Friday, July 11, 2014

Can You Trust Your Ears?

When I was  kid (eons and eons ago), I sang along to the radio.  Of course, most of the time I had no idea what any of those words actually meant.  I still cringe when I think of my parents listening to me belt out (off-key and way out of tune) lyrics that no six-year-old should be singing ("Ruby, don't take your love to town" and "Lay you down and softly whisper pretty love words in your ear, Lay you down and tell you all the things a woman loves to hear." Bonus points if you know the song/artist.  I'll give you a hint: my parents liked country songs.)

My favorite one was from when I was a bit older and started listening to my brothers' rock and roll stuff.  Bruce Springsteen's "Blinded by the Light" was just chock full of stuff I didn't understand, but what got me (and apparently a whole bunch of people) was the line "cut loose like a deuce," which I (and countless others) heard as "wrapped up like a douche."  And of course, I had no idea what that meant.  So I can only imagine the pleasure everyone who heard me sing got from that one.  My only consolation now is that I clearly wasn't the only one.

(And just for some more fun, run down this rabbit hole: Am I Right - Misheard Song Lyrics)

So it shouldn't be any surprise to me when I come across those auditory errors when I proof manuscripts.  Some common ones include:

for intensive purposes  - should be for all intents and purposes
phase - should be faze
hone in - should be home in
you've got another thing coming - should be you've got another think coming **

**Part of the confusion on this one rests on the shoulders of Judas Priest (as if they didn't get enough grief in 1989 when they were named defendants in a lawsuit over subliminal messages in their albums that caused two young men to commit suicide).  The song "You've Got Another Thing Coming" was a big hit in 1982 and from then on, we can blame them for the auditory error and the misuse of the phrase as it was intended.

But I ran across this really cool video that describes how what you see can affect what you hear, and what you hear can change your perceived vision.  Check it out:

No comments:

Post a Comment