I find it very annoying when people seem to listen to you, but when you later get back to what was said, you realize they can’t remember it. In this case we can say that your words went in one ear and out the other.
Obviously, this has been happening for thousands of years, as one of the early written uses of the idiom dates back to the times of Ancient Rome.
And being an inattentive listener seems to be part of human nature, given the common presence of the expression in most European languages. The Italians, for example, say entrare da un orecchio e uscire dall’altro, the French equivalent is entrer par une oreille et sortir par l’autre, and we, Russians, say в одно ухо влетело, в другое вылетело.
And it can be really frustrating when important information is lost like this. So, next time you’re told something you wish to remember, make an effort and don’t let it go in one ear and out the other.
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