Archive for Misreading

Misinterpreting the royal lives clause

I was really confused about a legal clause that I read about in the news. I eventually figured it out, but I thought it was worth writing up my confusion. Recently, Disney set up a legal agreement that’s intended to last in perpetuity; or, if that turns out to violate the Rule Against Perpetuities, then […]


I just read a quote from a book review that included the phrase “complex characters trying to make sense of their worlds, their pasts, and their dreams.” But I misread pasts as pasta. And for a moment there, it seemed perfectly reasonable to me that trying to make sense of their pasta might be something that […]

Misreading: sleep

In a recent TV episode, a character quotes Shakespeare: We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep. …Only I misread the caption and thought it said “rounded with a sheep.” Now I kinda want to see other lines from Shakespeare with a word replaced by […]


I just accidentally turned two pages at once in a book, and read what appeared to be the following line: …swindle a Texan balcony of her mansion… (Hustlers & Con Men, by Jay Robert Nash, pages 311 and 314. The page break is after the word Texan.) I was going to call this accidentally-turn-an-extra-page-but-it-still-sorta-makes-sense phenomenon […]


I’ve been misreading things even more often than usual lately. Two recent items: …in the difficult time after his resumption of coffee. (Was really “after his assumption of office.” (Magister Ludi, p. 315)) Non-OMG food. (Was really “Non-GMO food.”)

Fish and lovers

I just saw an email advertising a “three-day flash sale,” but I misread it as a “three-day fish sale.” Which led me, of course, to Ben Franklin’s saying about fish and guests; that turns out to derive from John Lyly’s 1578 book Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit, which includes the line “fish and guests in […]


Just glanced at a fundraising letter, and for a moment wasn’t sure whether it said “Liberian activist,“ “libertarian activist,” or “librarian activist.” (It turned out to be the first of those, but I was intrigued by the juxtaposition of those three categories, even though that juxtaposition was only in my head.) (Also interesting that I […]


On an article about coyotes this morning, I saw a scrolling ad. Because of the way it was scrolling, it appeared to say: Learn About Beast Augmentations I had to look closely at it to see that there was indeed an R in that third word, and that it was in fact talking about breast […]


Recently saw a spam subject line that I thought said "Succeed in a truth economy." Which brought all sorts of interesting science fictional ideas to mind. Until I saw that...