Ms. Frizzle: (during a brainstorming session to find ways to simplify an algebraic expression) That's not even remotely close!
Boy 1: What does "remote" mean?
Ms. F: Far away, not close to here. We traveled to a remote village on our safari. Your answer wasn't even close!
Boy 2: Oh, I thought you meant like TV remote!
Students: (in low voices) Yeah, yeah.
Ms. F: (makes funny face) Um, riiiiight. No, seriously, where do you think the remote control gets its name?
Blank stares from 2/3 of students. A few - future English majors - start to get that "catching-on" look....
Ms. F: You can use a remote control to turn the TV on and off... remotely. Without getting up off the couch!
Students: Oooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh! Oh, yeah!
Ms. F: Wait... that was news to all of you?
Students: (laughing) Yeah.
Ms. F: (Turns dramatically, places hands on chalkboard, knocks forehead against chalkboard, laughs).
As I later realized and pointed out, I barely remember a time before the remote, so I guess my students - born more than ten years later - wouldn't have thought about these things.