A rare triple divergence

Language Log is one of my favorite blogs, even though (or maybe because) they regularly demolish some cherished bit of usagism on my part.  And they don't like Strunk & White either, and all writers  take an oath to cite S&W when talking about clear writing, even if they have never done more than read other writers' references to S&W.  It's kind of like a secret handshake.  And now that you know it, you can do it too.

Just don't read LL, or you'll feel like an idiot when you do.

Anyway, that wasn't the point of this.  Really.  The point was a post on Conversational Incongruence, which, as LL often does, springboards off the online comic xkcd, because eventually xkcd distills any zeitgeist idea into witty conversational exchanges between stick figures, and LL is on hand to provide linguistic exegesis.

In the comments, various people recalled conversation divergences they had experienced, and I did too:  a rare triple divergence. Once I was having pizza and beer with two friends: a veterinarian and a politically active minister.  We got to talking about "AI".  Each others' responses made less and less sense, until we realized that the  vet was talking about artificial insemination, the minister about Amnesty International, and I about artificial intelligence.

What was the conversation "really" about?  Do any of us, who often spend a week hiking together, actually listen to what the others have to say?  Is there a series of veterinarian/minister/science fiction writer bar jokes none of us have ever heard?  Do you have any idea of what I'm talking about?