Quiet and thoughtful I may be, bewildered and frazzled I often am.
Picking up where I left off in 'The Idea Unfolds', then... How does one generate these misunderstandings? There are a number of ways. Here are mine:
One is to be very literal about something which is generally offered in a figurative sense. Take the phrase: "I'm just going out to stretch my legs," for example. Need I say more? When you get your hands on a copy of the book (and I trust you will), check out the story 'Short' to see what I came up with.
Another is to glean a possible meaning in the word's potential for puns. One of my favourites was 'parapet', which my dictionary defines as a 'low wall at the edge of a balcony or bridge' or 'a defence of earth or stone'. I looked at the prefix 'para' and thought of the 'paranormal'. The rest is 'pet' - which gave me a paranormal beast that is in some way attached to humans. A familiar, perhaps, as you'll meet in 'Beast'. Not a low wall in sight.
Another is to take something that is suggested by the word itself - its sound and/or its given meaning. The word 'accolade' suggested a drink to me, like 'lucosade', but instead of conferring dubious health benefits this was obviously a drink that made you feel good about yourself. 'The Drink That Gives You a Pat on the Back' in fact.
Then there were some that just came out of nowhere. How a 'jig' got to be a magical drawer in which something different appears every time you open it, I'm not quite sure. Nor am I how 'flagrant' came to be a noun, and the flagrants to be extra-dimensional beings who chose to run a rather extraordinary bar, on a street just a little way away from your regular town centre drinking holes. It just felt right.
So there you go, that was how I started trying to get something right out of getting something wrong. Where to next, eh? Check out my fourth post in due course and you'll get more than an inkling. (Hmm... 'inkling', I could do something with that...). Til then, may all your paths be pleasant.