usingtherightwords

Guaranteed to improve your English

From the Ears of Babes to Wrong as Adults


Recently, I was reminded that what we first hear as children we take as gospel, so when we find out years later what we hard was wrong, we wonder how we got it wrong in the first place.

As a child, I misheard song lyrics all the time. We didn’t have digital recordings or even static-free radios, so words often got garbled even when the singer was rather clear.

Examples: In Cyndi Lauper’s “She Bop,” Lauper sings “I hope he will understand,” but I heard “I don’t even understand.” And I heard ABBA sing  “You can dance, you can dance” when the real words are “You can dance, you can jive.”

But it goes beyond song lyrics. When I was a child, the big cylindrical thing in our garage was called the “hot water heater.” Everyone called it that, so I didn’t give it a second thought for decades …

…Until one day someone pointed out (maybe it was George Carlin, but I’m not sure) that you don’t need to heat hot water because it’s already heated.

So, when ours died and we needed a new one, I found myself sometimes calling it a water heater and sometimes correcting myself when I called it a hot water heater.

Old habits die hard, as the cliche goes.

Until next time! Use the right words!

It’s here! My début book, “If You Experience Death, Please Call: And Other Fatal Mistakes We Make With Language” is out and available on Amazon. Order now for just $14.95. Contact me on my website to reserve your copy or Order here.

leebarnathan.com

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April 5, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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