When you’re a kid, it’s easy to mistake a word or phrase for something else. It’s even easier to mistake a made-up word or phrase for something else.
My favorite example is from the original Star Wars. I was only five when I first saw it, and couldn’t quite get into the reality of the space opera setting. For example, I thought that the bad guy was “Dark Invader,” and that the Jedi’s weapon of choice was called a “Life Saver.” After all, Life Savers also came in a long, narrow tube, and sometimes they glowed in the dark.
Thanks to the murkiness of modern movie soundtracks, and probably all those years of damaging my hearing with Walkman headphones, I find this phenomenon is not limited to childhood. In the case of the 1998 movie Dark City, I misheard a key line of dialogue as “He can chune!” I’m not sure why I heard it that way, it just sounded cool and mysterious and weird, like a superpower should. In fact, I wasn’t the only one; my best friend also heard “chune,” and for the next several months we used the expression frequently in casual conversation, to the dismay of everybody else. You can only imagine our chagrin when, several months later, we watched the movie on DVD with the subtitles turned on and found that the word was, in fact, the decidedly less-eldritch-sounding tune.
Am I the only one? Do I need to get my hearing checked?