[Ads-l] Children's speech errors; 3 examples

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Tue Sep 11 01:48:24 EDT 2018


On Sat Sep 8 11:11:44 EDT 2018 Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU wrote:
 
<quote> For some time I've been collecting examples of children's 
misinterpretations of words or phrases whose meaning are
beyond  their comprehension. One example from the Pledge
of Allegiance:  "for livercheese and jello for all" (with liberty
and justice for all).
<snip>
   If anyone has any additional examples of such misinterpretations in
children's speech, I'd of course welcome receiving them.<end quote>

There is an article entitled "The World According to Student Bloopers" which has been around for years.  It is available at 
     https://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~norman/Jokes-file/StudentBloopers.htm
or by Googling on "student bloopers".

Here are some misinterprations from my own childhood:

"next store" for "next door" (this has been documented in ADS-L)

"the safternoon" for "this afternoon"

"Dayton nut bread" for "date and nut bread"

from around first grade "geranium bomb" for "atomic bomb"

I saw some cars from the Nickel Plate Railroad on the Baxter Avenue viaduct (in my home town of Louisville KY) and decided that structure was the "penny-duct" 

in Louisville's Cherokee Park there is an area known as "Big Rock".  For years I thought the song "Big Rock Candy Mountain" should be interpreted as "(big rock) (candy mountain)"

Also in Cherokee Park there is the pavilion at Hogan's Fountain which I renamed "the boarding house at Grogan's Water Faucet"

I never came up with "Jose can you see" or "Hosea can you see" but I thought the Star-Spangled Banner was addressed to a man named "Say"

The fourth stanza of "My Country "Tis of Thee" I heard as "Our fathers' God to Thee/Arthur of Liberty"

"The Ballad of Davy Crockett" I heard as "Born on a mountaintop in Tennessee/Realest state in the land of the free".  I did not make the transistion to "real estate in the land of the free".

my first attempt at etymology was to decide "substitute [teacher]" meant "underteacher" from "sub" ("under") and "tute" ("tutor")

I read about St. Elmo's fire and the text said it was originally named after a St. Erasmus (?).  The text then read "Usage changed the name to St. Elmo".  For the longest time I wondered about this Mr. Usage who went around changing names.

My son when he was nursery-school age decided that the appliance sitting next to the dryer necessarily had to be the "wetter"

- Jim Landau




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