? She’ll tell me and I’ll acknowledge, but she’ll have to tell me again.


When there are several ways to get from point A to point B and you have a favorite way, you never go another way just for the heck of it, right?


It’s kind of like duckling imprinting I guess. One and done: If a little ducky figures the puppy is the one, there’s no changing the bird brain.


Is it as simple as that?


This from my research: “In human-computer interaction, baby duck syndrome denotes the tendency for computer users to ‘imprint’ on the first system they learn, then judge other systems by their similarity to that first system. The result is that ‘users’ generally prefer systems similar to those they learned on and dislike unfamiliar systems. The issue may present itself relatively early in a computer user’s experience, and has been observed to impede education of students in new software systems.”


So says Wikipedia, so maybe it is as simple as all that.