|This tumblr post is what reminded me,
actually. Here’s the original.
One of the most common misconceptions about dyslexia is that it makes reading completely impossible for those who have it. The majority of people who have only heard of it in passing often believe that the only symptom is letter and word reversals.
In reality, most dyslexics can learn how to read with the proper accommodations and teaching methods. There are also many other factors that make reading difficult, including problems with interpreting word meanings.
As I’d mentioned in my entry about the word lead, I still have a problem with that in some cases.
I was reminded of another word I have problems with earlier this week: Polish.
Polish actually has several meanings –
1. A citizen of Poland. “She’s Polish.”
2. The language of Poland. “I don’t understand Polish.”
3. To shine or rub to a smooth sheen. “I’ve gotta go polish my car now.”
4. A smooth, glossy surface. “Check out the polish on that bike!”
5. To refine, remove errors on a project. “Once I polish this story, I can submit it to publishers.”
6. To improve someone’s manners, though the word’s usually used as “polishing” in this context. “We sent her to a polishing school, but she still can’t figure out why there’s so many utensils in a formal table setting.”
7. The substance used to buff something to a smooth sheen. “That shoe polish really made my boots look good.”
Obviously, this is one of those words where context means everything.
For me, I end up confusing the first, third and fifth definitions on a fairly regular basis. It doesn’t matter if I wrote the note myself or if someone else did, either.
A while ago, I was working on a short story to submit to a few places. Since I keep a to-do list, I had written “Polish story” at one point, and every time I glanced at it, I confused myself into distraction.
The characters weren’t Polish. The story didn’t take place in Poland. Brain, what?
Eventually, I had to erase the note, so I could get the rest of what I had to done that day.
Then there are terms like Polish Sausage. It may be shiny in some preparations, but it would probably lose its appeal if it here covered in something like shoe polish.
That’s probably why I refer to it as kielbasa. When I look at the word kielbasa, I get an image of regular, oh-so-tasty sausage in my mind’s eye instead of the strangely plastic looking polish covered Polish sausage.