When I had just come out of basic, I went on to vocational training as a signaller (today I think they call them comms. specialists). One of the Platoon Commanders, let's just call him Jake, was a very fair and competent officer (Lt.) with one major defect:
He had a terrible memory when it came to the names of items. He could remember what things were called with time and effort - but he needed to squint and frown, and you could practically hear the wheels turning, before he was able to get the right term or acronym.
(And in case you think this was a language issue, no, it wasn't, English was his native tongue).
He wasn't dumb or anything, just really really bad with names.
In a number of situations, when he used name without pausing to think hard enough, he would end up causing total confusion.
My first experience of this was when he asked me and my buddy to retireve a spare battery from the "radio truck", and run back to the exercise area.
Being totally new to signals at the time, we assumed "radio truck" was the technically correct term for some sort of vehicle; and surely someone could point it out to us. Well, no one knew what the hell we meant by "radio truck", we got chewed out for "not listening properly", and we wasted 15 minutes running up and down looking for the mythical truck.
It turns out that what he meant was a unimog.
The second time was when he smoked us, for having a weapon that wasn't properly cleaned (the NCO in the armoury had informed him, when we admittedly turned in dirty weapons for the third time).
We were then told he never wanted to hear about the damn "semi-automatic weapon" again.
Later, after much debate back and forth about what "semi-automatic weapon" he was referring to, someone was able to determine that he meant the Squad Automatic Weapon.
The height of hilarity was when he told the Platoon Sergeant to get out some wire, instead of some D10 cables (of the sort we used for line-laying, back in the old days when things were more analogue). The poor Platoon Sergeant, or rather poor us, wound up carrying concertina wire to the exercise...with no cables.
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