Joined: 5 Sep 2007
As many of you know one of the traits of someone with AS is taking things literally. I wondered for a while what that meant but now I have some kind of idea. One time when I was a kid my dad told me to "water the dog". So I simply got the hose out and started to spray him. He got the biggest kick out of that because of course he meant give him water to drink.
I have another example I think might be me taking something literally. At the end of the movie Teen Wolf there is a shot at the end of the winning basketball game where you can see a cast member in the stands cheering with his fly open. His white underwear is exposed through his zipper. You can watch this clip on youtube and a couple of times someone left the comment, "if you turn to time (enter exact time here) you can see a guy's d**k. I corrected two people by saying that it wasn't his d**k it was his underwear. Is this an example of taking something literally?
Joined: 7 Aug 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Nope, all you did was corrected them in saying in was underwear. But I'm assuming they knew that and were just trying to get people to look. Ethier way it wasn't an example of taking something litterally, your first example with your dad is correct. Another one would be someone telling you that they're so hungry that they could eat a cow. And then you go on to tell them how impossible that would be in one sitting and in great detail. When all they were doing was just emphasising how hungry they are.
Joined: 25 Jun 2011
Location: Somewhere Sunny
Well, it's not exactly taking something literally, but it is kind of an Aspie thing imo to correct about the d**k vs. underwear thing.
If you corrected the person, one would assume that you think that the person was seriously saying you could observe the person's genitals, when you knew that it was just underwear.
So it's similar to assuming that when your dad said "water the dog" he was seriously saying to spray the dog with water. You didn't correct him there because you didn't know he meant give the dog water. Same situation in essentials.
Someone who's only willing to give you a penny for your thoughts isn't worth your time.
Aspie Score: 170 of 200
NT Score: 37 of 200
Joined: 4 Feb 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: 2 Sep 2009
Joined: 8 Mar 2006
I'll share a funny anecdote. It seemed like a disastrous faux pas at the time, and it was - it was a classic case of Asperger-like faux pas and taking something literally, but it was some years ago now so enough time has elapsed that now I look on it and see the funny side, and I now feel able to share it without fear of embarrassment.
A radio station asked the question "What do 65% of women find attractive in a man?". A prize of 20 CD's (one for each year, with music from that year) was on offer. Well, I'd read just a few days before a newspaper article that 65% of women find warts attractive in a man. The newspaper was a credible enough publication, I thought, not particularly a tabloid or sensationalist paper. So I called the radio station and when asked the question, I confidently answered "It's warts".
Well, it wasn't the right answer, but it embarrassed me because of my assertion the correct answer was definitely warts, as if it was good and attractive to have warts, yet of course there was a certain level of disgust in talking about warts and asserting that they are attractive. Yet I honestly, hand on heart, had read an article that 65% of women found warts attractive in a man. It was nowhere near 1st April or anything.
All that was on a national station, and because people make fun of my voice a lot, the station showed they were the type of people to do this too. The next few times they played their jingle, they inserted a recording of me saying "It's warts" midway through the jingle, to ridicule me - in front of all listeners nationally.
Joined: 7 Feb 2011
Location: The Emerald City
One of the interpretations I used to take literally as a kid was when somebody would say, "hey, I cut the cheese!" and laugh. So I would walk toward them looking for what type of chesse they cut, and then I'd take a whiff trying to smell the chesse, when all of a sudden I'd realize they didn't actually cut cheese...
Joined: 4 Feb 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest
I remember when I was 14, my uncle, my brother, mother and I were all playing a board game called Sequence. My uncle shuffles the cards and gives them to me and tells me "cut" and I sit there all confused and looking at the cards trying to figure cut how do I cut them. Why would I need to cut them. Then my mom said "She doesn't know what that means" so he took them from me and gave them to my brother and told him to cut. So he took half of the cards off the deck and put them aside and my uncle continued shuffling them and told my mother to cut and him again to cut leaving me out. I learned what cutting meant when it came to card shuffling.
I'd say this was more due to ignorance than just being literal.
Joined: 7 Jun 2015
Location: Southern Ontario
I don't think you took things to literally. I believe those people were being sarcastic which can be tricky to tell even for NTs on the internet.
"God may not play dice with the universe, but something strange is going on with prime numbers."
"There are two types of cryptography in this world: cryptography that will stop your kid sister from looking at your files, and cryptography that will stop major governments from reading your files."
Joined: 21 Dec 2014
Location: MD, USA
When I was 7, I was at the grocery store with my Mom. She saw someone from the PTA that I didn't know, and started talking to her. I stood there looking around the store, feeling a bit bored. The lady looked down at me and said, "Hello there dear, how are you?" I didn't say anything, because I had been taught not to talk to strangers, and I didn't know her. (Apparently Mom had not yet told me that if she was talking to somebody, she wasn't a stranger). After we stared at each other for a few seconds, the lady said, "What's the matter, honey, cat got your tongue?" I thought that was a very strange thing to say, and stuck out my tongue at her to show her that, no, the cat had NOT got my tongue, here, see? For some reason, the lady seemed offended!
Diagnosed Bipolar II in 2012, Autism spectrum disorder (moderate) & ADHD in 2015.
Joined: 30 Mar 2014
Location: Libiaz, Poland
My example of literal understanding was saying "I don't like coffee" when a classmate asked me if I want to drink some coffee with him. I didn't figure he just wanted to met and that I could get some tea or juice instead of coffee if it really involved drinking anything. I genuinely thought he is inviting me for some coffee.
Joined: 2 Mar 2015
Location: Within & Beyond
Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Yes you took it literally. Whether or not they saw your comment as appropriate depends on whether or not they meant their comments literally. Though if they didn't, I'd say your comment was probably a case of pearls before swine.
Joined: 8 Aug 2015
I remember being told to search some program in Google when I was a kid. I went into their homepage and began looking for the program between the "gmail", "youtube", "maps"... links, instead of typing its name in the search bar. Which is kind of literally "searching on google".
But I don't really have problems taking things literally.
Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Location: temperate zone
I did manage to figure out what "cutting the cheese" meant at some point. But the expression still drove me nuts because it made no sense to me even as figurative slang. Until one day I was handling a piece of cheesecloth, and noticed that it sounded just like a fart when you rip it in two, and then realized that the expression mustve originally been "cut the cheesecloth" back in the day. Like most expressions it must have gotten shortened.
|Taking things literally care to share a few examples ?||
27 Feb 2014, 1:15 am
|Taking things literally?||
30 Apr 2006, 3:15 am
|taking things too literally||
23 Jun 2011, 5:32 pm
|Am I taking things too literally?||
01 Oct 2012, 12:44 am