At least I’m not the Yalie who was called out recently on Facebook for conflating renowned scientist and victim of radiation-poisoning Marie Curie with similarly-yet-differently renowned singer and diva Mariah Carey.
But I do have equally embarrassing things that I confuse with one another. Here are a few of them.
- Guy Fieri and Gordon Ramsay: They’re both celebrity chefs, right? And one of them is nice but the other one is mean? And which one has crazy hair?
- AAA batteries, Triple A, and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous)
- Chris Pratt, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Evans: Studly white male actors named Chris! And they’re all studly in kind of the same rugged-yet-clean-cut way. But I’ve been led to believe that they’re different people. Chris Pratt is weight loss-Jurassic World guy, Chris Hemsworth is Australian Thor, Chris Pine is hipster dad/current Captain Kirk, and Chris Evans is Captain America.
- Bad and Boujee and Black Beatles: Rap-type songs with alliterative ‘B’ titles that hit the top in the past year.
- Mel Brooks, Mel Gibson, Gene Wilder: There’s a world in which it kind of makes sense: here, let me take you into the convoluted depths of my subconscious. Mel Brooks and Mel Gibson are both directors named Mel. Gene Wilder was in a lot of Mel Brooks movies. Not complete scrambled nonsense. Except that I believe Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks were both Jewish, while Mel Gibson is infamous for some inexcusable anti-semitic comments.
- Jimi Hendrix and Jim Henson
- Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky: Russian composers. I do know the difference and I’m getting better at recalling the right name immediately. Stravinsky write The Rite of Spring, about Slavic Pagan Sacrifice, while Tchaikovsky wrote the rather more child-friendly Nutcracker.
- Momo and A Letter to Momo: Momo is an adorable book by Michael Ende (the writer of The Never-Ending Story), highly recommend. But I do always want to call it by the lengthier title ‘A Letter to Momo’, which is the name of an okay anime film.
- Anna Christie and Queen Christina: 1930s films starring Greta Garbo as similarly named characters, neither of which I’ve seen.
- The Pianist, The Piano, The Piano Teacher, Shoot the Piano Player: Films, films with titular pianos.
- Leonardo Da Vinci and Vincent Van Gogh: Artists with three-word names, not at all similar in time period or style. But the letter V. It must mean something. Le-oh-nar-do. Van Gogh. Vinci. Vincent. It’s understandable, right? I’m not just a philistine?
- Fred Astaire and Frank Sinatra: I’ll take Fred Astaire over Frank Sinatra any day, but they do have some similarities that lead to me sometimes getting the names confused. Both slight men with lovely singing voices who did some work in the movies. And the Fr- sound.
- Frank Sinatra and Johnny Cash: Can’t even explain this one, honestly. I think it’s a holdover from when I was very young and got confused because they were both singers.
- George Clooney and Clint Eastwood: I haven’t confused them in eight or so years (i.e., since I realized I’m not a big fan of Clooney while I am wildly in love with Clint Eastwood).