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When I was young I refused to drink well water because I thought it came out of whales.
I used to think that 'the pulitzer prize' was actually, "Pull It - Surprise!" -- Like, you pull a rope and something might fall on you...
When my children were growing up we were very close with another family and often our visits would last past regular bedtime. On occasion the visit would turn into a sleep over. One night the other family was getting ready to leave but as usual the other mother and I lingered, still chatting at the door. My oldest daughter and her's repeatedly interupted asking for a sleep over. Again and again they were told no but they kept asking. Finally I turned and said "read my lips, the answer is no" to which my daughter burst out crying "But I can't read!"
When I was about 7 I stayed with my grandparents for the summer. They kept talking about how they were going to "win a bagel". I just didn't understand why they were going to win a bagel. I later learned they were going to buy a camper, a Winnebago!
When I was little I used to believe that after jail you would be sent to Peru because I thought they were saying fifteen years with "Peru." So when I watched crime shows and said fifteen years with parole, it meant fifteen years then sent to Peru.
When I was little, when people spoke of going to the nearby town of Cedar Rapids (Iowa), I thought they were saying they were going to "See the rabbits." I asked my mom if we could go see the rabbits sometime. When she finally comprehended what I was talking about, she set me straight. I was disappointed, my vision of a vibrant rabbit community dispelled.
When I was little, I got the words "cannibal" and "barbarian" confused. My mom joked that my uncle "ate like a barbarian" once and for almost a year I was terrified of him because i thought he ate people.
When I was little I expected every word had an abbreviated version i.e. hamburger to burger, etc. I made my parents drop to the floor laughing when I was 7, asking them "Don't only old people live in condoms?" I thought I was talking about condominiums.
I thought adultery was when you acted too much like an adult as a kid and wondered whats so bad about that?
I thought when someone was described as being "mild-mannered" it meant they didn't have very good manners
I used to believe that a germaphobe was a "germanphobe", someone who is scared of Germans. I overheard a conversation between my mom and someone on the phone and she said "germaphobe". I would wonder why someone would be scared of Germans, maybe because of their accent or something. I dunno
When I was a kid, I would hear adults talking about people who talked with their hands...and I thought that, somehow, people could manipulate and maneuver their hands fast enough to make vocal sounds. The idea really intrigued me.
When I was about four, I would talk all the time. My grandfather told me that we were all born with a fixed number of words and that I was using mine up too quickly. I was suitably terrified and believed that, in relative silence, for quite some time.
I was about 10 years old and I used to belive that 'rape' was simply ripping peoples clothes. Imagine the shock for my teacher when for an exercise in English I wrote the sentence "The dog raped the postman". I thought I was being extremely clever.
My parents, in an attempt to stimulate my creative impulses, gave me a few boxes full of "stuff" to play with - dress-up clothes, fabric, ribbons, art supplies, interesting toys, beads, you name it. One fabric bit that I had was purple with silver metallic stripes on it. I had seen a TV show recently featuring circus acrobats and thought I'd make myself a skirt with that fabric so I could be an acrobat for Halloween. However, I did not yet know the word for "acrobat". I taught myself how to sew (BADLY) and made an truly awful tiny little miniskirt a week or so later. I ventured into the livingroom to show my parents and visiting grandmother and aunt. My mom, without thinking, said "You look like a prostitute!" She then realized that she probably should not talk about sex workers around her young daughter and would not tell me what it meant. I, therefore, rationalized that "prostitute" was the word for acrobat and went around school the next day telling people - *including my first-grade teacher* - that I wanted to be a prostitute for Halloween!
When i was little i used to think that people who stuttered had used up their allotted number of words for the particular word they stuttered on, and could'nt say that word again without difficulty
When my sister was little she didn't know what a migraine headache was called. I told her they were called "lobotomies." For a while she used to tell people, "Whenever I get a lobotomy, my head hurts."
When i was about 5 years old i used to think 'Splendid' meant horrible, so one day when i left my hat at the park, and we went back to get it to find it gone, i exclaimed: "Maybe a Splendid robber took it!"
When I was very young (less than 10, maybe 6 or 7?) my parents were talking to other adults in the house and they must have been talking about how tired they were. I thought I'd be helpful and popped up with "You should take some laxatives", believing that laxatives would help them relax. Needless to say, everyone was stunned and I felt stupid about this for a long time before I ever actually learned what laxatives are.
My grandmother and I were watching my baby sister play on the floor. My grandmother said, "she is priceless, isn't she?" I thought my grandmother meant that my baby sister wasn't worth anything.