Boak: This has a really nice malt flavour — that grainy, chewy breadiness—
Nearby Bloke: Err… correction! It’s obvious this is made from only pale malt which contributes exactly zero flavour to a beer.
Boak: Well, I’m thinking of the malt flavour you might get in a good lager like–
Nearby Bloke: That’s hops! If there’s flavour in a pale beer, it’s hops. (Face reddening) PALE MALT DOESN’T ADD FLAVOUR!
Boak: (Realising she can’t win, hoping he’ll go away) Uh-huh.
Nearby Bloke: (Sensing that he’s being humoured) No, seriously, and I should know. I’m a beer expert myself.
We sometimes move in geeky circles, it can’t be denied, and we geeks occasionally struggle with some elements of human interaction. Aggressively correcting people is one of the worst habits of the hardened geek.
Nearby Bloke could have started the above conversation with: “Excuse me, I was interested in what you were saying there, because I’ve always understood that pale malt contributes little flavour to a beer….”
Even if you are one hundred per cent sure you’re right, what is to be gained from entering a conversation with a bullish cry of WRONG! and a hectoring tone? It leaves you nowhere to go but redder, shriller and weirder.
PS. Another bad habit of geeks: referring to large groups of people as ‘sheep’ or ‘idiots’.