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15 Phrases That People Misunderstood! I Am Guilty Of # 3, #10, AND #13! At Least I’m Not Alone…

Hearing things wrong is something that is so easy to do that everyone does it. This most likely happens to you during conversations. Have you ever been talking to someone and had to ask, “what?” at least 3 times before you give up trying to understand them and just nod your head, hoping whatever it was they said wasn’t an actual question? Been there. Seeing things written down is not problem…but hearing and understanding what someone is trying to say can be quite a bit harder for some of us…

1. I always thought that when wait staff asked “soup or salad?” they were talking about some sort of “supersalad.”

Waiter: “Would you like soup or salad?”

Me: “Yes, that sounds lovely.”

2. I have a friend who’s 27, up until a few months ago while shopping for mini blinds she didn’t know what “hot and bothered” meant, but she made it a point to tell the sales associate helping her that the Texas heat gets her “all hot and bothered”… Then she wondered why they kept looking at her like she was a giant creep.

3. “Elemeno P” instead of ” L M N O P”. I thought an “elemeno P” was a special version of the letter P.

4. It took me over 20 years of my life to realize that “all intensive purposes” isn’t even close to correct. It’s “all intents and purposes”… I cringe to think of how many times I used “all intensive purposes” in my university papers.

5. When I was 10, my sister told me that my grandmother quit smoking “cold turkey”. It wasn’t until high school, when I embarrassed myself by telling my friend to try eating cold turkey to help quit smoking, that I knew what it really meant.

6. I always thought “Euthanasia” was “Youth in Asia” and couldn’t figure out why it was a big controversial issue. Yeah there are kids living in Asia, so what?

7. For a long time, I thought the lyrics to Elton John’s Tiny Dancer were, “Hold me closer Tony Danza…

8. As a kid, I misinterpreted the term “death sentence” for the longest time. I thought that the executioner actually spoke a sentence into your ear that killed you if you heard it. I figured that’s why he wore a hood, so that no one could read his lips.

9. I was 20 before I realized Alzheimer’s disease wasn’t “Old timer’s disease”

10. When I was little, I thought “drinking and driving” meant the physical act of drinking a beverage, not just alcohol. One day when I was 6 I told my mother not to drink and drive while she sipped a Diet Pepsi. She just laughed at me.

11. Bon Jovi – “Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame. Darling, you give love a bandaid.”

12. This actually continued up until fairly recently. I always thought “to each his own” was pronounced “du ee chay zoh” and just assumed it was a French saying or something… D’ui cheuseaux.

13. I never understood what was so bad about taking things for granite.

14. When I was a kid, I thought the Transformers were ‘Robots in the skies’…it’s “robots in disguise.” I get it now.

15. When I was young my father said to me: “Knowledge is Power… Francis Bacon.”

But I understood it as “Knowledge is power, France is Bacon.

For more than a decade I wondered over the meaning of the second part and what was the surreal linkage between the two? If I said the quote to someone, “Knowledge is power, France is Bacon” they nodded knowingly. Or someone might say, “Knowledge is power” and I’d finish the quote: “France is Bacon”, and they would look at me like I’d said something very odd but they’d thoughtfully agree.

I did ask a teacher what did “Knowledge is power, France is bacon” mean and I got a full 10 minute explanation of the Knowledge is power bit but nothing on “France is bacon”. When I prompted further explanation by saying “France is Bacon?” in a questioning tone I just got a “yes”. At 12 I didn’t have the confidence to press it further. I just accepted it as something I’d never understand.

It wasn’t until years later I saw it written down that the penny dropped. “Knowledge is power – Francis Bacon.”

Hey, I can forgive that last one! If you didn’t know who Francis Bacon was, you would probably also think that France is made of bacon. I do this mostly with lyrics to songs. “Misheard lyrics” are always hilarious, but it does stop me from singing out loud in public. Which is probably not a bad thing.

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