20 Misunderstandings of Words That Led to Hilarious Misspellings

Amber Garrett - Author

Aug. 29 2019, Updated 3:11 p.m. ET

word misunderstandings header
Source: reddit

You know that phenomenon where you have only ever seen a word written down and so when you go to say it aloud you completely bungle the pronunciation? There has to be a word for that, and maybe there is but we're all just too embarrassed to try to pronounce it for the first time.

Well, sometimes the opposite can happen. You'll hear a word or phrase all the time but maybe you've never seen it written down — so you try to guess at the spelling. Or perhaps you've completely misunderstood what you heard, and instead write down what you heard. There is definitely a word for that: malapropism. And here are 20 unintentionally hilarious cases of people revealing their word misunderstandings.

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1. I would hope all doctors advise against that.

If I were the person asking this shellfish-averse individual out to dinner, I think I'd have to rescind the invitation after learning that they had been walking around thinking the word "crustacean" actually is "crushed Asians." Then again, I'd love the opportunity to sit down with them long enough to get the story from them on how this made sense to them. Do they think all sea animals with exoskeletons are Asian in origin and... smushed in some way?

2. Definitely not an English major.

I don't think there's much risk of anyone mistaking the person responding to this grammar question for an English major — since they seem to think two words that have the same meaning are "cinnamons" rather than synonyms.

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3. This dish gets my approval.

I'm pretty sure the dish in the photo is chicken parmesan, but as much as one commenter is a fan of the Italian comfort food, they're a little unclear on its spelling. A+ to the commenter below them for standing up for consent, though!

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4. That's an unusual punishment.

Look, I get that loss prevention is super important in detail, but I'm not sure this is the right way to go about stopping people with sticky fingers. Actually, I'm fairly certain it's illegal outside the state of Nevada.

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5. Kind of a turn-off, TBH.

Personally, no matter how much a like somebody, I never want to smell their colon, and I certainly wouldn't want to smell it on myself or my bed linens! (I'm pretty sure they meant cologne.)

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6. I can almost see how this misunderstanding happened.

Here's what I imagine led to this poor person's misunderstanding of the French phrase filet mignon: 

They assumed that because it's so small and tender — mignon translates to dainty or cute — that it must come from very young cattle, and that because it's seared on a grill, that's why it's called flaming young. 

Nobody can change my mind, this is definitely the thought process here.

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7. Honestly? .Same

Look, I don't want to be friends with people who abuse perfectly good red sauce this way, either. I question their judgement. Smoking mozzarella is completely OK, however, and makes for a lovely addition to a party cheeseboard.

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8. Dunno, Ari got ho!

Everything about this text exchange is delightful. First, the perplexing mention of this person's pal Tony Chiba, seemingly out of nowhere. Then there's the text recipient's genuine confusion, followed by the sender's arrogant assertion that their "weeb" friend should know how Japanese folks say hello. At least, once corrected, they acknowledged who's ignorant here.

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9. That's not what they're called, but I'm gonna start calling them that.

This one is so adorable. The sender doesn't pretend to be an expert in musical instruments, which is pretty clear in their misunderstanding of the word "acoustic" as "a two stick." And, in their defense, there are guitars with two necks! They're called double-neck guitars, but from now on, we should definitely call them two-stick guitars.

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10. Coming to an arthouse cinema near you.

So much of this exchange brings me joy. The fact that they legitimately thought it was French eyes, not franchise, on top of being met with genuine confusion and addressing that confusion by just... repeating what they said in the previous text. And the pièce de ré·sis·tance in the whole conversation is their genuine confusion over the fact that it's not French eyes. My dude... why would you think this was right?

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11. That would be a pretty gross ice cream flavor.

Now the person who posted this cone of cookie dough topped with Nutella made an error of their own — it's "a part," not "apart" — I almost missed it due to the egregious one made in the comment below. The word they're going for is salmonella, but honestly "salmon vanilla" as a flavor would probably make me as sick as salmonella. 

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12. My sign is Gatorade.

Such a shame to see an otherwise fantastic joke marred by this hilarious replacement of America's favorite juice pouch for the tenth astrological sign in the zodiac.

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13. No one invests like Gaston...

Here's another misunderstanding I can sort of give logical sense to. What if you thought Stockholm syndrome, AKA the phenomenon wherein the captive comes to sympathize with their captor, actually referred to the way stockholders might come to defend a corporation's actions, even when they directly harm them, because those decisions help raise the stock price. It sort of tracks, right?

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14. Well, it would stop the flu symptoms...

I really hope this one is a joke on dad's part and he's silently chuckling to himself over the suggestion that his daughter kill her husband to deal with his flu. After all, it can be very contagious.

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15. Smells a bit like a gym sock, though...

Did I miss the Adidas / Taco Bell cross promotion? I'm pretty sure this fan of the Bell is referring to chicken quesadillas, which are indeed good af.

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16. This one is inexcusable.

Look at the box in the photo! It says the correct spelling right there! M-I-C-R-O-W-A-V-E. Also, I'd argue the name Michael is way harder to spell correctly than "micro." The only way I can even cope with this one is to believe it was an autocorrect that went unnoticed.

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17. At first I thought they meant "halal."

This is just adorable, the misunderstanding of the French à la carte followed by their friend's delightfully G-rated insult, "cement head." 

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18. Look, you're no catch either, sir.

You might not think that girl on Instagram is cute in real life, but as least she hasn't been living her whole natural life thinking it's "looks can be this evening," and not "looks can be deceiving."

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19. Is the IRS racist?

The phrase is "tax evasion," sir. What is up with people thinking we're out here using all these phrases that are blatantly racist against Asians in 2019?

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20. The question is — did they turn this in?

I have to take pity on the kids who got halfway into making a Power Point on youth in Asia before realizing the assignment was to discuss euthanasia, AKA doctor-assisted suicide. But really, you didn't ask some clarifying questions, Patrick and John? Asia is a giant landmass with nearly 50 U.N. recognized nations and roughly 60 percent of the world's population. Don't you think that's maybe a bit of a broad research assignment?

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