Monday, June 09, 2014

Twixt the eyes/ears and the brain

Funny how quickly one's mind can fill in words and phrases that just aren't there.

 My mother and I were traveling together last week, and she caught a glimpse of one of those highway warning signs that advertised the store Lands End. She did a double-take and realized that it really said Lane Ends.

 I'm working on a software media-relate project in which the main (core) pieces of software are stored in a folder named mediacore. No matter how many times I see it, my brain always translates it at first look to "mediocre". Which I swear the product isn't.

 Then there was the news brief on the radio a few years back, which started out, "The situation is getting worse in the Middle East, and [someone] blames it on a rock." After a moment of wondering what rock and waiting for the explanation, I realized that [someone] actually blamed it on Iraq (pronounced roughly "uh rock").

 If you're a programmer, you might understand this one: Many many years ago, I attended a software technical lecture in which the technology and terminology were way beyond me and I struggled to understand. At one point, the lecturer began talking about "K statements." I had no idea what they were, which fit in with me having no idea what most of what he talked about was. But I became more baffled as everyone around me started discussing the use of K statements as if they were everyday things. Seriously, my degree was in computer science and I worked as a developer and I'd never heard of them. My puzzlement resolved itself when I caught a glimpse of a colleague's notes, mentioning "case statements," which of course I'd heard of and used fairly regularly.

 Have you encountered any such visible or audible confusions?


paper boat sailor said...

What an interesting blog! Glad to have stumbled upon another word nerd. Will be back for more reads.

Elf said...

Well, it took me only 14 months to notice that this comment was waiting for my OK. Thanks!