Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:48 am Post subject: Examples of Taking Things Literally
As many of you know one of the traits of someone with AS is taking things literally. I wondered for a while what that meant but now I have some kind of idea. One time when I was a kid my dad told me to "water the dog". So I simply got the hose out and started to spray him. He got the biggest kick out of that because of course he meant give him water to drink.
I have another example I think might be me taking something literally. At the end of the movie Teen Wolf there is a shot at the end of the winning basketball game where you can see a cast member in the stands cheering with his fly open. His white underwear is exposed through his zipper. You can watch this clip on youtube and a couple of times someone left the comment, "if you turn to time (enter exact time here) you can see a guy's d**k. I corrected two people by saying that it wasn't his d**k it was his underwear. Is this an example of taking something literally?
Nope, all you did was corrected them in saying in was underwear. But I'm assuming they knew that and were just trying to get people to look. Ethier way it wasn't an example of taking something litterally, your first example with your dad is correct. Another one would be someone telling you that they're so hungry that they could eat a cow. And then you go on to tell them how impossible that would be in one sitting and in great detail. When all they were doing was just emphasising how hungry they are.
Well, it's not exactly taking something literally, but it is kind of an Aspie thing imo to correct about the d**k vs. underwear thing.
If you corrected the person, one would assume that you think that the person was seriously saying you could observe the person's genitals, when you knew that it was just underwear.
So it's similar to assuming that when your dad said "water the dog" he was seriously saying to spray the dog with water. You didn't correct him there because you didn't know he meant give the dog water. Same situation in essentials.
you can see a cast member in the stands cheering with his fly open.
Accidental innuendo for the win. _________________ Someone who's only willing to give you a penny for your thoughts isn't worth your time.
I'll share a funny anecdote. It seemed like a disastrous faux pas at the time, and it was - it was a classic case of Asperger-like faux pas and taking something literally, but it was some years ago now so enough time has elapsed that now I look on it and see the funny side, and I now feel able to share it without fear of embarrassment.
A radio station asked the question "What do 65% of women find attractive in a man?". A prize of 20 CD's (one for each year, with music from that year) was on offer. Well, I'd read just a few days before a newspaper article that 65% of women find warts attractive in a man. The newspaper was a credible enough publication, I thought, not particularly a tabloid or sensationalist paper. So I called the radio station and when asked the question, I confidently answered "It's warts".
Well, it wasn't the right answer, but it embarrassed me because of my assertion the correct answer was definitely warts, as if it was good and attractive to have warts, yet of course there was a certain level of disgust in talking about warts and asserting that they are attractive. Yet I honestly, hand on heart, had read an article that 65% of women found warts attractive in a man. It was nowhere near 1st April or anything.
All that was on a national station, and because people make fun of my voice a lot, the station showed they were the type of people to do this too. The next few times they played their jingle, they inserted a recording of me saying "It's warts" midway through the jingle, to ridicule me - in front of all listeners nationally.
Joined: Feb 08, 2011 Posts: 2085 Location: Seattle-ish area
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:42 am Post subject:
One of the interpretations I used to take literally as a kid was when somebody would say, "hey, I cut the cheese!" and laugh. So I would walk toward them looking for what type of chesse they cut, and then I'd take a whiff trying to smell the chesse, when all of a sudden I'd realize they didn't actually cut cheese...
Joined: Feb 05, 2010 Posts: 16427 Location: My house
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:28 pm Post subject:
I remember when I was 14, my uncle, my brother, mother and I were all playing a board game called Sequence. My uncle shuffles the cards and gives them to me and tells me "cut" and I sit there all confused and looking at the cards trying to figure cut how do I cut them. Why would I need to cut them. Then my mom said "She doesn't know what that means" so he took them from me and gave them to my brother and told him to cut. So he took half of the cards off the deck and put them aside and my uncle continued shuffling them and told my mother to cut and him again to cut leaving me out. I learned what cutting meant when it came to card shuffling.
I'd say this was more due to ignorance than just being literal.