Man Discovers Band Name Not “Haulin’ Oats”
Sacramento, California, May 11 – A local man expressed shock this morning that the name of the duo behind the 1982 hit single “Maneater” was in fact composed of its members’ surnames, and not a phrase referring to dragging sacks of oats around.
Chris Laggert, 36, was leafing through various back issues of magazines in his dentists’ waiting room, and came across a mention of the Hall & Oates induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last month. Laggert reread the line several times, believing the magazine had made an error. He then asked two other people waiting whether they knew of the band, hoping to confirm whether the mistake was his or that of the anonymous US reporter.
The other two patients had not heard of the ensemble, leaving Laggert in suspense, until the hygienist was able to answer his question 20 minutes later. He shook his head at the discovery.
“I’ve been wrong about this forever,” he said.
Laggert first heard the single in 1990 as part of a “greatest hits of the eighties” program on the radio, and misconstrued the name of the band right from the start. Upon realizing his error, the paralegal performed a quick internet search and confirmed that he had been mistaken for 24 years.
It is not the first time an area resident has misheard the name of a band. Last year, retail salesperson Sara Martinez, 28, referred to a song by “Olivia, Newt and John” in a text message, leading to an embarrassing exchange with a potential date. Earlier last year, an unknown customer inquired of a ticket salesperson whether there were any seats left to an upcoming concert by “Van Hailin’,” who, presumably, thought the hard-rock ensemble was trying to evoke a particularly risky hitchhiking practice.
The phenomenon of mishearing song lyrics is well established, and is called a “Mondegreen,” a term that itself is a Mondegreen; it was coined when a listener heard a Scottish ballad saying, “They ha’ killed the Earl of Murray and laid him on the green” as “Lady Mondegreen.” No such term exists for the analogous phenomenon of mangling the names of band names, but social history professor Julia Douglas of UC-Sacramento suggests Into Neil.
“You know, after the band ‘The Captain Into Neil’,” she explained.
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