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Norny
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24 Jan 2014, 12:17 pm

Is this link a good example of it?

That is really screwing with my mind, as I thought that's what everyone did. I have done that all my life, and always thought it was 'being precise' rather than literal. In the example given, I would have gone on to write about my previous holiday anyway if I had nothing to write about, because I would have been aware that the teacher expected me to at least write something of substance, but yes my first thoughts would have exclusively been the actual school holidays. If the Hawaii holiday was particularly exciting for me, I would have asked the teacher if I could write about that instead, but I would have still probably started with 'In my actual school holidays, I just did the normal stuff such as blah blah blah' or something like that.

I actually cannot take that link seriously. I found it here and always thought that the blog was credible, but now I'm questioning it. Is this really what 'taking things literally' is?

I have heard bizarre stories such as a wife telling an Aspie husband to 'take out the washing' and then he goes on to take the washing machine outside, but that seems so extreme and the blog-post seems so un-extreme. Is the degree at which an Aspie takes things literally because of the experiences behind them? Also why would the husband in that example take out the washing machine? Wouldn't he use logic and memory to determine that to be an incredibly unreasonable request?


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Last edited by Norny on 24 Jan 2014, 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

League_Girl
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24 Jan 2014, 12:53 pm

I've been told I take things literal but I have never been that literal whenever I read literal stories.


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24 Jan 2014, 12:55 pm

I also find the story iffy. That is not good eggsample of taking things literally. The boy doesn't take things literally. What did you do during the school holidays is never nothing. For eggsample, he ate food and went to the bathroom, those are not nothing. So if he wrote nothing, then he was not being literal, instead he was making an inference that nothing meant nothing special like the Hawaii vacation. It could have come from his mother's statement about not doing "anything", but that still requires inference from anything to nothing and still violates the literal truth that he did do things during the holidays.

Some of the other stories about taking things literally might be true, and if they seem too bizarre, then they could have happened as isolated incidents and not as the norm for the person being described. In some moments of distraction, I don't deploy much logic and memory in response to someone's request. But I wouldn't consider these eggsamples what an HFA adult does all the time. I know a lot of HFA adults from ages 10s to 60s in real life, and none of them take things so literally like the washing machine eggsample, they are all capable of making inferences what someone really wants them to do in real-time, but they might not if they are preoccupied with other thoughts.


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Norny
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24 Jan 2014, 12:59 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
I also find the story iffy. That is not good eggsample of taking things literally. The boy doesn't take things literally. What did you do during the school holidays is never nothing. For eggsample, he ate food and went to the bathroom, those are not nothing. So if he wrote nothing, then he was not being literal, instead he was making an inference that nothing meant nothing special like the Hawaii vacation. It could have come from his mother's statement about not doing "anything", but that still requires inference from anything to nothing and still violates the literal truth that he did do things during the holidays.

Some of the other stories about taking things literally might be true, and if they seem too bizarre, then they could have happened as isolated incidents and not as the norm for the person being described. In some moments of distraction, I don't deploy much logic and memory in response to someone's request. But I wouldn't consider these eggsamples what an HFA adult does all the time. I know a lot of HFA adults from ages 10s to 60s in real life, and none of them take things so literally like the washing machine eggsample, they are all capable of making inferences what someone really wants them to do in real-time, but they might not if they are preoccupied with other thoughts.


Thank you for the very helpful and much appreciated eggsplanation.


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droppy
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24 Jan 2014, 1:20 pm

Quote:
In the example given, I would have gone on to write about my previous holiday anyway if I had nothing to write about, because I would have been aware that the teacher expected me to at least write something of substance

I wouldn't have acted like this.
But I wouldn't have written "nothing" either.
As btbnnyr wrote one never does nothing. I would have probably written that I stayed at home and about the things I did.

Quote:
I have heard bizarre stories such as a wife telling an Aspie husband to 'take out the washing' and then he goes on to take the washing machine outside, but that seems so extreme and the blog-post seems so un-extreme. Is the degree at which an Aspie takes things literally because of the experiences behind them? Also why would the husband in that example take out the washing machine? Wouldn't he use logic and memory to determine that to be an incredibly unreasonable request?

Why? There are different degrees of AS, and anyway not all people (I'm not just talking about autistics; I am talking about NTs as well) are able to learn from their mistakes/experience. My father is almost 60 and still takes many things literally.
If someone asked me to "take out the washing" I would be confused and ask "why should I take it out? I can't, it's heavy". I didn't know it was figurative speech before you wrote it here. I don't know if my father would react in the same way.



Norny
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24 Jan 2014, 1:32 pm

droppy wrote:
If someone asked me to "take out the washing" I would be confused and ask "why should I take it out? I can't, it's heavy". I didn't know it was figurative speech before you wrote it here. I don't know if my father would react in the same way.


One thing I'm curious about is why you automatically assume 'washing machine' when only the term 'washing' is used. If you have learned 'washing machine', does this mean that no one around you has ever mentioned anything about the 'washing' to you, referring to the clothes being washed? This is sort of what I meant by the experience statement I made in the previous post. I would assume that if you have learned what 'washing' is, then because that's all that is said you literally think of that.

Also sorry if I have offended you, wasn't my intention.


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mikassyna
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24 Jan 2014, 1:33 pm

What does "take out the wash" mean anyway? I'm not joking. I have heard "take out the trash" but what does it mean to take out the wash? Hang up the laundry outside? Scrub the laundry outside? Take the laundry out to the laundromat? I really don't get it.

At least I know it doesn't mean to take out the washing machine, because the instructions are to take out the wash, not the washing machine.



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24 Jan 2014, 1:34 pm

Oh wait. I think it means to take the laundry out of the machine, right?



Norny
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24 Jan 2014, 1:38 pm

mikassyna wrote:
At least I know it doesn't mean to take out the washing machine, because the instructions are to take out the wash, not the washing machine.


This is what I would have thought. I guess different brains interpret what is literal differently. If I didn't know what the 'wash' was I would ask.


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24 Jan 2014, 1:58 pm

Norny wrote:
droppy wrote:
If someone asked me to "take out the washing" I would be confused and ask "why should I take it out? I can't, it's heavy". I didn't know it was figurative speech before you wrote it here. I don't know if my father would react in the same way.


One thing I'm curious about is why you automatically assume 'washing machine' when only the term 'washing' is used. If you have learned 'washing machine', does this mean that no one around you has ever mentioned anything about the 'washing' to you, referring to the clothes being washed? This is sort of what I meant by the experience statement I made in the previous post. I would assume that if you have learned what 'washing' is, then because that's all that is said you literally think of that.

Also sorry if I have offended you, wasn't my intention.


I have never heard the washing machine being called a washing. I have heard of being called a washer like my mom would tell me "Put this in the washer." I have also never heard "take out the washing" to mean the clothes that are in there. I wonder if it's a cultural thing or regional difference. I believe the blogger is from Australia and I am American so we maybe don't use that term here for washing machine.


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droppy
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24 Jan 2014, 2:01 pm

Norny wrote:
droppy wrote:
If someone asked me to "take out the washing" I would be confused and ask "why should I take it out? I can't, it's heavy". I didn't know it was figurative speech before you wrote it here. I don't know if my father would react in the same way.


One thing I'm curious about is why you automatically assume 'washing machine' when only the term 'washing' is used. If you have learned 'washing machine', does this mean that no one around you has ever mentioned anything about the 'washing' to you, referring to the clothes being washed? This is sort of what I meant by the experience statement I made in the previous post. I would assume that if you have learned what 'washing' is, then because that's all that is said you literally think of that.

Also sorry if I have offended you, wasn't my intention.

You haven't offended me. I didn't feel offended by your post. Did it look like I had been offended? :?:

I know washing has other meanings, but I immediately think about the washing machine because that's the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear "washing".



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24 Jan 2014, 2:01 pm

I have been told i take things literally. Like Feast at 5means exactly 5:00.


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mikassyna
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24 Jan 2014, 2:06 pm

Sedentarian wrote:
I have been told i take things literally. Like Feast at 5means exactly 5:00.


I have never heard that term, but why wouldn't it mean at 5pm?

When someone has an event like a birthday party, I truly depend on concrete times. I've got kids, and every half hour they go waiting for food means they get crankier. So I will plan their snacks to be timed appropriately 2 hours or so before their meal time. 30 minutes off either way can really get them (and me!) edgy. So, if people put a time down, out of courtesy they really should try to stick to it, because some people really do have reasons to hold them to it!



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24 Jan 2014, 2:12 pm

Until a few months ago, I was convinced that I had no issues with this. However, my husband made a joke at some point about me taking things literally. I argued with him, and he spent the next several weeks pointing out everything that I misunderstood. Apparently, I do it quite often.



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24 Jan 2014, 2:48 pm

Sometimes I take things literally. My brother once told me that he was frustrated and was "pulling his hair out". I asked him if he really had pulled some of his strands of hair out. I know the expression and have even used it many times. The difference is that when I use it or when I have heard others use it simply as an expression it is usually always accompanied by a smile or a giggle or a slight change in intonation at the end of the sentence. When my brother said it the day we talked he did not do any of those three things so I could not tell if he meant it literally or not. He had to explain to me that he had not actually pulled out some of his hair.

I have taken other things literally as well but usually not big things. Like I would have never mistaken washing for washing machine. It's usually more subtle things that I might get confused about. And it does not happen happen. I usually know what people are talking about. But every now and then I get confused. Another great example was again one involving my brother. I had stopped by his job and when I was leaving he gave me a big hug as he always does. When he was hugging me one of his bosses came by and said, "None of that here in the store!" The way he said it I could not tell if he was serious and my brother had to explain to me that he was making a feeble attempt at humor. He doesn't mind at all if my brother hugs me in the store but he was just trying to be funny but I could not tell and so I took him literally.


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24 Jan 2014, 2:57 pm

mikassyna wrote:
Oh wait. I think it means to take the laundry out of the machine, right?
Yes! :)


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