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I used to believe that stereotypes were people who used steroids.
When I was little my mother called being naked 'nakey-no-nos' as in, "bath time, get in your nakey-no-nos". I believed this was a common term everyone used until I was about 17.
I've been deaf all my life. When I was little, I used to feel sorry for people who couldn't speak sign language and had to communicate by moving their mouths into funny shapes. I thought there was something wrong with their hands.
When I was little in the early 60's we lived in an area that was nearly all white.Back then the Politically Correct thing to call black people was "Negros".The first time I heard that term I got a weird image of a person who had knees growing all over them ( as in "knee grows").I thought it was a weird disability of some sort.
I used to think that weasel was short for wooden easel, and was confused as to why someone would be called a piece of art equipment as an insult.
I used to believe there were only three directions: north, south, eastnwest. I would argue with my mother when she tried to tell me that east and west were two separate directions,"But my teacher SAID!"
As a young boy, I became possessed of the belief that every person had a hard limit of 3,000 or so on how many times he could use each word. There was a time when I found my communicative faculties greatly diminished by an unwillingness to waste unnecessary uses of "yes" or "no" on what I considered to be trivial matters.
I thought the phrase "make ends meet" was "make ends meat." I thought it was some particular kind of meat or a dish made with this meat that people who were poor or having difficulties would prepare.
I thought the word economical was actually two words: eek and omical.
For years I heard the expression "black as the ace of spades" as "black as the ace of SPACE!" I finally learnt the truth when we were sat down at dinner and I challenged my Dad with "how do you know, have you ever been there?" when he said the aforementioned expression!
I once developed this belief that you only got a certain number of words in your lifetime. I got very worried I was using them all up at a very young age, and I wouldn't have any left when I was older, so I would be mute. It made sense- everyone was always telling me to be quiet! I decided to try and save them, so I wouldn't talk for a week, until I promptly forgot about it and went back to my normal mouthy self.
I began reading very early, and so I knew a lot of words at a young age. However, I had only seen them written; I had never heard them spoken. So from age four to about age 10, I belived that the word "procedure" was pronounced "pro-DUCK-shure". When I heard the word "procedure' spoken by a teacher or something, I thought it was a completely different word! My dad finally enlightened me in fifth grade.
I used to think that the phrase "It's a dog eat dog world'' was its a dogey dog world.
For years, until I was about ten or eleven I believed that when people were saying 'round of applause' they were really saying 'round of the plors' and I imagined little aliens called plors walking round in a circle and clapping.
I was maybe, twelve, and was a bit confused at the disticntion between the words "discreet" and "secrete". I made a speech about spies or something like that for a "What You Want to Be When You Grow Up" type project. NOBODY EVER TOLD ME. It took me until I was fifteen to realize that spies do not ooze everywhere.
I used to think that when people say "bless you" after you sneeze they were saying "bleshoo". I believed this for a very long time and I had no idea what it meant but I always said it when someone sneezed just to be polite. :-)
I always thought that if someone was said to be 'outspoken' that it meant that they were out-spoken, in the same sense as someone can be out-done; that they couldn't get a word in edge ways cos everyone would 'out-speak' them.
I used to believe when people said they had to make "ends meet" that they were really saying "ends meat" like it was some sort of meal.
When listening to CasyKasem on America's Top 40 while growing up, I thought he always talked about such-and-such band's 'day view' album. It wasn't until my 9th grade English class that I learned d-e-b-u-t was not pronounce dee-BUTT, but in fact day-BEW, and that it wasn't a 'day view album' but a 'debut album.'
I used to believe that a "punch line" meant a line of people waiting to dip punch from a punch bowl.