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I used to believe the word "relax" wasn't a real word until I turned 16 after I found this word in the dictionary. I read a newspaper when I was about 6 and I asked my mom to define "relax", she said it was not a word at all and it was just a total slang. I suppose she was just too lazy to define.
I thought a defibrillator was just a lie detector. That explains why they have so many in airports, they can just de-fib anyone they suspect of terrorism. I thought this until I was 13
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 used to ask my father to read me a bedtime story every night. Usually he did, but every now and then he would tell me that today he couldn't, because today he wasn't able to read. At that age (I must have been 2 - 3 years old) I was used to newfound abilities sometimes failing, so I accepted that adults must experience the same thing from time to time.
I believed that there were two n's in the alphabet. I asked my teacher in kindergarten because to me it went... L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y *N* Z (because of the AND Z).
When I was four, I was very puzzled when I read the word "know." I knew the word when it was said aloud, but took a LONG time to figure out that they were the same word. I thought it was pronounced "ku-NOW" and that it had something to do with Chinese food!
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.
When I was little I thought that the weight measurement "pounds" were different from "lbs." I thought lbs was pronounced lubs, and got a good laugh when I explained this to my family.
For some reason, in the book "The Restraunt at the end of the Galaxy" (sequel to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), I thought until pretty recently (I'm 16) that Trillian, the female in the book, was a giant centipede. heh...
I used to think that the mangled abridgement HAZCHEM was German for "Danger" as it appeared next to the word on the sign.
When I was little, me and my mom went to the Library. They have those computers where you look up books right in the middle. We both went to them, because I liked looking up stuff about dogs and whatnot. But, what my mom was looking up looked much more interesting. So, I went over to her computer and started reading aloud what it said. "Pubert..." and that's as far as I got. I was convinced for years that Puberty was the brother of Rupert. (You know, from that cartoon about the bear that went on adventures)
I used to believe that 'prosecuted' as in 'trespassers will be prosecuted' meant electrocuted. I always thought that it was so unfair, and that they should at least give you a chance to explain.
When I first started learning to read I was convinced that vowels were called barnacles.
When I was four, my daddy took me on the streetcar for the first time. I was pretty impressed, and felt I had to impress my dad as to my coming of age by proving I could read, and understand words.I read the sign over the driver's head to my dad, and told him, "I know what that means." He said, "What does it mean?" The sign read "No spitting on this car." I told him that it meant that people could not use nasty wordsge on the streetcar........i.e. "No spiting"...
Once, while walking with my dog down the street I saw a sign I front of someone's house that said "Season's Greetings". I could'nt read very well at the time so I read it as "Satan's Greetings", I was so scared, we ran all the way home to frantically tell my mom. lol
When reading the packages for lotions, soaps, hairspray, etc. I thought "External use only" meant you could only use it if you had an extreme need for it.
I used to think that the reason AMBULANCE was written backwards on the front of an ambulance was so left-handed people could read it!
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 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...
As a little kid in pre-war New Guinea, my parents would read out the eagerly awaited letters from family in Australia - "Grandma asks if you are being a good boy, and Sport (her dog) still likes to play", - and so on. So I knew early that those marks on the paper meant real words, but I wanted to talk to Grandma too, and would scribble on bits of paper while carefully shouting out my message (I knew she was a long way away). But I thought it had to be like a conversation, so I would have to invent Grandma's reply and shout and scribble that too. But if I had to know what her answer would be before "writing" it down, what was the point in asking the question? I was a logical if rather confused child. Things haven't changed much.