Having just recently moved to the United States from Japan with her family Miyo has been working hard trying to understand the English language. Miyo's parents encourage her to focus on reading and writing but she prefers to learn by listening to oral conversations.
One of her favorite places to learn is a construction site not far from her home. One week ago Miyo hears the foreman use a word and from how the construction workers respond she is confident that she understands its meaning.
Today Miyo hears the foreman use what sounds like the exact same word (this time he sounds slightly upset) and the construction workers proceed to do the opposite of what they did the week before.
Assume that Miyo has great hearing and the word she heard today really did sound the same as the word the heard the week before.
What can explain the construction workers responding in a seemingly opposite manner to an instruction that included a word that sounded the same as what she heard one week earlier?