Funk’s Observation

Hindsight isn’t 20/20 — it’s at least 20/15, and sometimes 20/10.

About Funk’s Observation:

I’ve never understood how aphorism, “hindsight is 20/20” came to mean that one’s understanding of past events is clearer than one’s contemporaneous understanding of the same events. 20/20 means normal vision (being able to clearly see at 20 feet what one should be able to see clearly at 20 feet), so this saying literally means that upon reflection, things in the past are as clear as they should be to one of normal vision. Huh? There’s a disconnect here. 

That’s why I rewrote the popular saying.

To be clear (pun intended*): 20/15 means one can see clearly from 20 feet away what someone with normal vision can discern at 15 feet, and 20/10 means being able to clearly see from 10 feet away what a person with normal vision can see clearly when 10 feet away. Both of those indicate seeing more clearly than normal.

* I’m known for committing puns all too frequently.

[Originally published May 18, 2014]