I was making small talk in a slightly awkward social setting recently, and I asked a woman to tell me about her family. She began to tell me about her children.
She said, "Well, I have three sons. The oldest is 26, and he'll be 27. Then our middle son is 22, and he'll be 23. Our youngest son is 18, and he'll be 19."
She was trying to tell me that all of their birthdays are coming soon; they were each just weeks away from turning a year older. But instead, she just told me what age comes next for each of them.
If I had thought faster, and if I wasn't being quite so diplomatic and tactful, I would have said, "So, wait... your youngest is 18, but how old will he be on his next birthday?"
But that would have been rude. And I try not to be.