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Watch Out for That Muddled Background Noise

Have you ever been singing a popular song only to discover that you're belting out the wrong lyrics? Misunderstanding lyrics is a common mistake that can take on a life of its own as seen with the single by Taylor Swift, "Blank Space." A misunderstood line from the song has taken on a life of its own. Some Swift fans think the song's line "got a long list of ex-lovers" is actually "all the lonely Starbucks lovers" including, apparently, her mom.

Well, now there's a scientific explanation for our goofed-up lyrics. It's called mondegreens. Dr. Mark Liberman, professor of linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, explains the phenomenon: when you hear a song "you're getting an input signal that is muddled with background music, rhythms, and syllabification, explains making it hard for your brain to interpret everything at once."

Possible Preaching Angle:

It's harmless when it comes to song lyrics, but it may be harmful for our life in Christ. Getting input signals from the Bible or the Holy Spirit that are "muddled with background" noise can be dangerous.


Staff, “Even Taylor Swift’s Mom Got That ‘Blank Space’ Lyric Wrong — Here’s Why,” Yahoo Life (5-26-15)

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