## Monday, June 23, 2014

### On the Berenstein Bears Switcheroo

Two years ago, I wrote a post about one of the icons of my childhood, the Berenstein Bears.  Except, as I learned, they aren't called the Berenstein Bears.  As it turns out, they're the Berenstain Bears.

BerenstAin.  With an "A".

My mind was blown.  I had very distinct memories of the bears.  I grew up reading their books and watching them on TV in school, and remember how it used to be spelled.  I tried to figure out when the name had changed.

As it turns out, the name has never changed.  They have always been the Berenstain Bears.  Every physical book I had ever seen had said "Berenstain Bears".  I have always been wrong.  Every scrap of physical evidence proves me wrong.

I was really struggling with this for days.  Solid days.  I felt crushed.  I remember how the name was spelled, in almost the same way that I know what cut grass smells like.  I went on about this for days, in particular to one very patient friend of mine, and how it made no sense and I can't tell what is true or not anymore.

At nearly the same time, I was taking a class in quantum field theory, and happened to learn the concept of Euclidean spacetime in that context.  The idea of complex dimensions lead me to think of a world split into 16 distinct "universes."

 from xkcd
Combined with my existential angst over the spelling  of the bears, I thought of an explanation.  It was probably the silliest, most outlandish thing I've put forward, but I put if out there.  For those not familiar with it, I claimed that two of these "universes" in the complex-dimensional spacetime have two different spellings of the name.  I will henceforth call these Universe A and Universe E.  In Universe A, they are spelled "Berenstain".  In Universe E, they are spelled "Berenstein".  Whatever else is true, we currently live in Universe A.  However, at some point, it seems that some of us once lived in Universe E.  Now here we are, inexplicably in Universe A, and completely befuddled.

Since writing that post, it has been linked to on dozens of forums, by people every bit as bewildered and confused as I was.  As of today it has received over 100,000 page views, and at one point some 20,000 page views in a span of five minutes when it hit twitter.

Plenty of people have contributed their own experiences and added their own theories, so I thought that I would make this post to comment on everything that I have learned about the Berenstain Bears, time shifts, alternate realities, false memories, and the old books.  This is mostly meant to posterity, so that the next wave of people to discover this can see what else has been said about it.

1) Some people remember the spelling "Berenstain".

On almost every forum I have seen so far, there has been at least one person to comment to the effect of, "You are all idiots, I remember it said '-stain' from when I was a kid, I noticed it hundreds of times and never knew why people kept mispronouncing it."  They usually say it in just that way, too.  They have memories of asking why the name was spelled with an "A" as a child, or being corrected on the pronunciation as a child, or some actual, tangible memory that anchors the spelling as always being with an "A".

This doesn't really disprove my hypothesis.  All it means is that those people are from Universe A.  I still have definite memories of Universe E.

And while it restores a certain amount of sanity (maybe I was wrong), it was also kind of jarring that people apparently remember the spelling with an A.  I expected some people to shrug, accept the new spelling, move on, and tell everyone else to get over it (such people are also common on forums).  But I didn't expect anyone, at all, to ever remember the bears as spelled with an "A".

To be perfectly honest, I fully expected that if it were ever possible to get in touch with Jan and Stan Berenstain, lately deceased, and ask them how to spell their name, that they would both begin detailing, in a rambled tone as sweat begins to pool on their brows, that their entire lives -- their entire lives -- they had thought that they had been writing their name "Berenstein"... but now they go, and they look at their old journals, their old letters, checks and documents they've signed... they see what they've written... and they've written their name wrong.  They've been writing it "Berenstain" all this time, and they thought they were writing "Berenstein".  Their own handwriting is lying to them.

However, as they had both passed away, there was no way to ask them.  Maybe this was some cruel trick, that they'd be forever unavailable for comment the moment it was most critical to me?  Which bring me to my next point.

2) The Berenstains themselves insist the name has always been spelled "Berenstain".

Very shortly after I published my blog post, I received a comment signed by Mike Berenstain.  I will reproduce the comment below:
I normally don't comment on blogs about our family name but yours was so unusual and imaginative that I thought it only appropriate to add my thoughts. "Berenstain" according to our family lore was an attempt by an unknown imigration officer sometime in the late 1800s to reproduce phonetically a highly accented version of the tradtional Jewish name "Bernstein" as pronounced by my Father's grandparents when they came to America from the Ukraine. In that linguistic region, the name tended to come out sounding something like, "Ber'nsheytn". Since that's how the name was originally documented, it has always been spelled that way by our family and it has always been misread and mispronounced by nearly everyone. It has always been "The BerenstAin Bears". Your parallel reality theory is very resourceful but, unfortunately, by applying Occam's razor, we arrive at the explanation that most people have just misread the name.Mike Berenstain (Son of Stan and Jan)
The comment was technically anonymous, but was signed.  I don't know that it was really Mike Berenstain, but I also have no reason to doubt it and good reasons to believe it.

At the time the post was published, my blog was very small and private.  I received, at most, five hits a day, most of them from malware sites.  Most of my traffic was a handful of friends.  Mike's comment is actually the first comment ever made on this blog - before that, my friends would just message me on facebook if they had anything to say about a post.  So there's no way that it's just someone who stumbled on the post and wanted to play a joke.

The comment was also made just three hours after the post went up.  What seems likely is that Mike Berenstain has a Google Alert set up to notify him when websites mention his family's books.

Also, the comment gives a pretty detailed and plausible account.  It checks out.  It seems like a real explanation, and not just something someone made up.

Some people in some threads have pointed out that it is suspicious (and one of my early readers did too) that the son of Stan and Jan Berenst*in would just happen to find my blog the day it was published and comment on it.  With the Google alert, it makes sense.  Maybe it was one of my friends?  None of them have ever owned up to it, and my friends aren't the sort who play pranks on me.  I can also promise that I didn't write that comment.  While I don't know that it was Mike Berenstain, that is the most plausible explanation.

This has apparently been the first time that Mike Berenstain has ever commented publicly about the name, and it has undoubtedly been due to his comment that my post received so much attention, so I would like to thank him for bringing this clarification.

Of course, technically all this proves is that Mr. Berenstain is from Universe A.    Which is reassuring.  It would be terrifying if his recollection of things had gone the way I initially suspected.

There is also an interview with Mike and Jan Berenstain available here, where they talk about the development of the series.  You can hear them pronounce their name, and they pronounce it "BerenstAin".

It's also kind of sweet to hear Jan Berenstain singing the theme song for the show.  She must have been a very nice lady.

Edit: There is also an interview at National Post, where Mike Berenst*in discusses the spelling of his name.  Misspellings and mispronunciations have apparently always been a problem for Mike.

3) There are thousands of people who really do remember "Berenstein".

Despite the occasional weirdo in forum comments, and despite Mike Berenstain himself, there are hundreds of thousands of people (a conservative estimate, based just on people in the forums on the subject) who really do remember the books being spelled "Berenstein".  When I say that they really do remember, I mean that there exists somewhere in their brain a collection of neurons that truly does correspond to the books being spelled "Berenstein."  And these people have no such memories of "Berenstain".

More than that, there are people who have memories of incidents involving the spelling.  For instance, there are people with the last name Berenstein who were teased as children for their name being identical.  But if their name wasn't identical, surely they would have said something?  And there are people who have puzzled over why it is pronounced "-steen" and not "-stine".

One of the more common is people actually making the mnemonic as a kid to a "stein" of beer, imagining Papa Bear drinking a mug of beer.  Clearly that'd make no sense if the name was spelled "-stain".  Other people remember making constant potty-jokes about the word "stain" with their friends and siblings, and can't understand how they'd have missed "stain" in the name of the bears.

You are not alone.  Almost everyone, when they first learn about this, is extremely confused.  It isn't just that you were wrong.  You can accept being wrong.  It isn't just that you misremembered something.  You can accept misremembering something.  It is that your brain refuses to accept the spelling "Berenstain". You are not crazy, at least not in the technical sense, as plenty of other people feel the same way.

4) All physical evidence says "Berenstain."  Your old books in your mom's attic say "Berenstain." They have always said "Berenstain."

At no point have the bears ever been called the "Berenstein Bears."  The name never changed, ever.  The entire time you were growing up and reading the books and watching the show, they were called the "Berenstain Bears".  Every cover stated "The Berenstain Bears."  The authors were always named Stan and Jan Berenstain.  They didn't change their names for any reason.  Those were always their names.

Since this post going up, and since it being discovered on other forums, plenty of people have posted pictures of their old books.  The books say "Berenstain".  They all do.  They all say Berenstain and they have always said Berenstain.

The old kids show?  It says Berenstain.  They pronounce it as "Beren-steen", but it has always been spelled "Berenstain".

Some people have left cryptic comments on other forums, saying they're going to go to their parents' house and get to the bottom of it.  For instance, one comment that gets cited a lot is by someone named Selena in the wikitalk page.   She claims:
Actually, throughout my childhood, it was always "Berenstein" Bears. At some point in the mid 90's, it looks like they changed it to "Berenstain" with an A. I found some old books with the original spelling, so I know I'm not crazy. Anyone know when/why it was changed? I'm just curious, since I noticed that Stan's recent obituary had the "Berenstain" spelling. Salena 22:27, January 1, 2006
However, she never cites her proof.  Does she have an "unchanged" book in her possession?  Or did she just never check?  Did she make that comment assuming, as we all did, that the books in her possession said what she always thought they said?

Numerous people have made similar claims and promised to go home and check that night.  Either they were never heard from again, or they reported back with pictures of their books saying "Berenstain".  They have gone up in to their parents' attics, pulled out dusty old cardboard boxes, and there, in their hands, were the books from their childhood... except they've been changed somehow and now say "Berenstain."

Every scrap of physical evidence in existence says "Berenstain", and always has said "Berenstain."

They were never changed.  Here in Universe A, the universe we live in (now at least), they have always been called the Berenstain Bears.

And this, really, is what makes it so creepy.

5) Lots of people list books on Ebay, Amazon, and Newspaper Ads calling them the "Berenstein Bears", but the physical products themselves still say "Berenstain Bears" on the cover.

Many people, looking for photographic evidence of the "original" spelling, have turned up listings on amazon and ebay and old newspapers that have the "Berenstein" spelling.  However, close inspection shows that the product actually being sold has "Berenstain" on the cover.  This is clearly an example of people being mistaken and not double checking when making their listings.

6) There are some images photoshopped to say "Berenstein".

 It looks so right... but it's so wrong
Someone on reddit posted this picture.  The picture is definitely photoshopped.  The person posting it has denied responsibility for the shop job; allegedly, he downloaded the picture from the internet years and years ago and had it saved in a folder and didn't think about it until the controversy sprung.  Photoshop diagnostics show exactly where the image has been altered.

But looking at it... suddenly, everything seems so right.  That's what the name used to look like, back in Universe E.  That is the name that was on the books. That's what the books should say.

Another photoshopped image was posted on my blog, from imgur, here.

Some people have tried to do photoshop diagnostics on it, like with the above, but nothing has come up in those.  However, it is clearly a photoshopped version of this images, which was posted in a reddit thread that I linked to.
 The edited version
 The original version

The second fake photo (above)put a great deal of sanity back in to my life.  Maybe they were called the "Berenstain Bears", but the book club was the "Berenstein Bear Club" and that's how everyone made the mistake.  I could come to terms with that.  But... nope.  Nothing related to the Berenstain Bears has ever been called Berenstein anything.  They have always and only have been the Berenstain Bears.

Any official image or cover saying "Berenstein" is photoshopped.  Not one single cover has transferred with us from Universe E.  There's no point in looking.  Go ahead and look, but you will find the same thing as everyone else.

Edit: Another fake picture has been making rounds.  The perpetrator apologizes for any mental stress or trauma he may have caused.  It may have been part of raising Alzheimer's awareness.
 This photo is also a fake.  The editor has confessed.
7) If you said "Bernstein" as a kid, then you're just plain wrong.

Sorry.  It is Berenst*in, in every possible universe.  Bernstein is a pretty common spelling that comes up in forums sometimes, and it is just wrong.  I'm sorry that I'm so dismissive of it, considering how ardently I insist on Berenstein.  But "Bernstein Bears" sounds a thousand times more wrong than Berenstain Bears.  The only reason, arguably, that the books were about anthropomorphic bears and not rabbits is because the authors' name is pronounced like "Bear-en-steen".  "Bern-steen" is a completely different vowel pronunciation and everything. I'm sorry.  It cant possibly be right.  You just weren't paying attention.  Sorry.

8) No one really cares about my theory, and no one understands my theory.

People frequently cite my blog post as supporting alternative timelines.  Or alterations to the timeline due to time travel.  Or the many worlds hypothesis.  I've written extensively about time travel, where I outright deny the possibility of altering the past.  I even denied it in the post in question, when addressing another blog on the same subject (definitely worth a check for the curious).

I don't believe in alternate timelines, and I don't believe the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.  Neither of those explanations would make any sense, here, either.  Timelines are a completely unphysical concept that fly in the face of our current understand of general relativity (as explained by me here).  The many-worlds interpretation is at least supposed to explain a physical phenomenon, but the "universes" in this interpretation can never be re-combined.  The many-worlds interpretation is a scientific theory, and the claims it makes about "alternate universes" are very specific and take a very specific form, and they take a form that is at odds with the idea of jumping universes.  If Universe A were in fact a separate "universe" in the many-worlds sense, then we can't cross to it from Universe E.

To me, the neatest part of the whole post was the idea of 4D complex Euclidean spacetime, and how it so naturally included the possibility of switching.  Such a cool theory!  I keep meaning to take it somewhere.  Maybe it needs someone smarter than me to really work out its potential.  But I don't think anyone else really got it, or cared.  Which is kind of sad.  To me, anyway.

So, for the record, my blog post has nothing to do with alternative timelines, and nothing to do with the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.  You can still believe those things if you want to, I guess.  But I don't believe them.

9) I don't really believe we switched universes.

Obviously, with my rational mind, I understand that the most reasonable explanation is that I misremembered.  Occam's Razor and all that.  Probably the biggest piece of evidence along these lines is the fact that handwriting from the 80's still says "Berenstein", even though the books say "Berenstain".  One striking example was a man on reddit who claimed he found a old VHS tape that said "Berenstein."  But then he played the video, and was wrong.  He wrote "Berenstein" on the label, but the video intro said "Berenstain."

Yet, with a more visceral part of my mind, I refuse to accept that.  I refuse to accept the "Berenstain" spelling.  It won't go in my mind.  That wasn't what they were called.  That isn't right.  The memories are so clear and so vidid, and so widespread.

I have been wrong about many, many things in the past, and misremembered many, many things.  All of these things, I have shrugged off and owned up to.  I cannot shrug off "Berenstain".

For the rest of my life, I will continue having the memory and the belief that the bears were once spelled "Berenstein".  I can accept the logic that I just made a mistake, but I really can't get the rest of my brain to admit it.  I never made a mistake, because they were never the Berenstain Bears.

That said, I don't really believe that we switched universes.  While my theory was certainly intriguing to me (and apparently no one else), I don't actually believe it.  I don't know if my theory describes the universe we live in.  Even if it did, I'd doubt we shifted.  The blog post was me having fun in a way only physics PhDs can, which is rationalizing totally irrational behavior with hyper-rational mathematical analysis.

I feel like a magician explaining to his audience that magic isn't real, but not everyone got the point that I was kidding.  I'm not kidding about being totally weirded out about the A/E switch, but I am kidding about alternative timelines.  Mostly, anyway.

I still don't know what exactly happened.  Way, way too many people have made this same mistake.  And it causes me way too much cognitive dissonance to think I was reading the "Berenstain Bears" books when I was a child.  But unless 4-D complex Euclidean spacetime can be worked in to a real theoretical framework that makes real and testable predictions that come true, I'm not going to seriously believe we swapped universes.

10) There's a lot of other stuff like this.

Plenty of people have brought up the Mandela Effect.  Depending on your take on things, this is when huge groups of people all have similar false memories.  Alternately, this is when some people shift to a different timeline and notice that their transplanted memories no longer accord with official history.  The name comes from an apparently widespread belief that Nelson Mandela died in the 80's, which resulted in massive riots throughout Africa.

The Berenstein/Berenstain confusion is included on their list of common memories.  Also included are things like a portrait of Henry VIII eating a turkey leg, or New Zealand once being located north of Australia.

Frankly, I think it's kind of silly.  If you had asked me five years ago if Nelson Mandela was dead, I'd have probably said "yes", but I never pay attention to Nelson Mandela.  No one from South Africa seems to report believing he had died.

I thought New Zealand was north of Australia, and at first was kind of scared when I heard this.  But looking at a map, I was relieved that there it was, right where I always knew it was.  Except that it's called Papau New Guinea.  So, I was just misidentifying one island nation for another.  No one from New Zealand has made this mistake, nor anyone from Australia, and plenty of kiwis have commented on this to explain that they've never moved.

The picture of Henry VIII I am more clear about.  I have seen a picture of Henry VIII eating a turkey leg.  He's standing up, and the drumstick is in his hand with a bite taken out of it.  I don't remember it being a portrait, however.  I just remember seeing an image of him eating a turkey leg.  It turns out this is a very popular depiction of him (see links in that forum), just not in any official portraiture.

I'm not denying that these people have these memories.  I definitely have memories of the Berenstein Bears, so I know what they're going through.  But I don't buy in to the Mandela Effect stuff.

It is an important distinction to note, with the other Mandela Effect instances, the people reporting the false memories have little direct contact with the issue in question; I never paid much attention to South African politics or to Southeastern geography.  It's easy to explain how I messed up, especially since no South Africans or New Zealanders have reported the same confusion.  With the Berenst*in Bears, people who read the books and watched the shows everyday -- some who even wrote books reports or even defended their copyrights legally -- have the same memory of Berenstein.  Exposure to the books and the spelling of the name has no bearing on whether you remember stAin or stEin.

Conclusion and Some Outside Links

All told, I still don't really know what's going on.  I'm a pretty staid guy.  I don't go in for pseudoscience or the paranormal.  I can't even stand pseudoscience in science fiction books.  I've never seen the show "Sliders", mostly because I think its premise is dumb.  But the Berenstein Bears Switcheroo is still the weirdest thing that's ever happened to me.  Apparently, it's also the weirdest thing to happen to hundreds of regular, normal, non-paranormal and non-paranoid people.

I have made serious efforts to link to many of the discussions I have found on this subject, for the sake of the curious.  I hope to include more links as they come.  Here is a small sampling of those that have come up in the past two years:

Of course, these are just the ones that I can remember, and that have cited my blog, and that I have read through.  There are certainly plenty of other threads along these lines.  It might be worthwhile to check twitter for conversations there, as they have been one of the biggest sources of traffic.  If you, dear reader, find any more threads like this that you think are useful, please post them in the comments, and I will also probably add them to the list here.

I would like to end by saying thank you to all of the people who linked to my blog.  I don't host ads, so it's not like you made me rich, but you did give me the satisfaction of having my ideas read by total strangers around the world, which is definitely something.  And thank you, again, to Mike Berenstain, for his helpful comment, explaining how, in Universe A, his family name came to be spelled as it is, without which I doubt that anyone would have paid any attention to me.

To everyone else, welcome to Universe A.  You'll get used to it before long.

P.S. Like the last post, this post has reached Blogger's limit for visible comments.  I sincerely apologize and I'm looking to change my hosting situation to prevent this from happening.  I am shutting down comments on this post to prevent further frustration to readers.  If you would like, you can leave comments on my follow-up piece on the Mandela Effect.

PPS Comments seem to be fixed.  Reopening them (2017/12/05)

#### 228 comments:

1 – 200 of 228   Newer›   Newest»
Unknown said...

I remember people wrongly pronouncing stain as "steen", always bothered me becaue i knew it was wrong, what's happening to you is that you always pronounced the name steen, which is wrong, perhaps your teacher or your parents pronounced that way and it got stuck deep into your brain, same thing happened to mea couple of years ago with a videogame named "suikoden" which ive always pronounced as "suidoken" for years and years until recently, i was truly confused, but nevre thought of someone travelling through space and time and changing history just to play a joke with me... maybe you were just not a very clever kid and never realized it was actually supposed to be pronounced as "stain"...ever thought about that simple explanation?

Reece said...

Not even once have I considered that simple explanation. Thank you for being the first.

Anonymous said...

I prefer to use a theory that I borrow from the first Matrix movie. When a des ja vu happens (or major “geo-synchronicity”), it means the Archons changed something in the game simulation that we call "reality". The Oracle in The Matrix: Reloaded elaborates on this idea when sitting with Neo on the bench. When something paranormal happens, like when UFO citings make front headlines, its just a friendly hand wave from our Galactic Neighbours who were given permission to ever so slightly, in a minor way, alter the trajectory of human history. This Bernstein Bear thing could be an excellent example of this phenomenon. The Mandela effect could be another pretty trippy possible application of this theory. David Wilcock does an amazing job at documenting recent geo-synchronicities. Wilcock's insightful narratives into (1) the Arial Castro case in the mass media and (2) the Hudson River plane crash 2009 are both real mind fucks. If you do go on a Google search for these things, I caution you that Wilcock's more popular Vatican geo-synchornicity narrative is lame.

I can't remember where I read this interpretation that UFOs serve as humanity's “caretakers” (I thought it was in one of Daniel Pinchbeck's books, but now I can't find it, ha haha). Regardless of where I saw it, I trust that extraterrestrials watch over us. The NSA watches over us too. Google pronoia. I digress.

My theories can't be proven true, or at least can't be proven true at this point in the history of our civilization. Maybe one day everything will make sense. For now I just play with these ideas for my own amusement. It's fun to entertain ridiculous ideas without ever actually believing any of them.

Reece said...

"It's fun to entertain ridiculous ideas without ever actually believing any of them."

I honestly couldn't agree more. Sometimes, it's nice to just stretch your brain and try to really defend something that you know is totally absurd, just to see how well you can do. In some ways, it's part of healthy thinking - the more you really try to consider alternatives, however ridiculous, the more you can spot errors in the idea you really believe.

Your stuff about aliens and whatnot is pretty out there, and frankly, kind of crazy. But it would definitely be fun to try to prove it. I think it's part of the same motivation that drives me to genre fiction.

Kim said...

Whatever. I remember it pronounced Stein. I guess everyone who ever said it to me was"wrong"

Reece said...

You're just from Universe E, like I am. You're not crazy. There are millions of us.

Anonymous said...

Loved the physics involved in this, your not alone. There could be some very entertaining math here.

Anonymous said...

I will plant this seed of thought in a simplified format to add to your theory.
String Theory demonstrates 10 (not 11) total dimensions of space-time with 4 (H,W,D+time) observable and 6 unperceivable. The 6 "unknown" are in actuality multidimensional links to 6 alternate universes that "travel" grouped in interwoven timelines which are in turn linked to 6 other alternates (to infinitus) within a fullerene structured membrane loop. Our conscience mind can only be aware of one timeline at a time, but can "switch" awareness any of the 6 linked alternates at a quantum half-step of the membrane's "clock" that synchronizes the grouped time-lines "physical" strings. As our common "collective" consciences traverse these 6 parallel time-lines each with common memories that shape that universe; Thus each of them vary only slightly in small details based on the 6 possibilities due to the independence of each "collective" grouping. Our collective minds migrate to the common grouping based on the common decisions we make that move us between these infinite static universes. That is why we have up to 6 possible memories of events/books/etc. within our collective consciousness. We also tend to stick to one timeline until circumstances initiates a conscious shift, hence such consistency in our own memories. But what does that mean to our other selves in those alternate universes?? Is that really us or one of 6 individual consciences???? The seed is planted, enjoy! One more thing, check out Saturn's north pole and imagine why it exists. :-)

Anonymous said...

No wait I don't love that first comment - I love THIS comment!

Stupid anonymous posting can't edit your posts...

Reece said...

Fixed it for you :)

Anonymous said...

When I was a child, I had a great deal of difficulty learning to read. Which is odd if you consider that I was reading and comprehending at the level of a college sophomore by the end of the fourth grade. Back to the point, I vividly remember looking at the title and sounding out bear-en-steen. I highly doubt I would have struggled with the name had it been spelled -stain. #Team-stein

Reece said...

Go Team-stein!

KastenCrew said...

I want to thank you for one of the greatest moments of mutual, rolling laughter with my wife. We were watching The Berenstein Bears in Universe E until I finally committed to finding out if it was the Dixie Chicks sang the theme song. Nope. Lee Ann Womack. In that research effort, I stumbled on your post... and our lives have been changed for the better ever since. In reading your blog post out loud from beginning to end, our 3 year-old son who prefers Caillou, fell asleep... and for that we thank you from the bottom if our hearts. Universe A is lookin good.

AngelaDahlia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AngelaDahlia said...

You're an idiot. AND an a-hole.

I imagine your pleasure stick is pretty insignificant as well.

AngelaDahlia said...

That Photoshopped picture of the correct "stein" spelling sealed the deal for me. That is exactly what I remembered seeing growing up, and it even feels right. In no way was it "stain".

It's just so wrong in every way. I relate to your reasoning so much. And now, I'm pretty freaked out, heheh. =]

AngelaDahlia said...

This is really logical reasoning to support our claims.

I have similar memories of not really knowing how to say it correctly. Well, if it were "stain", there's really no other way to interpret that. It's said how it's spelled. Ugh!! This is nuts.

Unknown said...

The Wikipedia page says stAin, but the url for the page says stEin!

Reece said...

I don't know of a single spiritually minded person (who is not also a physical scientist) trying to figure out Quantum Entanglement. I know of lots of quacks trying to make money by peddling "Quantum Entanglement" seminars, equivocating on the word "Entanglement", and claiming to have somehow transcended modern science despite not even understanding what the words in it mean.

Entanglement occurs at the level of individual particles. Entanglement occurring on the level of a human person would result in decoherence, or wave function collapse. Which is to say, it would not happen at all. You cannot entangle yourself, in the scientific sense used in quantum mechanics. In the nonsensical word-salad sense used by "Quantum Mystics", maybe you can "entangle" yourself, if that word is taken to mean "have an emotional experience while staring at crystals".

Anonymous said...

I specifically remember Berenstein

Anonymous said...

OK, I have to chime in. You know that song that is out now, "Stay with Me" by Sam Smith? I SWEAR I had heard it before. As a matter of fact, I was 100% sure it was a remake. But I cannot find any evidence.
Has anyone else here had that same memory with that song?

Anonymous said...

Another person with your exact explanation replied on another forum about this topic but the video game name was different. Either your the same person or a troll..

Anonymous said...

I think the idea of a mass confusion should imply something larger than , 'a common memory mistake'. The idea of an altered reality crosses path with consciousness and our awareness of time and space. In psychological studies the human brain can alter its hindsight for defensive purposes. As to say 'well, I have always been right because etc..' This is a defense mechanism in order for the brain to sustain consistency in its awareness state. To maintain a ego state if you will. Consciousness is deeply connected to time. And time is connected to reality in our universe. The 3 dimensional universe we are aware of.
As far as I know, memory can only be altered by a shift in consciousness or an outside force with an overwhelming impact on the thought/memory system of an individual...which can be brainwashing or trauma. Trauma can have an individual alter his/her own memory.
So, I favor the idea that a defensive mechanism is at fault here that divides the line between the memory of what was 'real' what wasn't. A mass collective of individuals who remember a certain event specifically , and commonly can reassure that something was altered. The divide was only created by the ego states defense. Even at the risk of the family, who , in theory could be keeping the flow of 'STAIN' in order to extinguish the possible chaos. Who know's?
We live in a strange,strange universe and when consciousness is at stake, we should be alarmed. The alteration of a mass collective of memory should 'BE' alarming in the sense that there is more to reality than we would 'like' to accept. It keeps the 'flow' going. But, we coud be allowing something larger at play sweep right under our noses,simply because we do not want to understand the complex.

Anonymous said...

Lastly, because I need to say this. I believe the response from the family individual of the Berenstain legacy, might have triggered a domino effect on your ego state. Even as I type the family name my computer underlines it, to tell me 'I have misspelled'. I am very experienced in the human brain and trauma/memory complexity. I say this because, well simply this event is quite traumatic in the sense that it questions alot of what we remember, how we remember and how we process reality. Its quite scary and can easily push an individual into a thought process that 'rationalizes the complex in order to move on..'. For example, the response from the family member. Its a great healing strategy but one that I am not so quick to take. If we are to fully engage ourselves with our reality we have to be willing to question what we think,know and understand. Even at the expense of appearing 'nuts'. Take care.

Anonymous said...

also there are names that are pronounced ee and written a like mccaulay for example is mccallee

Typegeek said...

I've just had my mind blown. I have to say that both my wife and I are from Universe E and were there in the 70's and 80's. However, as a typegeek I'd have to say that the misremembering can't really be caused by the "weird, cursive a" because it is quite a nice, properly formed a.
The cause is more likely due to the fact the word "Berenstain" has two e's before the offending portion of the word. Since our brains aren't reading all the letters, it is filling in the third e to continue the pattern.
I don't remember hearing the theme song because I think the show was after I was already too old for it, but I think of the books often (I read them, my wife hated them as a kid and now we have kids) and was (until now!) constantly wondering if it should be pronounced "Berensteen" or "Berenstine". I was just looking at my son's Scholastic Book order and saw the books by Mike Berenstain, and thought they had recently change the spelling so went online to look... and had my mind blown.

Teacher Kevin said...

If you'd grown up in an alternate universe, you'd remember airships. Alternate universes always have airships.

Reece said...

And talking animal companions! Don't forget those!

Teacher Kevin said...

And of course The Red Lantern!
http://www.themarysue.com/fringe-alternate-comic-covers-originals/

LisaS said...

I thought the same thing as well!!!! But what I concluded is it has a lot of similar notes in the song "Won't back down" by Tom Petty. Perhaps he should sue just like the Marvin Gaye estate suing Robin Thicke. ;) Really, there are onlying so many combinations of notes on this planet and artists are inspired by other artists. As for the BerenstEin topic at hand, I am a parent of the 80's and it baffles me that so many people can remember something 'incorrectly'. We always pronounced it Berensteen. The mystery continues...... ;)

AveG said...

I came across a post about this on tumblr. The site it linked to is unavailable because the bandwidth is overrun, but I like swear it was berenstein?? anyway, over 80,000 people have liked/reblogged the post. I looked through the tags on it and though I didn't look at all of them, I did look through quite a lot. Most of them said some thing like "#WHAT THE FUCK" and through that search, I only found two people that remembered it as -stain. I've been thinking about this for days.

Reece said...

Thanks for commenting. I'd love to see and link the tumblr post when it comes up. Sometimes I see sudden spikes in my traffic from Google searches, and I know that somewhere, people are discussing the Berenst*in Bears; good to know from where. I'll like to the tumble post here whenever I see it.

Anonymous said...

Heard this mentioned on a podcast last night and have felt uneasy since then, since at first I thought they were joking, and I still cannot "accept" that it was not -stEin. I have very distinct memories of it as -stEin and have a extremely good, bordering-on-photographic, memory in general.

I don't know what is real anymore o_O

Reece said...

I'd be interesting in hearing the podcast, and linking to it from here.

Anonymous said...

I felt the same way about "Stay with me", but I think I had it confused with "Stand By Me" by Ben E King, personally. I mean, parts of it are quite similar..."But darlin', stay with me" and "Darlin', darlin', stand by me" immediately jump out.

Anonymous said...

For some reason I could see Michio Kaku posting this.

Anonymous said...

in third or fourth grade i read those books, but im only 15. my brothers and i all remember it as berenstein bc when we said it we would go "berensteen~stine" bc we weren't sure how to pronounce it. that was in 2007-2009ish

Anonymous said...

^same person.
i also remember reading them to my cousin about 3 years ago and it said E so maybe im still in the E world or texas just prints them different i dont know

Anonymous said...

Its really weird that the year date 1992 came up as I read this post and the original that started it all as I have an interesting memory from my childhood about that specific year.

I was in Brixner Junior High School here in Klamath Falls Oregon and befriended some kid named Joe Woodward. It was 94‘ thru 96‘ that we were friends and I remember specifically that his mother was kinda off her nut a little bit because once when I went to his house to play video games his mother went on some kind of angry tirade about how his uncle used to murder babies and keep the body parts in his fridge and that same uncle took Joe in some kind of small propeller plane (with the uncle as the pilot) when they used to live in Los Angeles, gave Joe a gun and ordered him to shoot at the Hollywood sign (for some reason lost to memory).

The other part she went off about was how the year 1992 would not exist if her uncle didn’t practice some sort of black magic ritual or spell or something.

Yeah, weird. But I also have memories of the BerenSTEIN Bears so maybe not so weird after all.

-Jordan Smith
mastodon_sinclair@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I remember with 100% certainty that it is berenstein, i was addicted to these book as a child. I am now 41. One thing i often wonder about is my whole life i have had visions, strong gut feelings that almost always come true, and often feel a presence and have seen black shadow figures frequently. I frequently get physical feelings of outside forces, its very odd and i could never figure it out. I'm not saying this is a super natural situation but one i would like to explore more in depth, problem is when you talk to people about it they look at you like your a crazy nut job

if you have an email address that would be great

Adorably Dead said...

I just found this by googling for alternate timelines. I always remembered it as being pronounced 'stain' but spelt 'stein'. I even remember asking my grandma why it was pronounced that way when it was spelled a different way as a kid.

Crazy shit, man. :p

Unknown said...

Perhaps I know what happend...Ever heard of John Titor? A time traveller (accidently?) changed the logo to "Berenstein", creating a new timeline. Then he went back in and changed it again to the original "Berenstain". I don`t know these books, but it would defintinetly freak me out if there would be a "W"-McDonalds logo everywhere I`d go. Scary...

Unknown said...

You're the only person besides me that I've read so far that remembers it this way. I *always* pronounced it as 'stain' when I was a kid, but later on I reconstructed the spelling in my head as 'stein'. I figured I must have just not paid attention to the spelling as a kid, and reconstructed it as 'stein' because that's a far more common way to see it spelled in other last names.

Unknown said...

I'm only 17 but i remember it as Stein...

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely from Universe E. When I first read of this I had never heard it pronounced like "stain" at the end in my entire life. I checked at my parents' house the next time I was there, and I'll be damned if there aren't 40+ Berenstain Bears books in my old room. I pointed it out to my mom and I remember when I heard her say the word "Berenstain" it sounded so foreign and wrong to me. My mother and I are undoubtedly from Universe E.

Anonymous said...

"Also included are things like a portrait of Henry VIII eating a turkey leg"

In the film "The Private Life of Henry VIII" produced in 1933, at 28:28 in, we can clearly see the King chomping down on the leg of some sort of fowl. It's not a portrait, but I instantly remembered the image (even though I have only seen the film once in my life as a child) and quickly found it on the archive.org web site. Check it out.

Rhys said...

I am from universe E, and I'll find out tomorrow if my mother, a children's librarian, remembers the BerenstEin spelling too!

Anonymous said...

Did you know there is a British search engine that will actually bring up several pages of "BerenSTEIN Bears" results when you type that in? Unlike all the other search engines I've seen, which seem to want to fight do away with all things Berenstein and give you Berenstain results? Of course all the pictures on the sites that come up still have STAIN on the books, etc, but this is the only search engine I'm aware of that gives several pages of nothing but Berenstein before it switches over to all stain around page 6.

Did someone or something forget to cover ALL their tracks?? Go to Exalead UK and type in BerenSTEIN and see. I screen printed the first page of results with time and date visible on the bottom toolbar and saved it to a flash drive just in case somebody may realize their oversight and "fix" it.

Anonymous said...

Just to add to my previous comment a few minutes ago, just about all of the sites that come up on the search results have an odd look and feel about them. An "empty" feel. Almost like they're test sites or something.

Anonymous said...

In '93 or '94, as a middle schooler, I traveled to the core via tunnels in my thoughts/dreams and jumped back into the wrong portal. I saw the guardian and was frightened. The next day I knew... I had come back to a different place. I would like to go back. HELP.
(This is not a joke...) portalju3per@gmail.com

Zahra said...

I just discovered this phenomenon yesterday, and have not been able to stop thinking about it. Everyone I asked - including my mom and sister with whom I read the books in the 80s and 90s, immediately said "Berenstein" when I asked them the name of the bear family, but frustratingly, after their initial confusion and surprise when I informed them of the mysterious spelling change everywhere except in people's memories, they either shrugged it off or recanted and said they must have been remembering it wrong. What does it mean that so many of us trust our memories more thoroughly than the evidence in front of us? What does it mean that others are willing to dismiss what their memories tell them about the past simply because all the physical evidence in the present contradicts it? Which of us is acting irrationally?

At any rate, I wanted to say that I did read your 4D complex Euclidean spacetime theory - a few times in fact - but as most of my knowledge of physics comes from popular books by people like Brian Greene and Michio Kaku, the jargon is too dense for my amateur brain. But if you wrote a book about it, I would definitely read it, and might even understand it. I've come up with my own nebulous theory about leaking quantum randomness radiating backwards through time, creating a wave-like effect that completely overwhelms the memories of those closest to the changed object/event, but which gradually dissipates as it radiates outward, which might explain why the Berenst*in family (and apparently some people who knew them personally - as my sister's co-worker claims to have) don't have any memory of the stein spelling, while many of the rest of us, farther removed from the individuals (if not their works), still retain a strong memory of the old pre-quantum-weirdness version of events. I'm sure there's some mathematical reason why this is impossible or nonsensical, but my brain will not allow me to let this go unless I can at least tell myself there's some kind of theory out there that kind of makes sense. Which is why I'm so eager to understand a theory that's based on science that is well beyond my area of knowledge. And while I don't buy into most of the Mandela Effect memories, chalking them up to people simply having a bad understanding of geography/spelling/history, I do find it dubious that this should be an isolated event, and wouldn't be surprised if whatever is responsible for the Berenst*in paradox has also caused other apparent temporal inconsistencies.

One other thing to note: I would hazard a guess that the name Berenstein is an English translation of a Slavic pronunciation of a Jewish name, its current spelling created when an ancestor of Stan's first passed from Eastern Europe to Ellis Island. I say this because I know someone of Eastern European descent whose last name ends in "steyn," the Roman alphabetic spelling of a Jewish name previously written in Cyrillic. But it could have just as easily been translated as "stain" or "stein". My guess would be that if there was some kind of random quantum fluctuation or leakage, the point where it happened was when Stan Berenst*in's ancestor had his name translated to English by some immigration official, who interpreted the spelling at random.

By the way, I keep wondering, is the name of your blog a reference to C.S. Lewis's "The Magician's Nephew"?

Reece said...

"By the way, I keep wondering, is the name of your blog a reference to C.S. Lewis's "The Magician's Nephew"?"

Yes, most definitely. There's a particular scene in that book, where Jadis is in London and tries to cast a spell and fails, that had a really serious impact on me. Most of my favorite posts on this blog are about Narnia in some way. In one I found its width using Gauss' Law. In another I made up a way to travel there (which is impossible to implement, but still cool to ponder).

"At any rate, I wanted to say that I did read your 4D complex Euclidean spacetime theory - a few times in fact - but ... the jargon is too dense for my amateur brain. But if you wrote a book about it, I would definitely read it, and might even understand it."

I have tried to do just that. At the moment all I have is a brown napkin with arabic letters scribbled on it. (I used Arabic letters because it makes me crack a smile to pretend that the other hexadectants are where the djinn of Islamic theology live.)

My theory, I should point out, is really a crackpot "wouldn't it be cool if" kind of thing. Michi Kaku and Brian Greene are talking about real things, whereas I'm talking about principled make-believe. So far as I have a theory, it immediately, right out of the gate, leads to this annoying cross term that doesn't go away, and ruins what would otherwise be a beautiful splitting of lengths in to the imaginary and real parts. So, so far it's a no-go. If put in to any sort of workable theory, it might actually make meaningful predictions. Right now, however, it does not.

In simplest terms, complex spacetime would introduce four additional directions of movement for particles, but these directions are specially related to the original four.

"Which is why I'm so eager to understand a theory that's based on science that is well beyond my area of knowledge."

I'm flattered at that. Sadly, my theory really is not based on science. It has scientific sounding ideas, and I know just enough to put them in very convincing language and argue it from some principles (always dangerous), but it is at this point in the stage of unworkable hypothesis.

"I would hazard a guess that the name Berenstein is an English translation of a Slavic pronunciation of a Jewish name, its current spelling created when an ancestor of Stan's first passed from Eastern Europe to Ellis Island."

Did you read Mike Berenstain's comment on the first post? He basically confirmed this.

Thanks again for commenting!

Zahra said...

"Sadly, my theory really is not based on science. It has scientific sounding ideas, and I know just enough to put them in very convincing language and argue it from some principles (always dangerous), but it is at this point in the stage of unworkable hypothesis."

Too bad...maybe a scifi movie then? Lol. Still, you could probably say the same thing about most versions of string theory and M-theory, which make sense mathematically, but are not experimentally verifiable (or disprovable). And plenty of theories started out with parts that seemed unworkable, until some other element was discovered that filled in the missing pieces. Like Alan Guth's inflationary theory of the universe, which worked in every way except for the Omega value being too low, until they re-introduced the cosmological constant, and suddenly the theory worked, except that now we have the dark energy problem. So you never know.

I did read Mike Berenstain's comment - I must have missed the part about Ukraine, or forgot that I'd read it there. I read a lot of comments that day trying to understand what happened to the Berenstein Bears.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how so many people remember it being spelled as "Berenstein", myself included, when apparently we've been wrong all these years? I just don't understand how so many people could be wrong. I remember as a kid thinking to myself and wondering why it wasn't pronounced "stine" like Albert Einstein, and this taught me that certain names with Stein at the end are pronounced "steen".... " Berenstain" doesn't look right. They were the Berenstein bears, dammit.

Anonymous said...

Well, it just got weirder.

In this blog you state that in the cartoon clip you have here they pronounce it 'steen' but spell it 'stain'. I just watched it- and now they are pronouncing it STAIN.

Look that up in your Funken Wagnel.

Reece said...

I just listened to it again, and it sounds like "steen" to me. Maybe it's just differences in accent? What part of the country are you from?

Anonymous said...

Lived all over the US. Many people have told me I have zero accent. Right now I am in the desert Southwest.

Listened to it again... a couple of times. The video is still saying STAIN when I listen to it. Would be awesome if other people would sound off about how they hear it.

Anonymous said...

I'm Australian, and I thought NZ was north of Australia.

It was a while ago, but not long enough I'm ashamed to admit.

I was 19.

Anonymous said...

(I'm a bit late to the board- don't mind me)
Hmmm although I remember it being Berenstein during my childhood, I'm not altogether certain if that memory is accurate (mostly because your post made me wonder if I really did remember thus and I actually saw Berenstain all along). But then there is the fact that I read Alsatian as Alastian for a good 15+ years. And similarly, supercilious was superlicious (the latter sounds so much cooler but alas is not a word outside of my own making). So perhaps it is simply that the brain decides to modify something to make it more aesthetically pleasing to itself... Fooling itself in the process. 'Tis fascinating though.

Anonymous said...

I haven't heard the song u are talking about by Sam Smith... but Stay With Me was a song by Shakespeare's Sisters back in the 90s.

Anonymous said...

I always remember it being stein. I used to watch it all the time a few years ago when I was around 7-9 (I am 14 now)/ Yeah, I'm a kid, but I remember. I always have remembered it as stein. I'm going to ask my friends at school tomorrow what they remember. And you know what's weird? For the past 2 years or so I have had this horrible feeling nothing is real, but it is, and that I don't belong here. Now upon reading this I think I felt that I don't belong is because I'm from Universe E and I'm stuck here in A. I wonder if A is feeling the same way as me, her being stuck in E.

Anonymous said...

Same! I remember this too.

Anonymous said...

I clearly remember it being spelled -ein, maybe we are in an alternate universe, or we are being experimented on by aliens for their amusement, anything is possible

Anonymous said...

mediate, imagine the tunnel you want to go through, go through it-warning-may cause a psychadelic break

Anonymous said...

the song by Sam Smith is a remake, I remember singing the original song in chorus when I was younger

Unknown said...

Wow....this is so interesting...and apparently I am from univere E as well. ;)

Reece said...

It's the best universe, by far :)

Anonymous said...

This video is important, in the sense it provides evidence that the Berenstein bears existed in some form atleast.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ens4XQ6dnmk
The Wayback machine stuff isn't doctored, you can check it out for yourself here.
http://web.archive.org/web/20010407093853/http://www.80scartoons.net/toons/berenstein.html
Click the little arrow taking you to the next snapshot and you can see all the names swapping to the stain ending.

Greg Pennell said...

I assume you are now convinced that Universe A is the one with all the ice cream and comic books in it and all is safe. The Berenstains have always been the Berenstains everywhere except the Ukraine and even there has probably corrected their Cyrillic. "Berenstains' Baby Book" was published in 1951 and was their first book, and noted them as "Stanley and Janice Berenstain," which was before they became more affluent and more folksy. I was never raised on Berenstain books but had no trouble with their name when I was buying all their tasteful cartoon mass markets in the '60s (such classics as "The Bedside Lover", "How to Diet Laughing" and "Mrs.Clean and Mr. Dirty"). Mike's first solo book was The Castle Book (1972), and his older brother Leo published a book of short stories titled "The Wind Monkey" (1992). The family name was spelled correctly on these, but I cannot vouch for any faulty pronunciations despite the correct spelling. And I'm sure Mike found out about the blog from his publisher. That's what they have underpaid staffs for. On the other hand, I'm sure that he's fairly dilligent between scribbles and is also probably One With The Interwebs, so if it's searcheable, he'll find it. Assuming he spells the last name correctly.

Anonymous said...

I definitely remember berenstein Bears, berenstain sounds weird to me.. The veil of this time-space illusion we made is wearing thin, ephemeral lies can't last forever

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Anonymous said...

Finally, a voice of reason! It's always been Berenstain. People just mispronounced it and then decided it was spelled like they pronounced it... Berenstein. Simple explanation...people "remember" it incorrectly. The author's name was Berenstain.

Anonymous said...

https://www.scribd.com/doc/93337202/The-Machine

Anonymous said...

Hey um. This is probably related. Now, my step-dad was a mechanic, he specialized in german and swedish cars mainly volvos and vw's. I also am a car lover but typically only video games like Forza and Gran turismo. I was born in 77 in the STEIN universe. Anyway it's possible I never noticed for some reason but...has the Volvo symbol always been a Male symbol? you knwo the ring and arrow thing? I swore it was just a circle with a line coming out diagonally. You'd think i'd notice this being around cars for 20 years as a kid....

Am I losing it or is this another switcheroo? Anyone???

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely from universe E! My wife came home around six and asked how to spell the Berenstein Bears and I spelled it with an E without any hesitation. It has been on her mind since someone at work showed it to her. She told me about it around 6 pm this evening and we have spent the past THREE HOURS reading about and discussing this topic. Then we found this blog and we are seriously freaked out!
I also like to ponder weird topics and entertain new and different ideas about how the world we live in works. I have a theory that I like to think about whenever the topic about why sub-atomic particles behave in an unpredictable pattern comes up. (I know this isn't exactly what your topic is about but I've always wondered what a real physicist would think about it)
My theory is that life itself is a force, just like gravity or electromagnetism. I have no math or proof to back this its just a fun thinking exercise. Assuming that life is a force how would it act on matter? Perhaps it is the reason life started on this planet, perhaps the right combination of molecules in the right conditions trigger the life particles in those molecules to move toward each other and interact in a way that caused them to begin to metabolize and divide and grow and interact with other groups of molecules as single celled organisms. Sort of like how the right combination of molecules and chemicals can create positive and negative charges in a battery that can in turn travel through other molecules of metals and other conductors of electromagnetism.
That was definitely the shortened version so it wouldn't be too much for one comment. I don't know perhaps I'm slightly off my rocker... just fun food for thought! This is a great thread keep it going!!
Go Team Stein!!!

Melissa said...

My kid was born in 2001, Nov. And I bought a Berenstein bears book. I looked at the cover and it said berenstAin. I thought - what the hell? Why would I have been confused as to weather it was pronounced berenst ine or berenst een when I was a kid, if it was spelled berenstain? There's no way! I am very smart and always got all A's in spelling. This is outrageous! I have a really good memory too. I remember thinking that the berenstein bears must be some kind of German spelling. And because of the name Einstein, wondered why it was pronounced berenst een and not berenst ine. Hence I deduced it must be some other language thing. I NEVER WOULD HAVE THOUGHT ALL THAT STUFF IF IT WAS BERENSTAIN. OH MY GOD IS ANYTHING EVEN REAL!!!?!?

Anonymous said...

I spoke with a friend about this tonight at work and this is what his opinion was:
His take is that this blog is a CIA psyops experiment to see if they can convince people that yes,at one time it was spelled "stein" but now it has somehow mysteriously been changed to "stain".

I disagreed,because I distinctly remember seeing it written as "stein",before reading this blog.
And I pointed out to him that when I first asked him about it,he remembered it spelled "stein"as well.And so do thousands of other people.

Anonymous said...

This discussion reminds me of an episode of The Twilight Zone from 1963.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0734670/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9Y6lLGUCM4

Reece said...

Hey, this comment got caught in the spam filter, just now took it out. Thanks for the wayback evidence!

Anonymous said...

I had thought of that too, that people just see what they expect to see, and because they expect the name to be spelled the usual way, which is -stein, many of our minds superimposed that expectation onto the strange, unique variant -stain? But here's the thing about mispronunciation: my mother, who was very much a language person (spoke several languages, majored in foreign language, was a trilingual proofreader) used to pronounce it with a long /i/ sound, to rhyme with 'fine'. So I grew up with her calling it the Berenstein, pronounced like Frankenstein, Bears. And I recall the "stein" spelling, and she was put off when she first heard some people calling it the BerenSTAIN, rhymes with PAIN, Bears, and was horrified to find they had changed it...and I showed her the books, and the spelling, and she and I were both baffled. My only reasonable explanation OTHER than your timeline-shift quasi-joke, is that many of us knew that the name Berenstein made sense, and knew how to pronounce it, and somehow our whole lives, both as children and our adult parents, superimposed that belief onto the books then, but then somehow now, are unable to keep doing it, so that now, for the first time in our lives, we see the STAIN that was always there, that we were mysteriously unable to see before. So which seems more plausible? The shifted timeline in which the only change noticed was the spelling of a kid's book author's name? Or the idea that many of us, whether we were children then or adults, superimposed our idea of Berenstein being right, onto the name Berenstain, but now, for some unexplained reason, we no longer do so, and are seeing Berenstain for what it really is? I cannot decide which seems less likely, but the strange feeling in the pit of my stomach, and the unease accompanying the idea of timeline shifts, inclines me to just accept the idea that it's likely we all just superimposed Berenstein in our minds then, and somehow, aren't still doing that. Because that feels safer, and reality can continue undisturbed that way.

Anonymous said...

My mother and I are both apparently from Universe E, and were both astounded to see that suddenly it's STAIN everywhere, even on old books. We always said it "STEIN" to rhyme with Frankenstein, and not the version joked at in Young Frankenstein, either. Stien was pronounced steen, and Stein was pronounced Styne, and we always called them the Bear-en-styne Bears. We never heard of these Bear-en-Stayn ones before, and no we see that that is ALL THERE IS, and all there ever was. But there was also a porcelain bell dear to my grandmother. It smashed when I was about 11. We are all terribly dismayed, and swept it up. There was no fixing it; it was truly smashed. Then, inexplicably, a week or two later, it was in its usual spot again. It even still had the faint long crack, that it had had as long as anyone could remember. No one could figure out how it was no longer broken, or how it could have been repaired, or why it was that we all KNEW it had broken, KNEW we were sad about the loss of something she treasured, that was irreplaceable. And yet there it was. Naturally no one took a photo of the bell smashed. Why would we? So we had no proof, just the memory shared by us all, conflicting horribly with the intact bell, with the same crack it had, still there. As if the breaking of it never happened. And I would love to forget that. I'm fearful of calling my mother up to ask about the bell, in case she doesn't remember it ever being broken...or worse, tells me in exasperated tones that it has always been BerenSTAYN. No, now I have to call her, whatever the outcome.

Steven Seipel said...

When I was a child we read Berenstein Bears books. Now I have children and we read Berenstain Bears books. I noticed the spelling had changed and thought it was odd. By the way, I grew up in the pre-photoshop era.

Steven Seipel said...

We are at war with(some country). We have always been at war with(some country).

KateGladstone said...

The lawyer has NOT CHANGED the spelling on his site

KateGladstone said...

I always remember it as "Berenstain," and remember arguing painfully wwon people of aat sges who were sure it HAD to be "Berenstein"... Often, they woukd not even look at the cover of the book they owned,when I challenged/begged them to... Those who did, eventually, LOOK wouldn't believe me at first, and sometimes claimed that I "must" have somehow changed the cover as a sick trick... A few of them never accepted it. Similarly, I've known of a teacher who took points off a second-grader's book-report because the kid spelled "Berenstain" the teacher was sure it was "Berenstein" instead, and the teacher threw a tantrum (and didn't restore the Red moved points) when the kids pointed to the "a" on the copy that was actually ON the classroom book-display rack...

Reece said...

Maybe not enough people have clicked it? You'd think once the webmaster saw a post like this was directing traffic to his website, he'd do something about it.

Unknown said...

Reece, is there a way you could private message me, I think I have an idea to add to the mountain of evidence that this is real

Reece said...

You can email me at pontiusaurelius@gmail.com

Unknown said...

You may want to check out this video, where a person found the old TV Guide from 1985, showing the Premiere episode of the Berenst'E'in Bears.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVjYLiP2hhw

LA. T. said...

You seem to be an open-minded person, yet in dealing with certain ideas your mind seems closed indeed. You purport to have a PhD which would allow you to have reached a certain level of education. Peruse some of the material written by Carl Jung. Playing out interesting theories through the intellectual and scientific lense is certainly fun; however one should not simply dismiss the concept that 'Mystics' are not equally qualified to pursue life's infinite questions through a different lense.

Reece said...

I do not have a PhD. As of now, I have a masters degree in physics.

I've actually read a lot of Jung. I have his book On the Archetypes and his book Aion. I used to be very interested in his theories.

Whatever it is mystics are studying when they claim to be studying "quantum entanglement", it is not the same thing that physicists know about.

Unknown said...

I found the original post to be really intriguing from a physics standpoint, too bad that people don't appreciate it. Anyways, you seem like a really well-educated, creative dude so keep up the good work.
Also, I'm just waiting for the day when your 4-D Complex Euclidian spacetime theory is proven correct and you win a Nobel prize. Then those poor Bears would finally have some peace, and I could stop trying to convince myself that it really is BerenstAin.

Anonymous said...

Have a listen to this, it's the intro to the cartoon. Even here, it sounds like "Beren-STEEN".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPcPUAWeXzI

Anonymous said...

I guess I'll get told off for "ruining the fun" but I was born in '82 and I remember it as Berenstain distinctly because I always thought the "stain" was strange. I, too, expected it to be Berenstain and every time I would read one of the books, the "stain" would jump out at me.

But it's a fun theory!

Unknown said...

Everyone seriously is wrong. It has ALWAYS been Berenstain. Things simply do not change like that. I'll admit it, when I first saw this whole "name change" thing I never really remembered how it was spelled, but I immediately jumped on the bandwagon and started freaking out over some name change and I was convinced it was spelled with an e, but originally when I saw this post I hadn't remembered the spelling. I read these books probably around 2005 and I was a kid and didnt very cautiously make sure i was saying the name right. I remember pronouncing it steen but I was wrong because people recalled this weird name change before 2005-2007. It is so much easier to pronounce it Berenstein because of all the E's in the beginning. It just flows way better than the choppy pronunciation of berenstain. Also a lot of people watched the tv show and it easily sounds like berenstein when the song played, but if you listen carefully enough you can actually here it being pronounced Berenstain with an accent that makes it sound like stein. The more people freak out about this the more there mind will convince them there has been a name change. There are people who specifically remember Berenstain. Also, people most likely haven't even thought about these books for YEARS, so there memory wouldn't be completely clear as to how it was spelled. Seeing all the hype about the name would make them believe they always read it as steen when they only pronounced it berenstein due to the fact that that pronouncitai on is easier to speak. And it is dumb for people to say there are two universes based off of one little misremembered letter in a children's book. People just pronounced something wrong and are too stubborn to admit it.

Anonymous said...

http://postimg.org/image/3pf4jt7jp/

Wes said...

I believe you mean Albert Einstain - he's a famous physicist.

Anonymous said...

It's always been Berenstain whether people like it or not lol. People's memories are not perfect and it is very easy for people to be deceived by their brains. This whole parallel universe thing over a misremembered letter in a children's book is just dumb. There are several people who remember Berenstain.

Reece said...

I think he's related to Elbart Ainstain.

Unknown said...

It's always been Berenstain. If you've ever watched Brain Games you would see how easy it is to have your brain deceive you. Dozens of people remember it being spelled stain and not stein as I have discovered and it is so dumb to say there are parallel universes based off of one single mispelled letter. We did not switch universes, people have just pronounced it wrong and are way too confident in thinking they are right to admit they're wrong. Stain is an unheard of suffix so it's no wonder people mistakes it for stein! Stein is also very easy to pronounce, much easier than berenstain. I also looked up YouTube videos of people reading the books and sure enough they say BerenSTEIN when the book cover clearly states BerenSTAIN. These videos were published 2011-2015 which is well after this "name change" happened. The majority of the people pronounced it stein which proves of the mispronounciation. People need to admit they made a mistake! Sorry to debunk this lol.

Anonymous said...

The song was written by Sam Smith and someone else. Writing credits are given to Tom Petty because of the similarity to Won't Back Down as well.
why would you have sung it in choir? Not really an appropriate choir song.

Anonymous said...

Reece- I have something interesting I want to share with you (privately for now). I've become obsessed with this E thing. I've also discovered some strange things on my own. What I want to show you has to do with a certain poster a few comments up. I have to send you 2 screenshots. Basically, this person has commented here and on a YouTube video the SAME, and I'm talking identical comment. Used same name too (obviously). Im wondering just what kind of person would do this - and to support the A side!? Look, I don't like cats, but you sure as shit won't catch me posting anti-cat comments all over the Internet. And to copy/paste...?? It's very weird. Why, just why??

Unknown said...

Lol that's me! To prove the same point I wouldn't want to make up a different comment each time. Everyone's making too big of a deal of something that doesn't need to be.

Anonymous said...

Well...I guess then my next question would be...
Why do you care so much?? Why are you on a mission to tell everyone your (opposing) opinion on this? Sounds to me more like a shill scenario. And if that's the case, whoa. We must've stumbled onto something much more important than most (maybe even you) realize.

Unknown said...

Because I was all mystified and baffled like everybody else is until I realized how illogical I was being and realized that there was a much more plausible and logical explanation for this. ;)

Reece said...

You can email me at pontiusaurelius@gmail.com

Was it the poster mentioning sudoiken, the video game? Apparently they changed the video game name, too.

Reece said...

I think one of the things most baffling about this is that I know how irrational it is, and I know what the rational, logical, sensible explanation for it all is, and I even know that it's the better explanation, but.... I still refuse to internally acknowledge that they were called the BerenstAin Bears. It's a really weird thing.

TylerEatsYou said...

Um...I'm not trying to be a bumkill or anything, but I distinctly remember both spelling variations. Vividly, actually, for it was around a time where a great trauma affected me. Weird.

TylerEatsYou said...

Um...I'm not trying to be a bumkill or anything, but I distinctly remember both spelling variations. Vividly, actually, for it was around a time where a great trauma affected me. Weird.

TylerEatsYou said...

Um...I'm not trying to be a bumkill or anything, but I distinctly remember both spelling variations. Vividly, actually, for it was around a time where a great trauma affected me. Weird.

Reece said...

Um...I'm not trying to be a bumkill or anything, but I distinctly remember both spelling variations. Vividly, actually, for it was around a time where a great trauma affected me. Weird.

Anonymous said...

You know how there's that psychological thing where you can read a paragraph of words, and letters within the word are transposed but you can still read it just fine because your brain identifies the word as a whole - not its individual parts? Maybe a lot of people have the expectation that it's -stein because that's super common, whereas -stain (as far as I'm aware) is not as common.

Anonymous said...

Also, I'd like to add that I have also believed it to be -stein my entire life.

Anonymous said...

I would think a lot of young kids just learning to read wouldn't just jump to that conclusion of making the E an A. I didn't know one Jewish person growing up. It was E. Why do people that do not care what it was even bother commenting?? Very suspicious.

TylerEatsYou said...

Um...I'm not trying to be a bumkill or anything, but I distinctly remember both spelling variations. Vividly, actually, for it was around a time where a great trauma affected me. Weird.

BrandonD said...

I most definitely remember it as "stEin" and I have a good reason why. My mother pronounced it "BerenSTAIN" but it was spelled "BerenSTEIN" and I always thought this was odd as a child, that it was not pronounced as it was spelled.
Another oddity of this mystery is this: Last names of white/european origin tend to end in "STEIN" (Goldstein, Einstein, etc) - I've never heard of a last name ending in "STAIN".

Unknown said...

It's always been Berenstain Bears guys whether you like it or not. What about the numerous people who remember the correct spelling?

Reece said...

They're just from Universe A. That's fine.

Unknown said...

It's so creepy. Ahh my brain hurts.

perrose6 said...

Universe E over here, and damn proud of it. There is simply no way that this many of us clearly and distinctly remember The God Damn Berenstein Bears on accident. I refuse to believe that I always misread the name of a serious staple in my childhood.

Charles Hoffman said...

I remember as a kid always hearing it pronounced "stain" but seeing it spelled "stein", and that I always found this a little bit irritating -- though not too odd, given that my own last name had been pronounced like "Huffman" in my early childhood, and still is to this day among relatives outside my immediate family, before my father adopted the "Hoffman" (as in Dustin) pronunciation, mainly to help avoid confusion with another construction contractor in the same town named Huff [my theory on this is that ancestors in Europe had spelled it HÃ¶ffman and the umlaut was dropped upon immigration to the States] -- so I was acquainted with such spelling/pronunciation inconsistencies among names.

Kelli Lynn said...

I think remembering it as "stein" rather than "stain" probably has more to do with the same cognitive quirk which makes people automatically see missing letters in words. For example, my 7 year old daughter just picked out a shirt for me which reads "Nvr Gve Up"." I thought it said, "Never Give Up" with no abnormalities until my friend pointed out that letters were missing. With the bears, if you thought Berenstein or Bernstein (which is what I thought) made more sense as a name than Berenstain, Berenstein or Bernstein is what you'd see and hear unless someone forced you to re-focus. It's like an auto-correct program is running in your head, and it sometimes makes mistakes.

Aralim Ansuz said...

Well stated!

Anonymous said...

LOL

Jesse Corina said...

I don't just think but remember vividly Berenstein. The odd thing is I noticed this a few years ago and I was quite alarmed as I went about checking for evidence to back my memory. Then today, I saw a link to a story that referenced this blog on facebook. It struck me because I had put it out of my mind and all the confusion and anxiety returned. Someone else also distinctly remembered the correct version and noticed the change and wrote extensively about it? OMG!

It is the only anomaly of the type I have noticed but i have a related issue. Before the internet I spelled everything by what is now known as the English spelling and not the American spelling. Humour, practise, Criticise, Colour you get the gist. Could this be connected? I remember noticing that my spellings were all off only at the turn of the century. Was it because my grandmother said 'aluminium'? Or because I was in catholic schools from Nursery through grade 1? I had written it off and learned to spell American English as my spell correct informed me but always with a nag at they issue. On reflection, I feel there is a connection here. I must wonder, do others who remember Berenstein also remember the proper way of spelling things? What other instances of this phenomena have been found?

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between 'steen, 'stain, and 'stine. If you are actually German, 'stein is pronounced STINE; in English, 'stein is pronounced STEEN, because double vowels sound like the FIRST vowel. In German, double vowels sound like the SECOND vowel. In the video, they are saying 'stain, like what you put on wood. I'm from the west coast, and I speak Kansas English. :-)

Unknown said...

I wish I had saved the books. I do remember the original spelling...

Unknown said...

It was not stain.

Unknown said...

I was behind you whole heartedly until you brought up the mispronunciation. That was just mean. I remember the "a" and everything else, but then you had to go and talk smack because my young minds couldn't grapple with a Jewish last name. Why be like that, man. I pronounced it BEAR-n-stain, but apparently I didn't pay attention and am a big ol dickhead even though I played enough attention to remember it was an "a" in the name

fart said...

The thread link titled "A thread on reddit, originally about the Henry VIII turkey leg picture, that also brings up the Berenst*in Bears." is Krauspe.eu, not reddit. People visiting should know that if they log in, they are sending their login info to unknown parties.

Reece said...

That's weird. I double-checked the link and even clicked on it, and it brings me to reddit. From what I understand, Krauspe is a mirror of the Reddit site in some European countries. Are you trying to access in Europe?

This is the link I intended to include, and which shows up in the source code for this blog, and which shows up when I hover and click on the link:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Glitch_in_the_Matrix/comments/23oc33/have_you_seen_this_image_before_henry_viii_turkey/

If you're being diverted to krauspe.eu, I think it's safe to login as though to reddit, but if you feel unsure, then try the above.

Reece said...

Nevermind, I found the error. You meant the link one down. I have fixed this. Thank you for raising this issue.

Reece said...

Not sure what you're talking about. I apologize if I was "talking smack".

Reece said...

I read a lot of fantasy books growing up, many of which were written by Brits, and sometimes spelled words the "English" way. I still trip up with grey/gray.

Reece said...

StEiners Unite!!!

Randy S said...

Check out http://ptl.stparchive.com/Archive/PTL/PTL09121985P06.php under Saturday @ 7:00AM. lol

Stormy said...

I remember it as Berenstein, and I always pronounced the last syllable as "steen." I guess my pronunciation and memory is as flawed as the next guy's!

Anonymous said...

EL-P brought me here. And it looks to be my second sleepless night

BUDDY said...

So considering the preponderence of the evidence, "BerenstAin" is real and "BerenstEin" imaginary--right? My master, Mike, says he still thinks your hexadectant theory of the name question is way cool. He's not surprised, though, that you came up with it as a graduate student. He says grad students (he was one in economics many years ago, sometime after Adam Smith but before Paul Krugman) are known for dreaming up all kinds of diversions in the wee hours after midnight, when they're burned out on studying for the next field exam. He aso thinks it could have something to do with drinking the Ripple wine after marinating the mushrooms in it.

MisezB said...

Have you seen the movie "The Forgotten"?
Maybe it's like that. Maybe it worked better on some of us than others.
MAYBE they changed all kinds of things, and the last name of someone whose descendants would be the author of a beloved children's book was not viewed as a priority, and was handled with less care, or was entirely an accident, and wasn't cleaned up well.
MAYBE someone is in really hot water over all the attention their mistake is getting...

Anonymous said...

I believe that those of us who remember the "stEin" spelling simply had a glitch in our Matrix software around the 80's.

The Logical Ghost said...

I brought this to my mom, who suggested another, more plausible theory.

There are two methods by which children learn to read. In one, children progress from letters, to words, to sentences, forming individual building blocks that they then can construct into larger ideas. It's slow, but thorough, and usually results in good spelling and diction.

In the second, children link ideas directly to words and phrases. They read more quickly and grasp big pictures more easily, but are more likely to misread and misspell. It's a bit like compressing a computer file to make it smaller and faster, but with the risk of losing detail. This particular type of learning is more common in children who learn to read at younger ages, but any child can end up relying on either method depending on their inclinations and how they were taught to read.

The important part here is that children who primarily utilize this second method are often extremely poor at spelling while they're younger. The fact that they recognize a word and link it to a concept doesn't mean they've memorized the word itself, in the same way that it's easier to recall the subject matter of a news article than the exact phrasing used to convey that subject.

As has been mentioned here, "-stein" is a much more common suffix than "-stain." It's entirely possible that many of us (and I'm including myself here) were these second-method readers who, in our minds, saw a name similar to names we knew and to which we were accustomed, and filled in the mental blank with "-stein" while our eyes and brain were already skipping past the word entirely. This would be further compounded by the fact that "Berenstain" appeared very little in the actual text and was mostly on the title, which is in cursive. Since we learn cursive after print, as children reading quickly we likely glanced at the cursive and allowed our minds to fill in as much of the blanks as it could to make it sound like something we knew.

This also explains why some people remember the name as "Bernstein." Our fill-in-the-blank capability would be altered by what form of "stein" names we found most familiar, or name rhythms in general.

Anyhow, much as I would like to have proof of alternate universes, I hope this helps provide a more likely explanation.

Anonymous said...

So, there are two posts on here linking to two different intro songs from the show on youtube.

This link from the author:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjXiIZYsGJY#t=48
about which he says, "The old kids show? It says Berenstain. They pronounce it as "Beren-steen", but it has always been spelled "Berenstain""

Then this comment:
Have a listen to this, it's the intro to the cartoon. Even here, it sounds like "Beren-STEEN".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPcPUAWeXzI

BUT....
They don't sound like STEEN. Neither one of them. They sound like STAIN.

When I read that in the original post, I was thinking that explained the entire problem. But. It doesn't. It sounds like STAIN.

Anonymous said...

i noticed the name swap thing about a month ago when the tv of the bears was on sprout channel and my girlfriend and i was wondered when it switched from ein to ain. and then i saw your article through random comments george takei made on facebook. then things got wierd after i read your article i mentioned it on facebook then i saw a tribute to neil armstrong saying he died in 2012 and i know i saw him in a same day dated interview a few months ago then i went to the store for some soda and as i was walking into my yard a cold war era plane flew 500 meters above my house......

Reece said...

I would be very interested in seeing the comments from George Takei on this. I'd like to include them in my list of sites.

Don_Bronx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Don_Bronx said...

Alright. So I just read about this today, and I'm blown away. I distinctly, vividly remember it spelled with an E. After reading this article, I remembered a cassette tape I had as a little boy called The Berenstein Bears and The Spooky Old Tree. So, I Youtubed it. I'm actually quite alarmed. Same EXACT music, same narrator. I remember his voice because, as most little children do, I listened to that tape over and over. Sure enough, on the Youtube version, it's Stain! Now, I haven't listened all the way through to see if anything else has "changed" about the story. What is weird is that I'm trying to convince myself I'm wrong, and I just can't. I KNOW it was Stein. If these shifts are real, it makes me wonder what other memories I have that might have been from universe E. I can't imagine that just the name of a family and series of children's stories are the only differences. I know this is a sensitive subject, but it makes me wonder about Holocaust deniers. I've always looked down on them. But, what if they're right, at least, right from their universes? What if the Holocaust happened, AND didn't happen, and some people shifted universes? MIND=BLOWN

Anonymous said...

Maybe we can shift along several remarkably similar dimensions, like stEin and stAin, in the same way quantum particles can exist in multiple states simultaneously. And, perhaps observation forces us to settle in to one or the other. So, maybe, all of you who have checked your books at home or watched the linked videos have trapped yourselves in this alternate dimension. Maybe you will never see your "REAL" family or friends again.

X said...

Thirty years ago I read dozens of BerenstEin books to my daughters. I have a distinct memory of gazing at one of the book covers and thinking, "How odd it is that these bears would be given a Jewish surname, considering the urge of marketeers to reach for the most common demographic".

Then scanning down to the authors' name and thinking that they had possibly offered firm resistance to altering their own name. In the last few years, when reading now to my granddaughter, thinking "Huh - looks like they did change the name."

The point being that the first memory is sufficient proof to me that in my case there had been no misreading of the name. I clearly remember those moments of conscious examination of the title.

So very strange that this striking anomaly many of us share is of such a mundane and trivial thing. But the questions it raises are cosmic. Somehow that seems fitting, but I don't know why.

Veda's Positive Mommy said...

I love this review!~! http://www.christiananswers.net/spotlight/movies/pre2000/rvu-bear.html

Anonymous said...

I agree with Reece. Every logical thing points to many people mispronouncing a word and their mind making up the cognitive dissonance by altering what they see. Also, someone pointed out that we don't read every single letter, so it makes sense that if we pronounce it a certain way we would assume it is spelled a certain way. What still doesn't make sense, though, is the fact that so many people believe in this "wrong" spelling. Every person I asked today, without baiting them one way or the other, spelled it with an "e."

As for the "4D complex Euclidean spacetime" theory, that's just so incredible to even ponder. Like Aristotle said, "it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

Anonymous said...

I posted this under the wrong comment higher up, I meant to post it here.

I agree with Reece. Every logical thing points to many people mispronouncing a word and their mind making up the cognitive dissonance by altering what they see. Also, someone pointed out that we don't read every single letter, so it makes sense that if we pronounce it a certain way we would assume it is spelled a certain way. What still doesn't make sense, though, is the fact that so many people believe in this "wrong" spelling. Every person I asked today, without baiting them one way or the other, spelled it with an "e."

As for the "4D complex Euclidean spacetime" theory, that's just so incredible to even ponder. Like Aristotle said, "it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

Anonymous said...

While this is an interesting theory, it assumes the child has experience with last names ending in -stein. As a child I had no knowledge of any -steins or -stains so it wouldn't account for why I would make such an error.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I'm a millennial-- I still seem to remember Berenstein Bears, more in the pronunciation of "Beren-Stin." I'd love nothing more than to accept some of these testimonies, but seeing the intro only bothers me when I read Berenstain. I have a ton of de ja vu and now more de ja vu about this very sentence (and more that I can't fathom to explain), about others coming to the conclusion that their parents and family must have simply misheard it wrong when the TV was on, and the majority of people that even had their eyes on the show were too young to read such a long word. Though I hear "Berenstain," I can understand mishearing it-- the pronunciation is close.
But I come to this conclusion on my own despite the residual de ja vu, and I assume the outlying persons are some of the more attentive 20th-century-goers. I believe that as the world advances, so too does the human race as a whole, and we simply can't imagine ourselves having lived in another way than now.
I propose that the majority of western society was indeed more feeble-minded than nostalgia allows, and it's something to appreciate simply that we are much more advanced now. We can come into eastern philosophy, concepts and acceptance a lot more easily nowadays, as I see children tend to do so particularly.
When you think about it, neither Berenstain, NOR Berenstein really amounts to a lot of sense in our brains, and every time it has made a complete thought it was to perpetuate ones environmental perception of the universe. Wholly, I believe that it's been made to be true both ways, and there was probably never much sense in it from the very beginning.

Unknown said...

It is DEFINITELY a fun thought.
I'm glad that it's making people think, because some things truly are forgotten, for instance how we were when the show was going, as I explained above.
My Dad has a different memory. He's from Britain and has exact recallings of about a hundred things he'd see on TV all the time. So idk what to think really.
If we want to take something from this, I'd say try understanding more about your personal reality. What conclusions about the world have you made that may simply be false, rather than any one particular universe-damning theory? Where have you failed to see something right in front of you for years (especially if you've had the privilege of a mentor to guide you)?
Exactly! Childhood! "You'll understand it when you're older" is probably a bunch of bullcrap simply because if you give up on it you'll never understand. And seeing as that was a common phrase in many of our lives growing up, I believe that is exactly what happened. It was the smallest amount of societal psychological pressure and big things like this can certainly happen. That is the only version of the butterfly effect that makes sense to me, because control is an illusion.... Gah! My thoughts are too sophisticated to explain further. It's not complex, I simply doubt your ability to understand it on the same level. Don't worry, if you do, there's nothing more for me to say. If you don't, I would only wish that you continue the challenge of dismissing your false conclusions about reality!

Unknown said...

^ because I tend to ramble on fun thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I was born in the late 70's so I grew up reading these books. I remember it always being spelled BERENSTAIN but pronounced it BERENSTEIN. You can have a theory about anything and the fact that there is all this time and energy spent by people over this and a connection to a alternate universe is craziness. You could make up a conspiracy theory about ketchup if you wanted to as well. My point is it's dumb and a waste of time. Ok so do an experiment. Take a bunch of the books and lay them out on a busy street. Then ask random people walking by to look at all of the covers for a minute then take them away, and ask them to write down how to spell Berenstain Bears. I bet 99% of them would spell it with a big fat E. Boom problem solved and it's just our brains tricking us like many have said.

Anonymous said...

These books have always been the Berenstain Bears whether people think it's correct or not. I mean come on people. You made a mistake when reading and simply cannot admit your mistake. It is very common for people to not see things right and. Is a small detail. People's memories are not infallible. If the books had always been Berenstein, why are there numerous people who remember stain? Are they wrong??

Anonymous said...

What a fun blog post, and thank you for the thought experiment! I too grew up in Universe E, and this news is coming as quite a surprise to me. Strangely enough, though I know how nonsensical this is, in my brain it was always spelled Berenstein, yet pronounced Berenstain. I guess I now know why my inside voice always pronounced it that way. Thanks again!

hpgirly said...

I also always thought of it with an E, but I think we all just misread it. People miss-see things all the time, based on preexisting schemas in their brains. It makes sense that it would be miss-seen as an "E" because many jewish names end in "Stein" and a lot of people pronounce the name that way so that could lead to more people reading it wrong/etc. I always thought the common expression was "all of the sudden" until a friend corrected me ("all of a sudden"). This freaked me out because I must have read that expression hundreds of times and never noticed. I later learned that my mom and brother make the same mistake- I guess you see what you want to see.

hpgirly said...

also- slightly off topic- but does anyone know what I'm talking about "What's the movie with orange juice instead of milk on cereal? Okay so I used to think that it was Agent Cody Banks but I watched it and the scene that I remembered wasn't in there. I thought it was Hilary Duff and her Dad was this scientist guy (sounds like Agent Cody Banks I know) and one morning he's in his underground lab and she brings him down some cereal. And she's like "Here's some cereal Dad, except we were out of milk so I used orange juice instead". Is that from Agent Cody Banks like in a deleted scene or something or is it another movie? Where is it from??? " - I've had this same memory question and found this post by another author on yahoo answers although no one knew what movie it is.

Reece said...

I had the biggest crush on Lizzie McGuire growing up. Not on Hilary Duff, but specifically on the character, Lizzie McGuire. But I'm afraid that crush didn't extend to watching Agent Cody Banks.

Moose said...

Can we get the E-universe version of this?

Unknown said...

Ingenious idea, but I'd like to point out a serious (probably fatal) problem with the argument.

Referring to your original post at http://woodbetweenworlds.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-berenstein-bears-we-are-living-in.html, I'm happy up to the point that you say:

"I further propose that the stEin and the stAin universes are actually just different hexadectants of the same universe: in the stEin universe, all three spatial dimensions are real and time is imaginary; in the stAin universe, all three spatial dimensions are imaginary and time is real. Of course, from the standpoint of stEin/stAin this won't produce any mathematically significant difference; it's the same as choosing (+++-) or (---+) convention for Minkowski space, which at the end doesn't alter predictions or measurements. We'd never know if we did swap."

While I accept that this would indeed hold within conventional field theory, it is inconsistent with your earlier statement:

"Within this complex spacetime, all mass is shared, and also wave functions of particles are shared, so that effects can leak between them."

To put it very clearly, you rely on the premise that the two hexadecants are causally connected to explain the Berenst(a/e)in Bears effect, and that there is thus a meaningful phenomenology associated with the phase-shift. However, you also require that the phase-shift exploits a redundancy in the construction, i.e. that it is an internal symmetry of the theory, so as not to undermine the framework upon which the argument depends, namely quantum field theory in psuedo-euclidean spacetime. There is therefore a fundamental inconsistency present in the reasoning.

Even if you wanted go with the (ridiculously unlikely) assumption that the Bears effect is the only observable feature of the phase-shift, you certainly need to revise your statement about not feeling the swap. You'd then have to demonstrate formally that this revision doesn't "break" the quantum field theory. So you'd have to rederive everything in each metric convention (associated with each respective hexadecant) and show that you can have the Bears effect as a small correction without generating any other unacceptable observable consequences (you almost certainly would). I'll add that one also ought to worry about whether a Goldstone type theorem might apply to the breaking of the phase-shift symmetry.

In any case, your original post is not self-consistent.

Unknown said...

I remember it with an A, it always bothered me because I wasn't sure how you were supposed to pronounce it. "Stain" sounded bad and I was never sure if "stine" was acceptable (in German "ai" is usually pronounced like "eye", but there was never any reason to assume the name was German). But I definitely remember the spelling being Berenstain as a kid in the early 90s.

Lish said...

I thought I just posted a comment similar to what I am about to say, so sorry if this is a double-post, or maybe some force from Universe A is trying to prevent me from posting this:

After some wikipedia-ing and old library search databases, I seem to have found some (at least old database title) evidence of the Berensteins:

http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=berenstein+bears&qt=owc_search

http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=au%3ABerenstein%2C+Stan+%26+Jan.&qt=hot_author

Some of them have "Berenstein" spelled as the author's last names as well as in the titles, others just one or the other. My favorite is the third result on the first link: "The Berenstein Bears On Time" by Stan & Jan Berenstain, which has both spellings and sounds like the Bears are about to teach you how time works.

Anonymous said...

I remember the pronunciation as 'Barensteen' but not the spelling. I do remember reading an entire book in the 6th grade about a dog named "Risby" until on the last page the girl explains that she gave the dog the name "Ribsy" because when she found him he was so skinny his ribs were showing. I thought Risby sounded like a cute dog name, after I read the Ribsy explanation I looked at the cover and there it was, the book was Ribsy the dog, personally i thought it was a disgusting name and much preferred Risby. I was pretty embarrassed about my misreading so I didn't tell anyone, if I did I probably would have been diagnosed with dyslexia. I think it's pretty normal to read things quickly and mix up letters. We learn to pronounce things the way others around us do. Maybe all of our teachers learned to pronounce Barensteen rather than Barenstain or Barenstein because Barensteen just sounds better and there may have been some lingering antisemitism or something that made people in our teachers generation want to pronounce the name so it wouldn't sound Jewish. Does anyone remember their elementary teachers pronouncing the Harry Potter character's names differently each year until the movies came out and cleared up all the confusion was it Hermionee or Hermeeone? I also remember not really learning cursive in school we worked on it for a few months in 3rd grade (1998) I never realized I didn't know cursive until I got called out in 6th grade for spelling Disney Digsney, I thought it just had a silent g because that's what the cursive looked like to me. Maybe the collective pronunciation effected the way we perceived the cursive word, I think it's easier to misread cursive because is not as common. I think the same goes for learning words in school spelled differently maybe your teacher was dyslexic or a bad speller and did teach your the wrong spelling.

Lish said...

No amount of explaining will convince me that it has always been Berenstain. I know about the unreliability of eyewitness testimony, false memories, all that shit (I majored in psych; the degree taught me most how totally fallible we are in that respect). But this is an entire generation of people and their parents, too, some of them with accompanying memories about why they would've noticed if it had actually been "-stain"! I also have a distinct memory of asking my mom how it was pronounced. I wouldn't have needed to ask if it was "-stain." She said "Beren-steen" because when I was a child, the Bears were the Berensteins, undoubtedly. And today they are not. I don't know why, but that's what happened at some point for reasons unknown.

Anonymous said...

This whole topic has made me stand back and kind of start to think about things differently. I've never been one to really agree, or believe in theories such as this one. Though when I heard about it, my mind positively knew that it was with an E opposed to an A. I vividly remember reading/having these books read to me up until I grew out of them. I think its one thing to debunk something due to lack of knowledge about it or involvement in it. But this has such a vast majority of people agreeing with the same thing and been a huge part of peoples childhoods. It's hard to argue with your own brain and what you already know. This theory generally makes sense mathematically. Opposed to other far out theories including much jargen and far fetched possibilities (not about this topic). I agree with everyone else who are saying that theyve always pronounced it as "steen" because even when younger there is a clear difference in which you would pronounce the word as stain, theyre completely different and noticeable. Its one of those things that just sticks with you, like any other valuable lesson/word/rule etc. you have learned as a child. Anyway, I'm a firm believer in other universes and dementions so this theory is what im sticking to. Also, I dont know if it was mentioned before just because I hadnt really had the time to skim through all these comments. But on the Mandela Effect website there is a link someone had posted containing a news paper TV guide from the archive in 1985.

http://ptl.stparchive.com/Archive/PTL/PTL09121985P06.php

The year in which the Berenstein Bears first premiered (actually the guide actually mentions it is the premier) that lists it as "The BerenstEin Bears". I dont know too much about the picture but its pretty convincing to say the least.

Unknown said...

Just watched a vid of the intro and to me there is no mistaking the singer says steen. Yes its written stain but the singer clearly says steen in fact you're the first person i've seen who hears him say stain, i've seen many posts that hear steen. interesting...

Anonymous said...

I'm giggling at the thought of all our "Universe A" selves having this same debate in "Universe E." :)

Noelle said...

The orange juice thing sounds really familiar, no that you've brought it up. I've been trying to find an answer for the past few minutes, but found nothing. (Someone suggested the movie Friday, but I've never seen it, so it's not what I'm thinking of.) Update if you figure it out!

Anonymous said...

Okay... I'm an educated, 55 years old and bought these books and read them to my kids and my memory says BerenstEIn.

E said...

I believe there is a logical explanation for all of this chaos, and it is that the Berenstein Bears were originally spelled with and e, that is why certain people of certain generations remember it as so. I believe that somewhere along the line the berensteins changed the spelling of their name to the 'a' version. Not to offend or discredit the Berensteins or Judaism in any way but I believe they changed the name of the books/show possibly because their show ratings/profits were not up to snuff but not because of quality, but because of the prevalence of racism/prejudice and a general bad view for the Judaism religion and its people in North America, a strongly Catholicism dominant nation. Perhaps the steins recognized this factor and decided to make a very controversial move. They risked being frowned upon by their faith in order to be successful in an environment that wasn't allowing them to do so. For the sake of their organization they had to cover it up and play it off like their name was always spelled with an A, for authenticity and credibility reasons. If people found out it was a cover up, their name would take a huge hit, however which way you spelled. That's my Occam's razor, not yours.
E

Anonymous said...

http://cup-of-magic.tumblr.com/image/126541178725 What about this pic? is it photoshopped? :c I'm not technologically adept enough to find out myself lol

E said...

Those look like originals, which goes along with what I said that it was originally stein. But somewhere along the line they changed it, along with newly printed (altered spelling) books

E said...

Possible addendum - perhaps this thEory was created to divert people from the actually truth.. Again simply just a speculation. Humans are naturally drawn to answers that aren't always the most rational or logical. Our naivety and quickness to believe in something can blind us from what is right there in plain view

Becca said...

To make this issue even more strange...I remember the spelling with an "e", so does all but one of my friends/family. However, I distinctly remember having the debate with myself on how the name was pronounced (back when I was about 6 or so) and have always pronounced it Berenstain. But I was very disturbed (and still am) by seeing it spelled with an "a". Oh the strangeness of the universe in which we live.

Becca said...

To make this issue even more strange...I remember the spelling with an "e", so does all but one of my friends/family. However, I distinctly remember having the debate with myself on how the name was pronounced (back when I was about 6 or so) and have always pronounced it Berenstain. But I was very disturbed (and still am) by seeing it spelled with an "a". Oh the strangeness of the universe in which we live.

Remembering Me and Him said...

Just when I thought it couldnt get any weirder. I distinctly remember it spelled with an E and I just pulled out 4 books that I have only had for a couple of years and there is the A. I would have noticed the spelling when I bought them because it always bothered me when people didnt pronounce or say things the way they were spelled. I remember having to decide to say it steen or stein, never stain. Wth? I also vaguely remember the mandela death story but the way they lie in the news for reaction of the public these days and how we have been lied to over and over, well, there are different theories for that one. Bottom line for me, I am more fascinated than ever with the way this world works now. I wish to connect with people who want to figure it out through discussion that does not include foul mouthed or derogatory statements while we try to figure it out. How old are the people who remember the E? Where were they living? Same with the Mandela story. Strange how something people will see as petty and a waste of time can be so fascinating and simply mind blowing to others.

Foxy2424 said...

I remember it being "stein" but I also don't remember ever reading the books, so whenever I saw the name it was the title of the show. I might not have paid as much attention to the spelling as I thought. But if you listen to the intro video and try to listen, you can hear both "stein" and "stain". The way it's said can be heard either way.

Anonymous said...

http://ptl.stparchive.com/Archive/PTL/PTL09121985P06.php

Jeremiah said...

So, my currently evolving theory is that we are all born in one of six nearly identical universes, contained within a seventh, an "all-verse" encompassing the six while retaining access to and binding them all. Picture six strings twisted around each other, while being wrapped up in a seventh, a membranous sleeve (much like para-cord). God inhabits the seventh ‘verse, hence seven being the number of completeness/perfection, the seven-fold spirit of God, etc.

Our consciousness resides in the space between the strings and the sleeve and can permeate the inner strings, giving consciousness to the physical aspects of our bodies in each of the six, though we are only actively conscious of the single universe we currently inhabit. We have a “six-fold” spirit that is partitioned into each sixth of the totality, each portion only conscious of its current strand (except, perhaps, in certain altered states).

Periodically, the 1/6th fragment of our soul/consciousness we are most aware of passes from one string to another. Although these parallel universes are mostly identical, there are small differences -such as a spelling of a word in a children’s book title ;) Even the flow of time can be slightly out of synch, from thread to thread, since the strings’ twist keeps them at slightly different points chronologically, at times. This incontinuity can result in a recurrence of nearly identical events, mere seconds apart, as the soul transfers from thread to thread. We experience this as deja-vu.

The four dimensions of space-time are the same in each string (universe), btw. Within the membranous seventh all-verse, all dimensions can be trans-versed without regard to the linearity of time present in each thread, and can also be "speared" through, Ã  la Flatland. Of course, one must be a seven dimensional (or higher?) being to participate in such travel. However, while residing and traversing within the all-verse sleeve, one would be able to see all times at once, thus transcending time and space -and knowing the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be fun to do some research on similarities and differences between "Universe A" people and "Universe E" people? I'd be interested in seeing the compatibility with regards to other, unrelated topics.

Anonymous said...

https://41.media.tumblr.com/5282207c64b3ac14bfb3061dcc7e199c/tumblr_ng3fzqk6Fl1qzxlcno1_540.jpg

OPEN THAT PIC its berenSTEIN

RK in Denver said...

Okay, I just listened to the video clip posted above; I'm old enough (50+) that I never saw the TV show before, so this was the first time I'd ever heard it. I listened to it with my eyes shut, so I wouldn't be influenced in my hearing of the sound by my looking at the spelling. Absolutely, no doubt, the speaker is saying "BerenstAin." It's the /ey/ sound, as in grey day, NOT an /ee/ sound like green tree. If you're hearing /ee/ there, it's because you are superimposing your memory of the ei spelling onto the sound. Listen to it with your eyes closed, too, and see. (I teach English to speakers of other languages--TESOL, so I have considerable professional experience in distinguishing near- similar vowel sounds in students' speech, as I have to grade them on their pronunciation and whether they pronounce the correct vowels or not.)

Anonymous said...

Thank you! At last, someone with sense, and someone who can spell.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

RK in Denver said...

Yes! That second method is called "look-say" and taught kids to read words based on their "shape" and word length. I'll never forget hearing a close friend and neighbor of my aunt's, Arlene, who was horrified that her granddaughter couldn't tell the difference, when reading aloud to her granny, between the words "Grandmother" and "Thanksgiving." Hey, they were both long words that started with a capital letter, right? The little girl had no notion of how to sound out the words like kids in *my* generation, who were taught to read by phonics-based methods. I agree -- people remembered them as ...stein because the books were read to them aloud by *parents* who pronounced the name as 'steen' or 'stein'. Anonymous (August 8), you may have had no knowledge of names ending in -stein, but your parents who (I deduce) read them to you aloud certainly did. You remember it with their pronunciation, and remember now the spelling which matches the pronunciation you remember.

Reece said...

Thanks E. That would be the simplest, most satisfying explanation out there. Thousands of others and myself have been searching for any proof that they were ever called anything other than BerenstAin. And they weren't. They were never the BerenstEin Bears, they were always since forever the BerenstAin Bears. They never changed it for any reason, not even anti-semitic pressure It's always been that way, for as long as the authors have been alive.

Reece said...

Granger7, I have been waiting three long years for a comment like this. Thank you!

By my original statement, "We'd never know if we did swap," I meant that if we were all anesthetized, then the Minkowski signature were reversed, that we would wake up and not be able to know (which probably isn't true either...). So I was just trying to put the concept of "symmetry" into colloquial terms.

But this is still a fantastic point. There is a symmetry involved, so there has to be a conserved quantity. The symmetry group, near as I can tell (haven't done the math yet) is discrete. The conserved quantity is thus discrete, and corresponds basically to the "name" of a "universe". Shifting would not be even close to a smooth perturbation.

My "plan" (to the extent I have one) is to follow Sakurai's approach in his advanced quantum book (where he uses imaginary time instead of a Lorentz metric), but make all of the directions not just real/imaginary but fully complex, and see what this does for the theory.

So far all I've been doing is trying to figure out how distances and forces and stuff work. If I use the usual inner product in complex spaces (involving the complex conjugate) then my metric function separates nicely into two parts, each with each Minkowski signature. That's as far as I've gotten. There need to be forces with imaginary components, and I have no idea what those would be.

I'm not overly familiar with the Goldstone theorem, but from my brief reading, it involves continuous symmetry, and this symmetry is discrete. So it shouldn't apply.

There is actually another flaw in my original argument, that I noticed almost the same day but that no one has pointed out yet: I said the "leaks" would be small because the imaginary wave function would turn into a decaying exponential -- but that's only in the positive direction! In the negative direction, the decaying exponential would be an increasing exponential.

Anyway, thanks for commenting, and putting me on the track of symmetry! The Berest*in Bears stuff is a silly joke, but there may be real implications for complex dimensions for more serious things (note the "may"). It'd be great to have an actual mathematical framework for it so I could start making serious predictions with it, to see what the experiments say.

TRR said...

Both versions redirect to the same page. This is normal Wikipedia behavior for commonly misspellings.

Larry B. said...

Regarding that legendary Wikipedia comment, it's interesting that you call the author "Selena" when she actually typed "Salena". . . another e/a mix-up?

Incidentally, that doesn't appear to be an actual Wikipedia username, as a click on the "Salena" link just goes to the page for Salena, Nepal. So yeah, probably a troll job.

Larry T. said...

I think it's an interesting insight into how our brain processes language. We don't actually read every letter in a word (especially a long one) and instead, make a prediction about what it is. Sometimes we realize it, when what we've read hasn't made sense, and we go back and double-check to see what we misread initially. But in the case of Berenstain Bears, the spelling doesn't really matter - it's just a name - so we've never bothered to double-check until now.

(I too, thought it was Berenstein, but went back and checked my old books from the 1980s and indeed, it was Berenstain.)

Reece said...

Good call!

Reece said...

Weird... I swear your name used to be Larry B.... it must have happened again :(

T. Michael said...

So I have school in just over 6 hours and I was about to go to sleep, but then I found this argument and I've just finished reading the ENTIRE thread like a tired idiot. I do have to say though, this one really had me perplexed- at first. When I clicked on this page, I remembered the name with an E, but as I thought more and more about it, I realized that it was really an "A". Let me explain.

I'm currently 17, and at a young age I had many older family friends who owned the books, and I really enjoyed reading them whenever I was over. I distinctly remember the name being spelled with an "E", at least I thought I did. But here's the deal: people are lazy. Also, titles are usually not payed much attention to, especially a series title that was on many, many books. After all, why would you read something that you've already seen multiple times? Plus, this title happened to contain a very unusual last name, a word half the internet is fighting over right now. The suffix "stein" is certainly more popular that "stain", and "stein" can certainly be associated with many other well-known things, such as Frankenstein or that one Albert guy. It's very common, and it also fits much better with the rest of the name, which has two e's in a pattern, and using "stein" continued that pattern. "Stain" looked weird, and therefore whenever we opened a book our brains automatically went the lazy route as kids and substituted the term for what made more sense. And if you read a lot of them like I did, you did this every, single, time. This means you basically changed the spelling in your brain a lot, and eventually this means you might have even remembered it spelled differently on the cover, something that could very easily be done since "e" is relatively similar to "a", even more in cursive, where the letters "blend" together. Our brains are also pretty malleable as kids, and I'm guessing that's when most of you read the books first, which made it even easier for such a wide number of us to remember the name in the "lazy" way. If you always remembered it as "A", then congrats, because you payed a lot more attention to stuff than most of us did. Sorry if I'm slightly insulting "Team E" here, but keep in mind I agreed with you at first too.

So, if you've followed my rambling thus far, you now know why so many people remember it with an "E", it was all because of our brains taking a rarely read title and automatically changing it, so that it just made sense, and we did this so much that some can now see it in our heads as such. There are no alternate dimensions, just like there will never be a time machine invented or another Cubs World Series Championship (Go Cardinals!) It's just not going to happen. There was never any "shift in time", although I do enjoy reading about that sort of thing. It's just a really weird word that happened to be spelled in such an odd way that it's getting more attention than Frozen. (Well, maybe not that much.) Any other stories where people have specifically remembered pronouncing it with an "E" or swearing that it used to be that way is either mistaken or lying. Places where people have found said spelling are simply mistakes, which would obviously happen once in a while, That's all it is, no need to worry. Go back to your cats and meme generators internet, the world is just fine.

Sorry if this wasn't really scientific or super deep or anything, like I said, I'm still in high school. And I really hope you can understand my jumbled sleep-deprived words. I'd also be interested to hear Reece's opinion on this, as he seems about a billion times smarter than I me, in all seriousness. Now if you excuse me, I have to go fall asleep for 4 hours and then wake up to learn about Algebra and Annotated Bibliographies. Fun.

T. Michael said...

So I have school in just over 6 hours and I was about to go to sleep, but then I found this argument and I've just finished reading the ENTIRE thread like a tired idiot. I do have to say though, this one really had me perplexed- at first. When I clicked on this page, I remembered the name with an E, but as I thought more and more about it, I realized that it was really an "A". Let me explain.

I'm currently 17, and at a young age I had many older family friends who owned the books, and I really enjoyed reading them whenever I was over. I distinctly remember the name being spelled with an "E", at least I thought I did. But here's the deal: people are lazy. Also, titles are usually not payed much attention to, especially a series title that was on many, many books. After all, why would you read something that you've already seen multiple times? Plus, this title happened to contain a very unusual last name, a word half the internet is fighting over right now. The suffix "stein" is certainly more popular that "stain", and "stein" can certainly be associated with many other well-known things, such as Frankenstein or that one Albert guy. It's very common, and it also fits much better with the rest of the name, which has two e's in a pattern, and using "stein" continued that pattern. "Stain" looked weird, and therefore whenever we opened a book our brains automatically went the lazy route as kids and substituted the term for what made more sense. And if you read a lot of them like I did, you did this every, single, time. This means you basically changed the spelling in your brain a lot, and eventually this means you might have even remembered it spelled differently on the cover, something that could very easily be done since "e" is relatively similar to "a", even more in cursive, where the letters "blend" together. Our brains are also pretty malleable as kids, and I'm guessing that's when most of you read the books first, which made it even easier for such a wide number of us to remember the name in the "lazy" way. If you always remembered it as "A", then congrats, because you payed a lot more attention to stuff than most of us did. Sorry if I'm slightly insulting "Team E" here, but keep in mind I agreed with you at first too.

So, if you've followed my rambling thus far, you now know why so many people remember it with an "E", it was all because of our brains taking a rarely read title and automatically changing it, so that it just made sense, and we did this so much that some can now see it in our heads as such. There are no alternate dimensions, just like there will never be a time machine invented or another Cubs World Series Championship (Go Cardinals!) It's just not going to happen. There was never any "shift in time", although I do enjoy reading about that sort of thing. It's just a really weird word that happened to be spelled in such an odd way that it's getting more attention than Frozen. (Well, maybe not that much.) Any other stories where people have specifically remembered pronouncing it with an "E" or swearing that it used to be that way is either mistaken or lying. Places where people have found said spelling are simply mistakes, which would obviously happen once in a while, That's all it is, no need to worry. Go back to your cats and meme generators internet, the world is just fine.

Sorry if this wasn't really scientific or super deep or anything, like I said, I'm still in high school. And I really hope you can understand my jumbled sleep-deprived words. I'd also be interested to hear Reece's opinion on this, as he seems about a billion times smarter than I me, in all seriousness. Now if you excuse me, I have to go fall asleep for 4 hours and then wake up to learn about Algebra and Annotated Bibliographies. Fun.

Anonymous said...

If it was spelled Berenstein the question wouldn't be the spelling, it would be the pronunciation, "steen' vs "stine". I've never heard anybody call them the Berenstine Bears. So it couldn't have been stein.

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