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When I first encountered "lb.", I had no concept of abbreviations and would read it aloud, "lib". So Dick and Jane would go to the store to get two libs of butter...
I used to think that the "rod" in a "Rod and Gun Club" was the tamping rod used to push everything down the barrel. I thought that people in these clubs only fired old fashioned muskets.
I was broken hearted when I read a chalk message outside my friend Dorelle's house that said "Went Private". I stood outside in the street and shouted her name, because I didn't dare go onto her property, but she didn't come out. Deeply distraught, I ran home and fetched my dad who explained that the message was "Wet Paint", and I could still go and call on Dorelle, so long as I didn't lean up against the painty fence.
As a child I played videogames, especially poorly translated ones from Japan. I sometimes tried to adopt some of the bizarre syntax and grammer of these games, assuming that while it seemed akward and at times incomphrehensible, it MUST be right.
In elementary school we had to arrange lists of words in alphabetical order. I thought you did this by asigning a certain "alphabetical value" to each letter, with A having the highest value, then B and so on. Things got complicated because the value was effected by the letters position in the sentence, with the higher values at the beginning. Thus, you would need to look at each letter and average its value depending on these components. According to this system the word BAAAA would be arranged before AZZZZ because the second word had so many Z's, which lowered the value. This system demanded that I write out each letter in the alphabet and also write it's numerical value above it, then develop some kind of formula to figure out a word's whole value. I failed many, many tests at this point.
When my sister, aged 10,was reading a book in the 1940's she said 'Dad, whats a brothel?' My father replied 'a sort of soup kitchen'. She believed this until she was married!
Shortly after I learned to read, I noticed all of these banners hanging in front of banks. They all advertised "Free Checking". However, I thought they all said "Free Chicken".
I was so confused as to why banks would hand out free chicken to their customers. My mom occasionally left us 3 kids in the car while she would run into the bank to make a quick deposit. I would get so mad, because I just knew that she was in there eating the free chicken and she never brought us any.
(she did, however, bring us dum-dum suckers)
When I was about 8 or 9 I loved to read (I still do). My mom said that reading made you smarter so I always had this vision that after each book you read that your brain literally had these little tick marks showing how many books you've read. The more tick marks you have the smarter you are.
when i was just learning to read, whenever i passed a sign near my house on a gate that said "beware of the dog" i believed it to read "Bewarrel of the dog"
when my friend was little, she used to eat paper, thinking it would make her read better.
I used to think that "Fl. Oz." stood for FLORAL ounces, and I couldn't understand what flowers had to do with anything. I still occasionally misread that abbreviation.
when i would see a "FIRE HOSE REEL" i thought that meant that it was indeed a real one, and that there were many fake fire hoses around to either trick people or just for display.
When I was 8... I read the book Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, which is written as part of the harry potter books.
I read the entry about a Letifold which the book said was a big black blanket-like animal that slithered under the door and ate people. I made my parents keep my bed facing the door so i could always see if there was one crawling in. Then I read the book again and noticed that it said they could only be found in tropical areas. So i was safe.
Then my parents made me go on vacation to Hawaii. I cried myself to sleep because I was so scared. After we went home my parents managed to convince me there was no such thing.
At around the age of 7-9 I somehow came to the belief that the abbreviation "lb." for pound was actually an abbreviation for the unit of measure "lillebeeter". Perhaps I'd mis-heard the word "millimeter", which was still a relative rarity in 70's Canada?
When I was small I used to believe that if a books cover was facing up when put down, the characters would come out of the book. Once I read a book on vampires and my cat was with me so I thought my cat was waiting for me to go to sleep before it could bite me. I didnt sleep in my room for a couple of days because I though the characters were still roaming around.
When I was 6 or so, I'd both heard the word 'ceramic', referring to figurines, for instance, and I'd read it in books. But somehow I never made the connection that they were the same thing, and I thought the written word was pronounced 'creamic'.
My 4 year old sister was learning to read when I explained to her the sound of the "a" in the word "about" was pronounced with the "schwa." She looked at me funny. I said, "Sound it out." She read very slowly, "Schwaaaabout."
I used to believe that "G" was a vowel. As far as i was concerned, vowels were letters that could make two noises. At that time, i thought they were just called the two-soundy-letters. I first found this out at the age of 6 and believed it until first grade. I was sad when i found out it wasnt.
I believed the book Babar was how my name was spelled.
I must have read a lot of mysteries as a child, because I remember thinking that the word "indict" was pronounced "in-dikt." At the same time, I heard the correct pronounciation, "in-dite," on Perry Mason or other such TV shows. Although I understood them both to mean the same thing, it wasn't until years later that something clicked in my head and I realized they were exactly the same word.