Confusion Abounds

Filling out a car insurance quote recently: ‘Is your car left- or right-hand drive?’

This question always stumps me. We drive on the left here in Blighty, my car is designed for UK driving, so surely it’s a left-hand drive? Nope. apparently it’s where the driver sits (as viewed from behind); it’s a right-hand drive car.

I also tend to get confused by ‘the inside lane’ on a motorway. Surely the inside lane is the one nearest the central reservation (aka median)… It is, after all, on the ‘inside’ of the road. Turns out though, that this is the outside lane; the inside is the one on the left.

Please comfort me by confirming I’m not the only one perpetually confused by definitions like these!

4 thoughts on “Confusion Abounds”

  1. Left or right, up or down, nothing is obvious.

    It reminds me of the first time I demonstrated a windowing computer to my boss, about 1990, using Word. Whenever he wanted to scroll down the document window with the scrollbar, he clicked on the top arrow. He was trying to move the ‘paper’ upwards, and thought the way it was designed was all wrong.

    And I thought ‘Yes, you are right!’

    Try it yourself. In fact, the GUI designers made it counter-intuitive. They made it so that when we click on the scrollbar up-arrow, we are actually moving the paper downwards.

    The way the GUI designers did it is not at all obvious, natural or intuitive, just like inside vs. outside lane.

  2. You should try being a driving instructor like me and trying to explain to many different levels of educated people terms such as inside/outside lane, or even the good old left verses right – it’s hell out there!!

  3. It took me the ages to get the difference between “nearside” and “offside” when getting new tyres. I think the nearside one means nearest the kerb, and offsite, er, isn’t.

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