Created By: RaustBD on June 20, 2011 Last Edited By: RaustBD on June 21, 2011
Nuked

Hit The Nail Right On The Point

When a common misconception is so wrong the opposite is closer to the truth

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Let's say that a battle once took place between two tribes, the Alphanards and the Betagauts. In popular culture, this battle is often portrayed with the Alphanards as the heroes, triumphing over the Betagauts with the power of teamwork and courage.

Except that in reality, it was the Alphanards vs A Betagaut, singular. Because the Betagauts were a tribe so ravaged by debilitating illness that only one man was fit to fight. Furthermore, the Alphanards were actually being A Bit Dickish, taking the opportunity to pillage and murder with impunity. This singular Betagaut was having no more of this, and so he went up against the entire Alphanard tribe's war forces alone to take a stand for his people.

Which brings us to the final error with the popular depiction of the battle: The lone Betagaut won.

So... just how wrong is this misconception? Well it's not just wrong. It's so wrong the opposite is much MUCH closer to the truth.

Which means that the people who hold this misconception have Hit The Nail Right On The Point. They've pretty much concluded the exact opposite of the truth.

Note: When adding real life examples, make sure that:

1: The misconception was stated confidently by a notable figure.

2: The facts against this misconception are demonstrable, and not a matter of belief or opinion.

Otherwise we'll get into a huge edit war every five minutes.
Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • June 20, 2011
    Ardiente
  • June 20, 2011
    Kilyle
    The other day I was conlanging, and divided negatives up into five or six variants. "That's practically the (effective) opposite of the truth!" was one of them. ("Logical opposite" was another, for which you only need one part to be opposite, instead of roughly the whole mess.)

    I'm not sure I like your title, but the concept itself is useful. Are you aiming for a Popcultural Misinterpretations sphere ("everybody thinks the Knights were so noble"), or...?
  • June 20, 2011
    RaustBD
    Yeah, I also thought of "Dead Jaguar Trope," but that restricted the concept to overused tropes, when it can be more than that. Any other suggestions?
  • June 20, 2011
    RaustBD
    and Kilyle, I'm not too attached to the title, I'm totally open to suggestions. It can be a popular misconception, but maybe it would work better as some sort of variant of Did Not Do The Research? Where the result is well beyond merely inaccurate?
  • June 20, 2011
    Hadashi
    There's a load of real-life battles that qualify for that, a huge number. Not to mention the victors always seem to turn out to be 'just' (according to their own history anyway).
  • June 20, 2011
    RaustBD
    that was just an example, it's not specifically referring to battles.
  • June 20, 2011
    Hadashi
    I know, I was just saying your example is pretty true to life.
  • June 20, 2011
    Dcoetzee
    I don't have any more examples (which this needs), but possible titles:
  • June 20, 2011
    RaustBD
    How about "Hit The Nail Right On The Point", the opposite of Hit The Nail Right On The Head?
  • June 20, 2011
    RaustBD
    As for some examples...

    • The phrase "Bull In A China Shop," meaning prone to wreak havoc and damage, was tested by the Mythbusters one episode. Turned out that the bull WASN'T noticeably more destructive towards the shelves of china. As a matter of fact, it deftly navigated through the entire network of shelves without tipping over a single one of them, while it was chasing somebody.

    • Public reception of Charles Darwin over the years has been... polarizing, to say the least. Often the claim has been made that he, and by extension his theory, was extremely racist. His journal he kept aboard the Beagle, however, showed that not only was he NOT particularly more racist than his contemporaries, but he was actually among the most progressive and racially-compassionate men of his time, utterly disgusted by slavery and European ethnocentrism.
  • June 20, 2011
    dotchan
    Charles Darwin was also emphatically not an Atheist--even in the Origin of Species itself he talks very distinctly about The Creator.
  • June 20, 2011
    mrcoolantspray
    Hit The Nail Right On The Point=genius. Literary example: George RR Martin's A Song Of Ice And Fire, Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer. A member of the king's inner circle of bodyguards, he committed regicide. The whole realm thinks he did it for kicks and giggles, self-aggrandizement, or just out-and-out power grabbing for his family. He's pretty much universally loathed. In truth, he found out about the king's Taking You With Me plot, and acted to prevent the king from igniting his alchemical WOMD. Wordy, but then it is a Doorstopper series.
  • June 20, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    ^ I think this seems to apply more to information that is readily available, and still gotten wrong, rather than something which has been purposefully covered up, which that example seems to be, but that's just what I got from the description.
  • June 20, 2011
    jaytee
    This absolutely needs to be limited to fictional examples only.

    The description could also use some work. It took me three reads to understand what was going on with those two tribes, and "so wrong the opposite is much closer to the truth" is just a bad way to describe the trope.
  • June 20, 2011
    SquirrelGuy
    One common stereotype in fiction, common enough that it's almost a trope in itself, is campers/hikers climbing a tree to escape a bear. In reality, most bears can climb trees -- especially the black bear, who can probably climb faster than you. The bear would only have you cornered up in a tree better than if you tried to escape by other means.

    Almost as bad as "Flash flood warning!! Quick, everyone into the basement!!"
  • June 20, 2011
    jaytee
    New title is confusing. "Hitting the nail on the head" is the same as being "right on point".
  • June 20, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    I agree with Jaytee.
  • June 21, 2011
    RaustBD
    When I say "point" I mean the pointy end. as in, the exact opposite part of the nail from what you're supposed to hit.
  • June 21, 2011
    Lavalyte
  • June 21, 2011
    jaytee
    ^^I understand, but my point is that using "point" in the title points to all kinds of possible interpretations that may not be completely on point.
  • June 21, 2011
    RaustBD
    How about "Hit The Nail Right On The Foot"?
  • June 21, 2011
    Frank75
    A Joke from Radio Erivan (Armenia):

    Q: "Is it true that the famous astronaut Yuri Gagarin won a trip to the USA when he was in Leningrad?" A: "Yes, except that it wasn't in Leningrad, but Moscow, and it wasn't Gagarin, but Gagarov, and it wasn't Yuri, but Oleg, and he isn't an astronaut but a pensioner, and it wasn't a trip to the US, but a bicycle, and he didn't win it, it was stolen from him."

    Wait... actually that sounds like Dis Simile.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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