Friday, September 14, 2012

Someone Tell Me, What Is This Called?!



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It has to be something. I refuse to believe it's indicative of or a measure of intelligence.

But when you tell me something in a tweet about calling your dad's cell, I gasp and almost type back "What?? Your dad's in jail?!"

Almost type back, because I've learned to stop myself. Time has taught me that.

If you tell me the family's mouse is dead, I kindly touch your arm, and suggest a pet shop on Highway 60. The reaction I get is 'you're funny!' and I laugh back - fast - pretending I get the punch line. 

Play along play along, I tell myself, just like the way I'd pretend to get all the dirty jokes in second grade.

Yesterday, my son was looking in the mirror and audibly lamenting, "I can't believe these are my genes!" 

Excitedly, I told him we could go shopping later, "I've got a 20 percent off coupon for The Gap!"

I'm not dumb. I cleared A's through grade school, was on The National Honor Society in high school, and made the University's Dean's List and Honor Roll.

So, what the heck?

What is this?

Could you call it literalitis? I guess you could. But it's more of missing the whole gamut of the other use for words: homonyms, homophones.

I've tried to commit Venn diagrams, like this one, to memory; hoping it would help me keep in mind: words have more than one meaning.

I run this like an undercurrent through my brain, hoping it takes as a filter before I speak, "Words have many meanings. Words have many meanings." But I still get snared every time.

I know it has to be something, but maybe I'll just accept it and enjoy what it's brought me - making people think I'm quick as a whip and queen of the double entendre.

Actually, it comes in pretty convenient. How else could I get away with announcing, while holding the door open for the brooding, dark-haired, mystery of a man that delivers pizzas to the Friday night basketball games, "Hot Stuff coming through!"

Because, duh, obviously I'm talking about the pizza.

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Thank you to Mommy Unmuted, for gifting me with The Versatile Blogger Award. I am so honored, and happy that you thought of me. Thank you.

33 comments:

  1. Anyone who was brought up with one language and then adds English as their second language gets a pass on any and all word misfortunes.

    We should all speak just one language well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah. I never thought of that.

      Maybe, right?

      Delete
  2. I know it's very common for people with Asperger's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But I agree with the above comment about having to add English as a second language. I've been speaking French for like 10 years (I try to anyway), and I still can't catch on sometimes.

      Delete
  3. Along with the people above, this is very common for people who pick up a second language later in life. I'm sure it makes for interesting conversation though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Renee.

      A perspective I never thought of.

      Delete
  4. My kids are soooooooooooo sick and tired of me when I do this. Maybe because I do the same ones over and over and over and over and over and, well, you get the idea. The current most irritating one is when one of the boys announces he is going to the restroom (all guys like to tell people this information). I always tell him to have a good rest and he gets so angry with me, it cracks me up.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Since I speak fluent literal, with a blunt accent, you'd have no problems understanding me. Plus, I don't tweet, so no problem there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you really speak literal? OH, I love you so.

      Delete
  6. Sometimes I do it on purpose (with homophones). Told my husband "I need the dough" for him to give me back the card we use for groceries. My daughter asked why people call money dough and I told her I had no idea what she meant because I was talking about how I "knead" the dough -- flour. She walked away.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dude. So totally me. I always do that and when people look at me with that weird "What in the world" look? I smile and shrug it off. Thats why I'm the funny one.

    I think its it the kids

    ReplyDelete
  8. haha and in todays world where there is so many sub languages...ie text speak....you just cant tell sometimes...i will back you up on that...

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is why I exclusively speak jive, turkey!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. sir delfin: I look forward to hearing it. In PERSON.

      Delete
  10. I think your Homonym Detector Unit is an old analog thing with cathode ray tubes and tin foil-y rabbit ears, while these other mod darlings are using the latest in Homonym Detector technology. Their iHDUs wouldn't work if you asked them for the dimensions of Charles Manson's cell, or if they could build a better mouse trap. Let them try inputting "Dylan's record" and I bet they wonder what this Dylan guy got arrested for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See? You are so smart. This comment here, I couldn't write it if you gave me 3 days and 5 pots of coffee. You're so smart.

      Delete
  11. Me, too! I'm always doing this. What is that? We're not stupid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know. I'm book smart. Academic smart, so what gives??? Can you leave a name next time? Do you blog???

      Delete
  12. You're adorable. I think it's the sweetest thing I've ever heard.

    Just practice raising your eyebrow after every sentence. If you've literalled all over yourself, the brow says, "ha ha, gotcha." If there was no misunderstanding, the eyebrow says, "mmm hmm. I'm clever."

    If it helps, I still don't know which of the three types of mouse they meant.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yes,let's just call you insanely clever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AND OF COURSE, leave it to you to see beauty in the ugly.
      My wonderful friend...

      Delete
  14. I'd never want to have to learn to speak English as a second language. But as a first language speaker, I have to admit, this is pretty (f)punny!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your boys are so lucky to have you as a mom...you are giving them endless fodder for the Abuelita Tales they will tell their kids someday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, they have got BOOKS to write.

      THey laugh about it daily.

      I suppose, better than anything else, right?

      THANK YOU.

      Delete
  16. Just one of the many reasons that I love you. xo

    ReplyDelete
  17. Omg, I had to read this post twice before I got the jokes. Who's the dumb one here?! (Not that you said you were dumb)Genes! Hot stuff! Love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See? Again. YOu and I: maybe it is b/c English is our 2nd language?

      I never thought of that...

      Delete
  18. It's innocence. It's pure-hearted innocence that lets you not get it. That's what it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh, Lady.

      How you leave me speechless.

      Delete
  19. I totally do that too. Except I'm always being sarcastic and people get mad at me.

    ReplyDelete

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