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From when my parents divorced was when I was able to read with some understanding. This was around the age of 6/7. My parents would send eachother Christmas cards saying Happy 'Xmas' to eachother. I thought that Xmas was a christmas word that ex boyfriends/girlfriends husbands/wives said to eachother.
Up to being 18, if I was reading a particularly scary book, when I put it down I couldn't leave it open at the page I was on, I had to shut it and use a bookmark. This was in case anything got out of it and came to get me.
Also, I couldn't leave it face up, with the picture on the front looking at me.
There was a Chinese takeaway near us called the Orient Express. I thought it was Onion Press. Yeah.
I used to believe that the sign "in case of fire, do not use elevator" was meant to be proactive. I read it as "you shouldn't use elevators, because someday, there might be a fire." It never stopped me from using elevators, but I remember being puzzled by the sign.
When I was in third grade, and I had my cousins visiting us, and my oldest cousin, who was 12, told me that The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien would be too hard for me to read.(I was a very good reader.)My retort was that I had read Harry Potter books. I thought if you had read Harry Potter, you could read anything. Amazingly, after my cousins were gone,I read The Hobbit.
When I was seven years old, I used to believe if you closed a magazine and left it alone for a few days, all of the pictures inside would change to new ones. I have no idea why . . .
When I was a kid in New Hampshire, I used to believe that the state motto (which was on all the license plats), "Live Free or Die" was not a statement of resolve, but an enforced requirement. I spent some time concerned that I might not be living free enough.
I used to think (for an embarrassingly long time!)that FAQ meant For Any Questions, because that was what people said they would leave time for at the end of a presentation.
One time in Elementary school I was playing ball against the wall and got hit in the eye with a tennis ball. My mom had taken me to the doctor's and he put me in front of an eye chart and asked me to read what was in front of me. He started at the smallest row, I couldn't read anything. As he moved up I kept telling him I couldn't read what was on the line. My mom started to get nervous. My doctor then said "Can't you see any of the letters?" in which I replied "I can read them but I don't know what they're spelling!" (Hey, i was young, no one told me I was supose to say each letter out loud - I thought a worrd was being spelled!)
When I was about 6 years old, me and my younger brother found the "Lord of the rings" book in my parents bedroom,it was the biggest book we had ever seen, except for the bible, so we thought it was the opposite,the Devil's book, so we hid it under the book shelf, unluckily, it was a library book...
When I was young, before I knew my ABC's, I didn't understand how it was possible to read without speaking the words out loud. I thought my Mom was being silly when she would read to herself because I believed she was just staring at the page and pretending that she was somehow absorting the content.
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"