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SaveFerris
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16 Jul 2017, 10:45 am

Can taking things too literally get better which age , if so , is it just a case of learning from your mistakes i.e you still initially think literally but hardly ever take it that way.

Can anyone give me examples of the ways you have taken things too literally apart from the obvious things that are usually quoted in textbooks ( e.g pull your socks up ).


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Trueno
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16 Jul 2017, 11:14 am

I've lived in Yorkshire for 30 years, so I should be used to "put wood in th'oil" (put the wood in the hole)... but this one wrong-footed me...
I walked into a pub and the crusty old local sitting at the bar said "there's a piece of wood over there that belongs in that hole". Firstly, I didn't even realise he was speaking to me. But he was looking at me... so next thing, I just didn't have a clue what he was talking about. Long silence followed by embarassment and sometimes embarassment leads to anger. Then I realised and said "If you want me to close the door then just ask politely."
It was a bit fraught all round, spoiled the day.


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SaveFerris
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16 Jul 2017, 11:26 am

Never heard that expression before. How much difference do you think it would of made if he got your attention first and gesticulated towards the door as he said it?

What else is funny about that expression is that is a literal expression / command


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Trueno
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16 Jul 2017, 11:32 am

To be honest, he was a grumpy old get anyway. I think I may have understood quicker if he had pointed, but the moment was lost already. It was lucky I didn't resort to my "are you the village idiot?" comment... I might have got my spotty face punched.

The rather impolite imperative is usually softened by tone of voice... ee! put wood in th'oil, lad before we all freeze to death.


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Last edited by Trueno on 16 Jul 2017, 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

SaveFerris
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16 Jul 2017, 11:35 am

The most used expression around me for being arsey about shutting the door is asking "Were you born in a barn"


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Trueno
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16 Jul 2017, 11:37 am

SaveFerris wrote:
The most used expression around me for being arsey about shutting the door is asking "Were you born in a barn"


Forgotten that one...


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lostonearth35
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16 Jul 2017, 12:33 pm

I would have been just as clueless because I had no idea until now that "there's a piece of wood that belongs in a hole" simply means "close the door". In fact, it sounds like innuendo and I'd be like, "You creepy old pervert!!" :lol:

Well not really, I'd probably say "excuse me?" like I normally do, or actually start looking all around the room for a hole or some wood.



naturalplastic
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16 Jul 2017, 12:57 pm

Must be a local Yorkshire expression. Probably not current even in other parts of England/Britain.

Someone on WP talked about a childhood experience somewhere in the American South. The WP person said that his mom was instructing him in how to cross the street, and told him "look up, and then look down". So.. first he looked up to the sky, and then his mom went into gales of laughter because in that locale "up" means left, and "down" means "right".

I think that that person's mom needed an ass-kicking much more than that Yorkshire gentleman did! Lol!

How's a little kid supposed to know that "up" means "left" in the dumb local lexicon? At least "wood in the hole" has SOME logic to it (shutting the door). Why would "left" be considered "up" anymore than "right" would be "up"? Totally arbitrary it seems to me.



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16 Jul 2017, 1:04 pm

A couple of years ago, I was in class and we were working on a project in the computer lab and my professor said something like "When you're done, let me know. Just place your hands on your head or something." So I finished and did just that. He was like "what are you doing?" and I said "You said to put your hands on your head when you finish and I'm done" Apparently he wasn't serious and everybody in the class but me knew it.


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CharityGoodyGrace
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16 Jul 2017, 1:23 pm

I used to take things too literally. I learned to catch myself doing that and in some cases just learned naturally not to do it in the first place. If you can't concentrate on learning that, it probably means you have something important going on in your mind you need to address-- concerns about your life, a scientific theory you're figuring out-- or you're just inattentive naturally for whatever reason to such things as sarcasm, metaphor, etc. and more subtle stuff too.



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16 Jul 2017, 1:55 pm

lostonearth35 wrote:
it sounds like innuendo and I'd be like, "You creepy old pervert!!" :lol:


Right. Seems the proper response would be "Sorry, buddy, you'll hafta find somebody else's wood for your hole."

naturalplastic wrote:
Someone on WP talked about a childhood experience somewhere in the American South. The WP person said that his mom was instructing him in how to cross the street, and told him "look up, and then look down". So.. first he looked up to the sky, and then his mom went into gales of laughter because in that locale "up" means left, and "down" means "right".


I've not run across up and down being used as specific substitutes for left and right, though growing up in the Ozarks, I can imagine using "up" and "down" as directions if the street were slanted on the side of a hill, as the street I grew up on was.

Of course, people in any given city do often refer to "uptown" and "downtown" when actual elevation has nothing to do with it, so "up the street" and "down the street" could vary depending on the person giving the directions.

TheSilentOne wrote:
A couple of years ago, I was in class and we were working on a project in the computer lab and my professor said something like "When you're done, let me know. Just place your hands on your head or something." So I finished and did just that.


It's exactly that sort of thing that helped me develop a sense of humor as an Aspie kid. I often took remarks like that literally, but I learned after a while that even if I understood the remark was not literal, that I'd get a laugh if I pretended that it was.


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SaveFerris
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16 Jul 2017, 2:34 pm

TheSilentOne wrote:
"When you're done, let me know. Just place your hands on your head or something.


That's a puzzling one for me , I can't see how that means anything else

It's exactly that sort of thing that helped me develop a sense of humor as an Aspie kid. I often took remarks like that literally, but I learned after a while that even if I understood the remark was not literal, that I'd get a laugh if I pretended that it was.


It's still the type of sense of humour I have today but I don't think it's considered that funny by others as I get groans when I do it.


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SaveFerris
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16 Jul 2017, 2:56 pm

lostonearth35 wrote:
I would have been just as clueless because I had no idea until now that "there's a piece of wood that belongs in a hole" simply means "close the door". In fact, it sounds like innuendo and I'd be like, "You creepy old pervert!!" :lol:

Well not really, I'd probably say "excuse me?" like I normally do, or actually start looking all around the room for a hole or some wood.


That's interesting that you mention innuendo , I wonder when Aspie's start to learn about sexual innuendo that they make even more mistakes.


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16 Jul 2017, 3:49 pm

It's exactly that sort of thing that helped me develop a sense of humor as an Aspie kid. I often took remarks like that literally, but I learned after a while that even if I understood the remark was not literal, that I'd get a laugh if I pretended that it was.


SaveFerris wrote:
It's still the type of sense of humour I have today but I don't think it's considered that funny by others as I get groans when I do it.


Me too. My humour often goes awry with others too.



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17 Jul 2017, 8:39 pm

I'm American, but have studied a lot of British expressions due to my interests in The Beatles and Roger Bannister. However, some of these expressions are entirely new to me. I never heard of the wood in the hole expression before. "Were you born in a barn?" is one I have heard frequently, although it is probably not used in California. I always thought it was far more general than a request to close the door and referred to bad manners as a whole.



SaveFerris
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17 Jul 2017, 8:53 pm

IstominFan wrote:
"Were you born in a barn?" is one I have heard frequently, although it is probably not used in California. I always thought it was far more general than a request to close the door and referred to bad manners as a whole.


Your right , it does imply that you have bad manners or have manners similar to an animal that frequents barns.

There is also a hypothesis that the phrase originates from "Were you born in Bardney"

Quote:
The story of the arrival of the bones of St.Oswald at the monastery has given rise to a well-known Lincolnshire saying. On the night that Oswald's bones arrived, the monks shut the abbey gates and refused to allow the coffin in. During the night a 'pillar of light' shone skywards from the cart and convinced the monks that Oswald was indeed a saint and that they had been wrong to shut his coffin out. Ever after, so the story goes, they left their gates wide open - hence the saying "Do you come from Bardney?", meaning that you have left a door open.


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