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L Lawliet

Taking things literally

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L Lawliet

Apologies if this has been mulled over a thousand times :P

 

I take loads of things literally. The obvious one being jokes. Someone will joke about something and I will take it really personally.

 

Other types of jokes I give serious answers too. The other day a guy at work asked if I was going to share my biscuits. I went on a long rant about how I have never liked sharing food and how much I love biscuits and how it was nothing personal to him, etc. But then he was like, "I was only kidding!" and walked off laughing, making me feel really stupid.

 

Also though, it's not just jokes. You know when someone says "Put this shell to your ear, you can hear the ocean"? As a child (as young as nursery school) I used to put it to my ear and frown because I didn't get it.

 

How could I possibly hear the ocean in a shell?

 

What's more embarrassing is that I only realised what this was all about because I asked my other half about it and what people meant by it. I only asked this the other week!!! For years I felt like I had been missing out on something so simple! :huh:

 

Is this an AS thing or am I just taking life too seriously?

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HenryVIII

Is this an AS thing or am I just taking life too seriously?

 

Probably a bit of both.

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Rich07

It might be an AS thing, as I always take things literally as well. Practical jokes made against me always backfire because I do not find the joke funny and instead take their actions to heart. 

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L Lawliet

I have very silly humour, so I've never thought of myself as too serious, but things like this make me think otherwise :P

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Soul_Doubt

I do this by mistake a lot.. if someone catches me off guard I'll give a literal answer and not notice.

 

Good example I've used before:

I was lifting something heavy, a guy said "someone's been eating their porridge today", I proceeded to tell him about my breakfast. *facepalm* 

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L Lawliet

What?! So you aren't supposed to hear the sea in a shell???

 

You are, but its not the actually ocean, it's the sound of your blood pumping round your ear, echoing in the shell. It's supposed to sound like the ocean. I thought they were hearing the actual ocean :P

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Mike_GX101

Well according to the Oxford dictionary "literal" is an adjective which means 1. Taking words in their basic sense without metaphor etc; 2. Corresponding exactly to original words; 3. Prosaic, matter-of-fact.  Number 2 is synonymous with close, exact, faithful, strict, verbatim, word for word and number 3 above is synonymous with unimaginative.  A pedant incidentally is someone who insists on strict adherence to literal meaning or formal rules and fits closely to the word 'literal' and is also synonymous with unimaginative. 

 

It is a difficult one though because I know people on the spectrum who are imaginative and enjoy art and music and so it is a bit of a conflict because how can you be imaginative and unimaginative all at the same time?  Or, indeed, perhaps it is a case that some people on the spectrum take things literally while others do not.  Or maybe it is in varying degrees or it is a case that we're more imaginative in areas where we are strongest while being unimaginative in other areas such as social reciprocation requiring the throwing of parties and arranging of weddings, etc.

 

When I think of someone talking exactly in a fixed tone of voice with little imagination I suppose I might think of Raymond Babbit from the film Rainman, who just so happened to be on the extreme end of the spectrum and be a savant with extraordinary abilities to be able to count over 200 matchsticks in a few seconds and beat a calculator, which may have been over-exaggerated for entertainment value while giving false impressions of real people on the spectrum.

 

It's probably one of those things that comes in varying degrees and will affect different people in different ways and may also be to do with social upbringing and the resultant shaping of personality.

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Nesf

Oh yes, I often take things meant as jokes literally. It's hard to tell whether someone is joking or not! When I was about 7, my older sister looked at a particularly red sunset and told me that the world was ending. I believed her and burst into tears.

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L Lawliet

Oh yes, I often take things meant as jokes literally. It's hard to tell whether someone is joking or not! When I was about 7, my older sister looked at a particularly red sunset and told me that the world was ending. I believed her and burst into tears.

 

Aww that's quite sweet ^_^ I'm just the same. Some skies and cloud formations can look quite apocalyptic though.

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