Tagged: npr

Kid mislearnin’

I giggled like a little boy while I was listening to this week’s This American Life and their segment on kids who misinterpret things and continue to believe them into adulthood. My favorite was the woman who passionately defended the addition of unicorns to the endangered species list at a dinner party.

Oh, the stories I could on myself. Directions on toothpaste confounded me for years. “For best results, squeeze tube from the bottom.” Why would toothpaste would clean better if squeezed from the bottom? I thought maybe it needed to be shaken up like salad dressing or excess gases from the toothpaste factory should be separated from the paste. I’m proud to report I figured out the toothpaste is just easier to get OUT of the tube when squeezed from the bottom… All by myself… By the time i was 25.

Another classic was junk mail. It always came in our mailbox addressed either to our household “or Current Resident.” But when your family name is Currence and you are learning the rules of grammar, such as plural vs. singular, you start to wonder why the backup plan for a catalog would go to just one of us. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I realized, as a Curren(ce) Resident, i personally was entitled to read everyone’s junk mail. A right I still invoke.