Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean
On Sale: August 21, 2007
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UmĂ˘â‚¬Â¦ is about how you really speak, and why itĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s normal for
your casual, everyday speech to be filled with verbal
blunders Ă˘â‚¬â€ť about one in every ten words. Why do they happen?
Why canĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t we control them? What can you tell about the
people who make them?
In this charming, engaging account of language in the wild,
linguist and writer Michael Erard also explains why our
attention to some verbal blunders rises and falls. Why was
the spoonerism named after Reverend Spooner, not some other
absent-minded person? Where did the Freudian slip come from?
Why do we prize "umlessness" in speaking? And how do we
explain the American presidents who are famous for their
YouĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ll have new ways to listen to yourself and others once
youĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ve met the people who work with verbal blunders every
day Ă˘â‚¬â€ť journalists, transcribers, interpreters, police
officers, linguists, psychologists, among others Ă˘â‚¬â€ť and when
youĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ve learned what verbal blunders tell about who we are
and what we want.
A rich investigation of a fascinating subject, full of
entertaining examples, Um. . . is essential reading for
talkers and listeners of all stripes.
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