Great Mishearings

Great Mishearings


Knowledge is Power France Is Bacon

 

Originally from here.

(from @rickburin on Twitter)

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Adam Omelianchuk
Adam Omelianchuk
6 years ago

It wasn’t until my twenties I realized Jingle Bells was saying, “…one horse, open-slay…” rather than “one horse, soap ‘n’ slay…” 😛

Still think Taylor Swift is saying “Starbucks lovers” though.Report

Scu
Scu
6 years ago

This reminds me of this story about intentionally mishearing things for political purposes. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/white-flour-by-digby-via-perlstein.htmlReport

Frankie Egan
Frankie Egan
6 years ago

My 5 year old self, not understanding idioms, found the Hail Mary baffling: “… and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”Report

Christopher Hitchcock
6 years ago

I love this story from my mother. When she was a kid, she had a Teddy-bear that she named ‘Gladly’. When her mother asked her about the name, she said ‘because he’s cross-eyed’. (Dramatic pause…) She had named him after her favorite song in church, ‘Gladly my cross I’d bear’.Report

BunnyHugger
BunnyHugger
6 years ago

I’ve read some doozies in students’ writing. A few semesters ago a student wrote “in lamest terms, [blah blah blah]” where I presume she meant “in layman’s terms.”

I also had to break it to my brother a few years ago that the phrase is “a hair’s breadth,” not “a hare’s breath.” He had supposed that a hare’s breath would be something so faint as to be nearly imperceptible. He was disappointed to be corrected, as he liked it better his way.Report

Matt
6 years ago

I once had a student on an exam discuss the views of voting of large carrion eating birds (The “Condor Say” theorem ) and had a friend who thought that, when you wanted to stop a problem before it got serious, thought you should “nip it in the butt”.Report

Mike
Mike
6 years ago

I know of one philosopher who thought the Taj Mahal was the Tazhma Hall. He didn’t say at what age he thought that. But he did say that anyone who denied that he also thought that at one point was lying.Report

Jessica
Jessica
6 years ago

One horse open sleigh — the fun lives on!Report

Ben
Ben
6 years ago

Christopher, I had the same sort of misunderstanding as your mother. 11-year old me always wondered why some guy (who I think turned out to be Dave Coulier) gave Alanis Morissette a cross-eyed bear.Report

Andy
Andy
6 years ago

Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready thought the lyrics to Rock & Roll All Night were “I want to rock and roll all night, and part of every day.”Report

Nick Byrd
6 years ago

A misREADING: “The fact that THE BUTLER WANTED REVENGE BEARS on the question of whether…” (Hieronymi 2006).

I mistakenly pictured the following: http://t.co/Z269X3GJAJReport

Scott H.
Scott H.
6 years ago

When I was a kid I thought the Empire Strikes Back was named ‘the Umpire Strikes Back’.Report

Sigrid
Sigrid
6 years ago

When my Mom was little kid at church, she was vaguely creeped out by the thought that some little girl angels named Shirley Goodness and Mercy were going to be following her around all the time.

A grad school friend was working in the university library and was helping a freshman who needed a copy of “Oranges and Peaches” for a class. That didn’t seem likely, but the fact that it was a biology class kept her from dismissing it completely. The kid didn’t know the author, but swore his prof said the author was well known and it was a very important book. That was when a lightbulb went on for my friend, who was able to send the kid happily on his way with a copy of “Origin of the Species”Report

Charles Young
Charles Young
6 years ago

These puppies are called “Mondegreens,” after a misreading of “They have slain the Earl o’ Murray and laid him on the green” as “They have slain the Earl o’ Murray and Lady Mondegreen”–they got the missus, too … There are billions and billions of ’em on the web (Google, um, “Mondegreen”), from Dylan’s “the ants are my friends” to that fat fella who appears in the rear of not a few children’s depictions of the Nativity: Round John Virgin …

CharlesReport

Anon Grad Student
Anon Grad Student
6 years ago

The Ramones:
‘I wanna be sedated’ -> ‘I wanna piece of David’Report

A little late
A little late
6 years ago

Twice, I have had students write papers on the problem of the “youth in Asia” (euthanasia), and several times students turned in papers about the evil in Edger Allan Poe’s work (I abbreviate the problem of evil as “POE”).Report