Dumb Things People Say 1: “What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You”

Although my other blogging series has stalled a little bit (don’t worry, I haven’t permanently forgotten it), I decided to go ahead and begin a new, semi-regular series: Dumb Things People Say.

One of the good things about a series like this is that I should never run out of examples.

This series is less about making fun of popular catchphrases (Holla!) and more about examining statements that have almost become axioms—things that people say as if they were cosmic truths, but in reality, are at least partially inaccurate and sometimes, woefully stupid.

Today’s Dumb Thing, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you,” is somewhere in between, and it (or some variation thereof) is heard all the time.

I was pretty young the first time I heard this, maybe 8 years old or so, but I distinctly remember the situation. One of my cousins had given my older brother several pairs of blue jeans, and since they didn’t quite conform to his tastes, he decided to turn them into cut-off shorts.

Being a little surprised by this, I asked him what our cousin would think about his drastic plans. He responded by telling me that “what Kevin doesn’t know won’t hurt him.”

Converting hand-me-down blue jeans to cut-off shorts is an example of when this phrase is actually true, but the problem is that sometimes, what you don’t know can very certainly hurt you very badly.

Like if you don’t realize that the person you’re about to marry has an STD. Or if you fail to get the memo that the area where you’ve chosen to go camping is actually in the middle of bear country. Or if you’re a male living in the United States and you don’t know that when you turn 18 you have to register for the draft. Or if…well, I could go on and on, but you get the idea: what you don’t know can hurt you, and sometimes, it can even kill you.

It’s a dumb thing to say.

So…what are some other dumb things that people say?


snowroses 10/15/07, 9:04 AM  

I agree with you. It's really really stupid to say that. I've been annoyed with that saying for a long time. Glad to see someone blog about it! :)

Luke Dockery 10/16/07, 3:18 PM  


Thanks for stopping by my blog; you're welcome to anytime.

And (of course) I agree with you. It's amazing how something so inaccurate can be repeated so often.

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