# Don’t speak geek to your family

In planning my recent vacation an email thread was started about who would be picking up the groceries.  Most importantly, who would be picking up the drinks.  My brother was quick to volunteer.  I said in no uncertain terms I didn't want any of drinkA [1].  In the past my brother was known to buy large quantities of drinkA.

Or at least I thought I said it in no uncertain terms.  As we arrived I opened the fridge to find a large quantity of drinkA.  I stared in disbelief and confronted my brother.  He responded with "yeah, I thought it was weird that your email said to buy that but since you clearly wanted it ..."  After several other family members said the same, I placed the blame on a busy week at work and a simple typo.

Luckily my wife brought up the email in question as proof of my mistake.  The line read

"Jason we want beer.  For the purpose of the beach beer != drinkA"

To most people reading this entry the meaning is as clear as it can be.  Don't buy drinkA.  Unfortunately the rest of my family are not programmers and read this as an emphatic equals sign.

Lesson learned.

[1] The particular drink in question is not important.

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1. Jason says:

It was Miller Lite!  One of the best beers for a numerous beer occasion.  And I still do not know what the hell != means…

2. Michael says:

!= is the "not equal" operator (and so the opposite of "==" ) in some programming languages, so "beach beer != drinkA" should mean "any beer but not drinkA"

3. sepeck says:

Ahhh… It’s hard to make jokes in a different language đź™‚

4. Jason M says:

Perhaps the VB <> would have worked better? At least it will make the uneducated reader go "huh?" and ask for clarification.

5. @Jason M

Unfortunately I was in the middle of a C++ marathon at the time and != was the first tool that came to mind.

6. SteveAn says:

Miller Lite is not beer.

Pliney the Elder – THAT’s beer.