Weird Things I Thought as a Kid

Mercedes-Benz Peace Sign PosterI though a lot of weird things when I was kid. There were words I got wrong and concepts I got mixed up, all to the consternation of my parents and teachers. Here are a couple of the concepts that gave me some trouble.

Word Meanings


Some kids on the playground told me about the concept of human sacrifice. After that, I though the word “sacrifice” always meant murder. So if the president got on TV and said we had to make some sacrifices, I assumed he was talking about ripping people’s hearts out.


I confused the words “erratic” and “erotic”, so I would say something along the line of, “Mom, the cat is running around the house erotically.”

At Large

I remember seeing an election sign when I was in middle school. It said, “So-and-So for City Council At-Large”. Those last two words confused me. I had only heard “at large” used to refer to fugitives. (“The suspect is still at large.”) I didn’t know “at large” was used for political leaders without a specific district. So it sounded to me like the sign was from a fugitive running for office. Or perhaps an already elected politician who was “on the run”. Neither sounded plausible though. I was old enough to know better. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a smart phone with Google, so it was only years later I understood the real meaning of the sign.

Light Vaders and Livesavers

I thought that the main bad guy in Star Wars was called “Dark Vader”. And since his mask was black while the Stormtroopers masks were white, I referred to the Stormtroopers as “Light Vaders”.

I also though the laser-powered swords were called “Lifesavers”, not “Light Sabers”. After all, I had never heard the word “saber” in any other context, but I was familiar with Lifesavers candy. And I suppose the name is apt. If you’re up against a bunch of “Light Vaders”, a light saber can be a big lifesaver.

Peace Sign vs Mercedes-Benz Logo

I never understood why hippies would complain about material possessions while wearing Mercedes-Benz hood ornaments around their necks. The two symbols looked so similar that, even after I learned the difference, I couldn’t remember which one was which for a couple of years.

What concepts confused you as a kid? Let me know in the comment section.

Steve Lovelace

Steve Lovelace is a writer, photographer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at

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