Post a silly example of taking something literally

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Sati
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16 Dec 2009, 11:16 pm

Recently I was at this mini conference about services for autistic adults in my area. One of the women who was speaking there started her introduction "I'm wearing two hats today..." and I immediately looked to see what her two hats were. (She meant she was representing two professions).



passionatebach
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17 Dec 2009, 2:45 am

I remember when my mayor friend a I were talking last year in regards to a supposed guy whom was breaking into abandoned houses into his flooded out community and using the toilet. The person supposedly left incriminating evidence that he used the restroom. I asked him if he was going to have the person charged with squatting. He said that there was not a squatting ordinance on the books in his community.

He was veiwing squatting as breaking into someone's house and unoccupying it unlawfully. I viewed this as the definition of squatting and also the act of what you do when you sit on the toilet. He never got that squatting was what one does in the restroom when sitting on the toliet.



jkerl21
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17 Dec 2009, 4:10 am

MathGirl wrote:
I still don't get it. :S
Whatever. I must be the queen of literalness. o_O


The headline's referring to Tiger Woods. I don't think the intent was to make people think of the animal; the news has just been so inundated with this story that it's assumed people would know what the headline means.



riverspark
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17 Dec 2009, 9:45 am

The "eye on the ball" story reminds me of another one: When I was in grade school, I was playing wiffleball with some neighbor kids, and somehow miraculously managed to make it to third base. The next kid up hit the ball, and everyone started yelling at me to "go home." Having been ordered by these same kids numerous times in the past to literally go home, I simply walked off the field and left, figuring they had gotten tired of me again. I found out a few days later that I was supposed to have run to home plate and score.

(edited for grammatical error--typing too early in the morning, I guess)



Last edited by riverspark on 17 Dec 2009, 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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17 Dec 2009, 9:59 am

When I was a child, my parents mentioned to me that "teens aren't allowed to drink." I was horrified, and asked what happened when they got thirsty..



17 Dec 2009, 10:01 am

I remember mom and I were going to Missoula to shop and mom was explaining to me why our siding had torn off the house by the strong wind. The men that put the siding on didn't do it right and they were cutting corners. I told her they had to cut them so they could fit the siding on and mom kept telling me how they were cutting corners than doing their job right. I kept arguing with her about how they need to cut the corners to fit the siding on or else they can't fit it on near the roof. The she realized I was taking it literal and explained to me that cutting corners means doing short cuts to get the job done faster. :lol:


That story still makes me laugh when I think of it.



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17 Dec 2009, 10:05 am

I was on the phone to a guy at work, and a colleague (who wanted to talk to the guy as well) said "don't put the phone down when you're done." So I didn't put the phone down when I was done, but I did let the guy put his phone down.....my colleague wasn't pleased with me at all, though I'd done exactly what he'd asked. Some people are never satisfied :lol:

By the way, I thought Tiger Woods was a bus company, so I fell for the double entendre.



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17 Dec 2009, 3:39 pm

Sillylitter topic

A lot of this comes from my translating words into pictures, especially if there is ambiguity.

Examples:

Goat cheese ball :P If you just hear the words, you start imagining all sorts of visuals.
Therapist: If you see this written and there are any spaces in the word... :?
Mum's the word: I can imagine someone repeating "mum mum mum"
Keeping on one's toes: I thought this is what ballet dancers did
Frost Fence: I still get a visual that the fence (chain link made by the Frost Company) is a hedge against ground frost.

My CAPD and the Aspie taking things literally really add up to some silly situations. :lol:


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17 Dec 2009, 4:03 pm

I'm still not sure if my AS diagnosis is accurate, because I don't do a whole lot of this. But there is one example that springs to mind:

I was 18, and on my second evening at my very first job I ran out of things to do, so I went to the boss to ask what was next. He said, "Recovery. Here, follow me." We went and stood at the beginning of one of the aisles, and he said, "What I usually do is go down the aisle, and make sure I hit every single thing." I took off running, punching at the products, and then ran back to him, all smiles. He looked at me like I'd lost it and said, "Smart ass."

It took me another 10 or 15 minutes to realize that he just wanted me to straighten up the shelves and make them look nice.



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17 Dec 2009, 5:08 pm

I'm curious, does it count as taking things literally if you immediately visualize say jumping into a lake? I like idioms so I don't take them literally but I always visualize them. When I was younger my younger brother used to tell me stuff on a regular basis that I believed and he thought was funny that I believed. He used to do it for that very purpose.


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17 Dec 2009, 5:19 pm

When I was in first grade I annoyed my teacher greatly by asking lots and lots of questions in rapid succession (things like "Does everyone see color in the same way?") and after a while she grew very impatient and yelled "TAKE A SEAT!! !!". I stood there for a moment, probably looking puzzled, and finally said "Take which seat where?". The teacher screamed. This was a fairly common occurence.


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17 Dec 2009, 5:53 pm

Aimless wrote:
I'm curious, does it count as taking things literally if you immediately visualize say jumping into a lake? I like idioms so I don't take them literally but I always visualize them. When I was younger my younger brother used to tell me stuff on a regular basis that I believed and he thought was funny that I believed. He used to do it for that very purpose.




I also get literal images in my head when I hear idioms. I guess that's what they call a literal mind. Sure we may have learned the phrases but our literal mindness never goes away. We just have to translate the language when we hear it. I guess people off the spectrum don't get literal images in their heads from idioms.



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17 Dec 2009, 6:37 pm

jkerl21 wrote:
MathGirl wrote:
I still don't get it. :S
Whatever. I must be the queen of literalness. o_O


The headline's referring to Tiger Woods. I don't think the intent was to make people think of the animal; the news has just been so inundated with this story that it's assumed people would know what the headline means.


I didn't get it either. XD;; Tiger Woods is just not someone who is often in my mind. I also didn't realize so many people were that into golf.

When I was a kid I had never heard "passed out" in place of "fainted" so when I did hear it for the first time, I pictured someone passing stuff out to people... you know, like they do in class. "Pass out the cookies, Jake!" "Pass out the homework, Lily!" I forget what the story was, but I was epically confused for the second half of it.


... you know, I've been thinking. It doesn't really seem like a question of literalness, really. It seems like it's just that ASD people are less likely to recognize and assimilate a second or third meanings for words they already know a meaning for. (And I guess we usually learn the literal meaning for a word first, so that's the meaning we tend to stick to.)


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17 Dec 2009, 11:42 pm

I also thought the headline meant the lady having sex with a tiger and I thought "sick."
I never thought of the golfer even though I have heard of him. I'm sure anyone would have also had the same thought as me about the headline if they didn't know who Tiger Woods was or wasn't into golfing or into the person.



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18 Dec 2009, 8:05 am

When I was a kid, my dad once told me "you can't both blow and have flour in your mouth" (a saying similar to "you can't both have your cake and eat it"). Somehow I thought it might be a figure of speech, or maybe not... but one day I tried if he was really right: I filled my mouth with wheat flour, got out in the garden and blowed... and yes, he was right, the flour came out in a big, white cloud! :lol:
My mum even made a note about it somewhere: "Anne tried to blow and have flour in her mouth." :lol:



18 Dec 2009, 8:29 am

I remember hearing this story when I was 12 or 13. I over heard my mom telling a story to one of our neighbors about a little girl in our neighborhood. When she was little, all the students had hard boiled eggs and the teacher said they could eat them shelled. The little girl took it literal and bit through the egg that still had the shells on it. This girl wasn't on the autism spectrum.



I still don't quite understand the term that teacher used. I keep forgetting.