There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and shelf-lies.
What the hell is the last one? Glad you asked!
The last one is the kind that is generally so innocuous you don't have any reason to question them. These are generally told to you as a kid, either by an older sibling or a parent. Most lies have a fairly quick expiration date, not so with the shelf-lie.
For example, "Don't eat too many peanuts, it'll give you appendicitous."
Stupid? Yes, to you and me. So the parents forget about this li'l factoid, I mean, after all, it was just to keep the kid outta the cabinet. The kid, (not me, honest!), carries it around up until their freshman year of college, and then expounds in front of a couple of pre-med students, and then he gets mocked for the rest of the semester.
"Stay away from those peanuts, yuk yuk!"
Really though, no one should get too cocky. The chances are everybody's carrying around a mnemonic land mine. Whether it's a parent guessing on an answer they don't know, "AM" means "American Music," "FM" means "Foreign Music!" or just not pronouncing "parmesan" as /par-mee-zee-un/, for laffs.
Everyone's most likely toting around a few shelf-lies.
For me, it was the Disney nature movie, where lemmings were caught on camera committing suicide. "It's a natural instinct, it keeps the population of these nordic rodents down, plus it feeds many predators," my family and I were told, as we watched while eating dinner. Well, it's natural if they're being chased by the film crew. It was attributed to a "simpler time" where people were a bit less sensative to animal rights, and to the necessity of catching drama in nature. These days, I'm thinking it may have been more attributable to a drunken and bored camera crew that were pissed over lessening of paid expenses on their nature shoot toward the relatives of their employer's mascot. I can just see them shambling down the fjord at the lemmings, yelling and tossing stones, "Take that! Ya' cheapskate rodent!"
No, it doesn't make much sense in retrospect, but at the time, said with that steady narrator's tone and sympathetic background, I swallowed it down along with mom's sphaghetti.
I carried this particular lie for over two decades. I think it was Snopes or some other service that finally drowned this misconception. See? The internet really is good for stuff!
I theorize that the incident with Dusty Baker, manager of the Chicago Cubs at the time, was an example of this when he said, in 2003, ""What I meant is that blacks and Latins take the heat better than most whites, and whites take the cold better than most blacks and Latins. That's it, pure and simple. Nothing deeper than that."
A young pre-teen Dusty was coming back into the house on a hot summer's day, complaining to his mom that it was too hot to go out. His mom was tired of him sitting around, so she looked out the window, saw a couple of caucasian kids and cooked up some rationale like, "You see those two, [looks out window] ...those white kids out there? Well, they're playing out in this heat and it's a lot harder for them!"
He carried that around for three plus decades, then realized it was just bullshit to get him some more exercise as a kid, too late, but like a good and dutiful son, never spilled the beans. I know Cubs fans will never forgive Baker for the crime of being "a shitty manager", but hopefully they let this slide. I'll always admire him for his being a good kid that didn't fink on his mom, (or possibly another gaurdian).
Okay, that's it for now, and that's no lie!