Daily Archives: May 16, 2014

A likely story

In my morning English class I was teaching the correct use of the adjective likely. It had been raining on and off for a few weeks  but had not rained so far that day, so I decided to use that situation to elicit an example. “For example,” I said, “it isn’t raining now, but I think there’s a high probability of rain later today. How could I say that using the word likely?” One of my students said, “It is likely to rain later today” — and then immediately, I mean literally less than one second after that sentence was out of her mouth, it suddenly started pouring down rain, making a terrific noise.

“Now you’ve done it!” said one of the other students (in Chinese). “Why’d you have to choose that example?” Everyone laughed.

“Don’t worry,” I said, going along with the joke. “Everyone repeat after me: The rain is likely to stop in a few seconds.” They did so, and sure enough, about 20 seconds later the rain stopped completely and the sun came out.


I know these are not particularly impressive coincidences — I was, after all, predicting events which were likely — but still, the timing seemed uncanny.

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Filed under Anecdotes, Coincidence / Synchronicity