Oops! How’s That Again?
Oops! How’s That Again? Summary
“Oops! How’s That Again?” is a humorous essay written by Roger Rosenblatt. In this essay, the writer classifies verbal errors in 5 categories and tries to explain the causes behind search errors.
Slip of tongue is the most common type of verbal error. They occur when a speaker means to say one thing but happens to say something else. They are usual and can take place all the times. They create an embarrassing effect on both the speaker and the listener. Example of tongue slip was made by a businessman Peter Balfour in a dinner party where he wished just engaged Prince Charles a long life and conjugal happiness with Lady Jane. But in fact, Prince Charles was engaged to Kady Diana and Lady Jane was his former beloved.
The second type of verbal error is Faux Pas. It takes place when somebody says something it to be harmless but its meaning upsets the listener. Example of Faux Pas was made by German president Henrich Lubke who greeted the Indian President at the airport as “Who are you?”. He meant to say “How are You?” but end up of saying “Who are you?”.
The third type of verbal error is Blooper. It is a public blunder like the one spoken over the radio. Unlike tongue slip and faux pas, it can have a long term effect on the listener because the mistake is delivered to a large number of audiences. One example of blooper was made by Chicago’s Mayor Daley. Once he said, ” The policeman is not there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve the disorder.” It was very difficult for him to recover from this public blunder.
The fourth types of verbal error are Mistranslation. It takes place when certain slogans and statement are translated from one language to another carelessly. A slogan “Come alive with Pepsi” failed considerably when it was translated into German as “Come alive out of the grave with Pepsi.”
The last type of Verbal error is Spoonerism. It takes place when the initial or other sounds of the word are interchanged with the sound of another word. An example of spoonerism is “Kinquering Kongs Their Titles Take” (Conquering Kings Their Title Take.”
A Linguist, Victoria Fromkin regards the slip of tongue as the clues to how the brain stores and articulates language. The famous psychologist Sigmund Freud regards tongue slip as the means for expressing repressed desires.
A psychiatrist Richard Yazmajian argues that there are some incorrect words in the associative chain which are to be substituted by correct word. When we say something carelessly the incorrect words are expressed along with the correct word so we make mistakes.
Though all of us make mistakes while speaking, we laugh when we hear somebody making mistakes. It is because it breaks the monotony and refreshes us We laugh at the mistakes also because we enjoy looking at the changing appearance of the speaker. Sometimes verbal errors reveal the repressed desires of the speaker and they sometimes express the optimistic note of the speaker as well.
Our life is full of mistakes of one type or another. Any deviation from what we expect is an error. All of us want to be immortal but everyone has to die sooner or later. So we are confused by our mortality and laugh at each other.
THE RECURRING DREAM
THE LOST DOLL
THE HOUSE CALL
THE LOVING MOTHER
MY HEART LEAPS UP WHEN I BEHOLD
SPEAKING OF CHILDREN
LOOK AT THE TEACUP
A WORN PATH
THE THREE DAY BLOW
THE POPLAR FIELD
THE NIGHTMARE LIFE WITHOUT FUEL
UNCHOPPING A TREE
KEEPING THINGS WHOLE
THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN
ON THE VANITY OF EARTHLY GREATNESS