If the notion of imagination is to be limited to the activity of representation, we must class under it the premonitions and forewarnings which are of influence not only among the uneducated. Inasmuch as reliable observations, not put together a posteriori, are lacking, nothing exact can be said about them. That innumerable assertions and a semi-scientific literature about the matter exists, is generally familiar. And it is undeniable that predictions, premonitions, etc., may be very vivid, and have considerable somatic influence. Thus, prophecy of approaching death, certain threats or knowledge of the fact that an individual's death is being prayed for, etc., may have deadly effect on excited people. The latter superstition especially, has considerable influence. Praying for death, etc., is aboriginal. It has been traced historically into the twelfth century and is made use of today. Twelve years ago I was told of a case in which an old lady was killed because an enemy of hers had the
death-mass read for her. The old lady simply died of fright. In some degree we must pay attention to even such apparently remote questions.
Section 106. (I) Verbal Misunderstandings.
Here too it is not possible to draw an absolutely definite boundary between acoustic illusions and misunderstandings. Verbally we may say that the former occur when the mistake, at least in its main characteristic, is due to the aural mechanism. The latter is intended when there is a mistake in the comprehension of a word or of a sentence. In this case the ear has acted efficiently, but the mind did not know how to handle what had been heard and so supplements it by something else in connection with matter more or less senseless. Hence, misunderstandings are so frequent with foreign words. Compare the singing of immigrant school children, ``My can't three teas of tea'' for ``My country 'tis of thee,'' or ``Pas de lieu Rhone que nous'' with ``Paddle your own canoe.''
The question of misunderstandings, their development and solution, is of great importance legally, since not only witnesses but clerks and secretaries are subject to them. If they are undiscovered they lead to dangerous mistakes, and their discovery causes great trouble in getting at the correct solution. The determination of texts requires not only effort but also psychological knowledge and the capacity of putting one's self in the place of him who has committed the error. To question him may often be impossible because of the distance, and may be useless because he no longer knows what he said or wanted to say. When we consider what a tremendous amount of work classical philologists, etc., have to put into the determination of the proper form of some misspelled word, we can guess how needful it is to have the textual form of a protocol absolutely correct. The innocence or guilt of a human being may depend upon a misspelled syllable. Now, to determine the proper and correct character of the text is as a rule difficult, and in most cases impossible. Whether a witness or the secretary has misunderstood, makes no difference in the nature of the work. Its importance remains unaffected, but in the latter case the examining justice, in so far as he correctly
 Many omissions have been necessitated by the feet that no English equivalents for the German examples could be found. [Translator.]
 Cf. S. Freud: Psychopathologie des Alltagsleben
 Cited by James, Psychology, Buefer Course.
remembers what he has heard, may avoid error. The mistakes of the secretaries may in any event be reduced to a minimum if all protocols are read immediately, and not by the secretary but by the examining judge himself. If the writer reads them he makes the same mistakes, and only a very intelligent witness will perceive them and call attention to them. Unless it so happens the mistake remains.