Misunderstood Words

I've been thinking about literacy lately. Mainly because I have started a new job with an organization that helps adults improve their literacy skills. While in my teaching career, I have taught language arts and ESL, I have never worked in the primary grades nor have I actually taught someone how to read. The older children I have dealt with have, for the most part, already had a basic ability to read - either in English or another language. Learning to read is an interesting concept. I vaguely remember the "Dick and Jane" stuff from my school days, and equally vague is my recollection of life before print. 

When I was little I used to call my brother, "bubba". Apparently, when I was first learning to talk, "brother" came out as "bubba". The name stuck for quite a while and it came as quite a shock, at the age of four or five, when I learned that his real name was Neil! I always knew that other people called him Neil, but I thought "bubba" was part of his name too ... like a second name,  Neil Bubba Drury! 

What you hear can often be totally different from what you see in print. It wasn't until I could read and was following along in a Christmas carol song sheet, that I realized that in "Jingle Bells" they were riding in a one horse open sleigh not a one horse soap and sleigh! When marking student writing once, I was amused when a kid referred to the term self esteem as self of steam! Today when I hear an unfamiliar word or name I like to see it in print in order to get a better handle on how it's pronounced. I'm not sure how I would get along in a world without print!

How many times have you heard a song and misunderstood the words until you read the lyrics?
Check out comedian Peter Kay's performance, in the link below, based on misunderstood lyrics!

misunderstood lyrics - (warning - may be offensive, for adults only)


Popular Posts