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I used to believe when you'd see a company sign that says "Est. 1928” it meant they estimated the company was founded in 1928. I always wondered why some companies had to estimate when they were only a few years old. Much later I realized est stands for "established" and not "estimated".
I used to think that the word "adjacent" was pronounced "add jassent"
When I was about 5 years old, I thought that "Scarlatti" was a type of Italian pasta, sort of like spaghetti or noodles.
I first saw the word "Lisztomania" in a "grown-up"(a book that doesn't have many pictures) book I was reading at the library as a kid. I didn't know what it meant at the time, so I assumed it was a country or a type of dance or something like that...
I used to think that oxymoron had something to do with oxygen...
Until I was in 4th grade i thought choir was pronounced "chore"
I thought the British town Reading was pronounced "Reeding" instead of "Redding".
When I was five years old, my mom had a copy of a book titled "What Was Good About Today?" I thought the title meant that "Good" was the name of a TV show and that the author was asking what that day's episode was about.
There's a Captain Underpants book in which the heroes put the title character under a placebo effect, which they misidentify as a "placenta effect". I had heard of the concept, but the joke went over my head, and for years I referred to the phenomenon as "the placenta effect".
I once saw the phrase "infrared light" in a physics book I had. I thought the light has been infrared, as if "to infrare" (pronounce inf-rare) was a verb.
One of my big sister's friends was reading a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book. I was afraid of it because I believed if you read it, you would actually be transformed into an animal.
When I first saw Highlights magazine, I used to believe that the slogan "Fun with a Purpose" was actually "Fun with a Person", and meant that Highlights should only be read with other people. I always read it alone anyway...
Reading the newspaper one day I came across the word rape. I asked my father what it meant. He replied to me that it was a sort of a salt. His manner didn't invite further questions. It was not until many years later that I understood that he had said assault.
In first grade, I thought that if I've never heard of a word before, then it wasn't a word.
I used to live in Florida, so I used to believe the FL OZ measurements on drinks and shampoo were FLORIDA ounces, and each state had its own unit for measuring liquid.
My mom bought me a Guinness Book of World Records when I was 8 and I loved reading it because I thought it would make me a genius. Why did I think that? Well, I didn't know what "Guinness" was nor how it was pronounced, so I assumed it was called the "Genius's Book of World Records"!
I must have been about 8-9 and I read a book called 'The boy who climbed into the moon'. I remember sitting in the bath and looking out of the window. I saw the moon in the sky and I utterly thought that I would be able to get a ladder and climb to the moon. It would be hard but possible. Great book
As a kid I read the line "won't stick to most dental work" on the side of chewing gum packages. I thought dentists must use special paper in their offices that wouldn't allow gum to stick to it.
I thought "please print" in magazine subscription forms meant you had to put your name with a printer instead of writing it without cursive!
I knew the "Dr." was an abbreviation for "doctor," but I didn't know it was also an abbreviation for "drive." So whenever I saw a road sign that said "Dr." after a word, I thought it was "doctor."