I often mispronounce words because I learned them by reading, and have never heard them spoken aloud. My brain takes the information and creates the most logical conclusion. For this reason I thought that haphazard and “halfhazard” were two words with different meanings (in fact only one of them is a word at all) for quite some time.

That’s why I never make fun of anyone for pronouncing things incorrectly, or for not understanding something. We all have to learn at some point – or maybe we already know and are just fuzzy on the details. Teasing people for not knowing things only has one conclusion: they no longer want to admit when they’re wrong, and no longer get the excitement of learning something new.

To emphasize this, I will share with you some things that I used to be very sure of until proven otherwise.

I thought that windows rolled into tubes inside of the car door, which is why it was called “rolling” your window up or down. Yes, all of our vehicles had the hand-crank at this time, I just didn’t make the connection. I also clearly did not know how glass worked.

me: “how does the glass harden again once it covers the opening?” my dad: “wat”

I thought that people’s middle names were related to their spouse in some way. This was literally only because my parent’s middle names are the same as my maternal grandparent’s first names. It was purely coincidence and I had no other evidence to make this a logical assumption and yet I did.

I thought that garbage day was on Tuesday for everyone everywhere. I actually thought this until very recently, when I was teasing one of my friends for leaving his garbage bin by the street for so long and he was like “what in the world are you talking about” and we discovered that I have just happened to live in areas where garbage day was on Tuesday for my entire life.

I also thought that snarls in your hair were little colorful knots of thread. This was because when my hair would get snarled as a child, it was almost always because of small knots of wool-blend fiber would get woven into it from those scratchy, satin-trimmed blankets everyone had in the 90s and early 2000s.

Once, when I asked a teacher why we capitalized people’s names, he said that it was because it’s “respectful”. I am not really sure why this was his answer. Regardless, I then concluded that it was disrespectful to write someone’s name in all lowercase letters, so I would do that when I was mad at them.

I thought that Shania Twain and Lara Croft (from Tomb Raider) were the same person. I actually have no idea why I thought this.

I thought the phrase “gunning for you/me/them” meant the opposite of what it does. I put the emphasis on the “for” and was under the mistaken impression that it meant you were on their team and were doing the gunning to assist them.

I thought this because of the lyrics to a Shania song. Ironically, those were not even the words.

I did not think that teachers lived at school, but this was entirely by chance because one of my teachers lived just down the street from a friend of mine, and would sometimes bring us Capri Suns when we were playing outside on hot days. I did, however, think that substitute teachers just traveled the entire world substituting wherever they were needed. I now know that no teacher is paid enough for this to be an even remotely reasonable concept.

I thought I was going to be on fire a lot in my life, because of Stop, Drop, and Roll. I also thought house fires were extremely common due to how frequently they were discussed at school. Every night before bed I would tie all of my favorite stuffed animals into a bundle in a blanket so that I could grab them easily in the event that my home burst into flames in the night.

is this just anxiety? yes. yes it is.

And last, but certainly not least, I thought that yams were animals. I did not think that sweet potatoes were the same thing. I thought a yam was some sort of cross between a yak and a ram, and the idea of canned yams was horrifying to me. No, I do not know why I thought this but I thought it for a long time. Like… a really long time.

this is what the word ‘yam’ looks like in my head now

What misconceptions did you have growing up? Share yours and see if anyone else has the same ones!

I bet I beat you with yams though. I mean, just look at him.


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