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spelling

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when i was younger i believed that the english language was invented by a group of four or so biblical looking characters who sat around in a cave taking it in turns to invent words for things.

jim
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I used to believe that it didn't matter how many horizontal lines there are in a capital "E", as long as they are evenly spaced. All my "E";s looked like combs.

Kate Joly
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When I was in second grade our teacher taught us "I before E except after C". I always imagined a world where I walked in front of E except when C came along, than it had to walk behind E. I imagined them with arms and legs walking on the sidewalk. I had no idea it had to with spelling and always wondered why the teacher repeated it.

Kimberly
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When I was little, a boy at my babysitter's house told me that his mamma wanted him to make straight A's. I tried and tried but I couldn't understand that was possible since two of the lines that made up an "A" were slanted.

Brittany
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For years my friend John and I would hang out in back of the library under a sign "NO LOITERING".
One day, (we were 17) I threw down a candy wrapper. John said "Hey- don't break the rules. There's no loitering here".
I said "What do you think that sign means?"
"No Littering."
"Well, why do you think it is spelled that way?"
"I don't know- I thought it was a fancy way of saying "No Littering".

Tom S.
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My sister (when she was in Kindergarten)used to sing the alphabet song with her class, except they'd start "Oh! A,B,C,...)and for the whole year she thought O was the first letter of the alphabet. She even argued with our mom about it!

M.B.N.
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i used to think that 'e' was in the wrong place in the alphabet bc to me all letters and numbers had personalies and 'e' was a mean letter and he lied and cheated a lot, so he should not be so early in the alphabet or such an important letter. I think i associated him with the color green which for some reason i really didn't like.

Anon
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When I was five (and just learning to read) I was looking at a roll of TUMS on my mom's nightstand and read the letters backwards.

A few weeks went by and instead of just reading the letters, I could actually put the letters together. Instead of my mom's medicine being called S...M...U...T... I now knew it was called SMUT.

At the grocery store checkout stand a few weeks later, my mom was rubbing her temples while we were waiting to check out. I proudly said - so everyone could hear - "Mom, if you're feeling bad, just buy you some SMUT. It always makes you better."

Her jaw dropped, and I think she forgot about her headache.

Hi Ho
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when I was little I got paparazzi and pavarotti confused, I learned the truth when Princess Diana died, because they said they were speeding to get away from the paparazzi, and I couldn't understand why a fat itallian singer would be chasing them and why they'd have to speed away from him.

Moose
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When I was about 7 or 8, we had to look up lists of words for homework. One of my words was 'infiltrate' and the definition I found was 'To enter secretly with an unfriendly purpose.' Somehow I misread it as 'To enter secretly with an unfriendly porpoise' and I wondered why somebody had made a word for that, as it couldn't be that common.

unfriendly porpoise
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I use to think that the abc's went like this: abcdefghijk im a little p qrst..etc

April
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I was with my younger sister, who was 11 at the time. Just for fun, we were reading graffiti in a public bathroom. She read the messages aloud - "I love Robert", "Jackie was here", "KB+IH forever." Then we came across one that annouced, "I love porn." I was silently hoping she wouldn't notice it, but no such luck. My sister squinted at it thoughtfully, then declared, "They must've meant 'popcorn.'". I had to struggle not to laugh, but I didn't want to give it away that whoever wrote that definitely did NOT mean popcorn.

Kathryn
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So when I was little I used to think the alphabet song just named a lot of letters and I spent inordinate amounts of time trying to think of the letters that weren't in the song.

Megan
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When I was little, I would see calendars that had the letters "SMTWTFS" on the top. Whenever I saw these calendars, I figured that SMTWTFS, one word, was a company that made calendars, and not an abbreviation for the days of the week. One day I said to my mom, "Wow Mummy, smitwiffs must be a really big company! They make calendars EVERYWHERE!" My mum is still laughing to this day.

somerandomperson
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Back in elementary school, our school song would start: "Emerson, Emerson, E-M-E-R-S-O-N," and so on. As a kindergardener, I had no idea how to spell the school name, so I would choose random letters to go in that part, such as "E-V-R-T-N-P-N" until I gathered up enough courage against sounding stupid to ask how it was really spelled.

AJT
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when i was little i overheard my older cousin say that he had to write a letter for english. Well being 4 at the time i thought that he was inventing a letter (as in a letter of the alphabet). i couldnt wait till i was in high school and got to invent my own letter. its name was going to be anzy and look like a spiral.

M J Aaaaaaaaaaaasmith
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Because I learned to play the piano at such an early age, I thought the alphabet only included the music alphabet, 'ABCDEFG'.
Needless to say, kindergarten was quite alarming.

Monika
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I used to think that the alphabet song went "L, a minnow, P". I wondered why the song was talking about tiny fish!

Aarinsky
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I used to believe that a "No Loitering" sign was "No Littering", inexplicably spelled with a Brooklyn accent.

erin
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You know how adults sometimes spell out words that they don't want kids to understand? Well whenever grownups did this around me I could usually figure out what they were spelling, and so the point of doing this was pretty much defeated. So I just thought spelling words was a Thing adults did sometimes, and I would spell random words as I was speaking sometimes in an attempt to sound grown-up.

k.
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