Passive knowledge

6 July 2017

Describing a location on a street is a bit weird. Nobody uses address numbers. I barely know my own. We say “Down”, “Up”, “At the end of”, “At the beginning”. Up and down can make sense if a street is not flat, but we still use it when it it isn’t. And end? Both the beginning and the end are pretty much the same thing.

The weird thing is, we usually know what is meant. Down usually means central, or away from where we currently are. Up usually means away, less central. The beginning and end is probably similar, where beginning is the end (!) closest to a central feature.

This sorta breaks down in my town, as we have the train station and the literal center of town as reference points. The avenue running between both is a place where this terminology breaks completely.

The funny thing is, we are never explicitly told this. We just pick it up without thinking about it. Probably like a lot of stuff we don’t even realize. What if we mostly learn subconsciously?