Faux Pas- Linguistic and Social

I took a linguistics class at UNM for which we collected slips of the tongue—what the professor called linguistic faux pas—and categorized them.

My brother Jeff committed my favorite faux pas. He was sitting on the couch, reading one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books. I was watching TV, and he was trying to read and watch TV at the same time. He looked up and said to me, "Turn it to page 7." The show he wanted to watch was on Channel 7, and I of course was holding the remote.

I classified this one as a pragmatic, or contextual error: what made perfect sense for one context got used in another without adjustment.

I was reminded of this class last night as was about to brush my teeth. I picked up my toothbrush and reached out for the liquid soap bottle. Right category (cleaning product), wrong product. I stopped myself in time.

My brother Jeff also committed a bizarre error. He said something which sounded like a sentence, had the prosody (rhythm) of a sentence, even had syllables that belonged in the English language, but not one of those syllables meant a damn thing. His sentence worked at the phonemic (or sound) level, but failed utterly at the morphemic (or meaning) level.

I'm not sure how to clasiffy this slip of the tongue. (A PowerPoint presentation converted to web format)

The way my brain is wired, I often lose context. About 6 months ago, I had my eyes checked. I signed up for the machine that checks your peripheral vision. This is the machine where you click a button on this clicker whenever you see a pinpoint of light.

After I finished with the left eye, I set the clicker down. I talked about some stuff, and then asked the (red-head, cute, woman) eye doctor "Oh, could you hand me the clicker thing?"

She gave me an odd look and said something to the effect of No, pick it up yourself. I looked down: I had no memory of it, but it was in my lap. I turned beet red and apologized, explaining that I'd thought I'd set it on the table. Her timing was impeccable: as soon as I apologized, she was already joking, saying "That'll cost extra" in that Brooklyn accent. Yes, some faux pas, but not most, are Freudian slips

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Thursday, September 19, 2002 (Link)


Posted by Chad Lundgren Friday, September 20, 2002 at 12:11 AM

It's become almost a commonplace among the usability that Amazon ges a lot right, not not everything. I can attest to that. My link on "books" in my original post had a long number at the end, so I assumed it would work. Wrong, it failed. (Web geek warning: it was a POST, not a GET.)

I'm not generally in favor of long URLs, but if it makes a search work I am.

Posted by Roslee Wednesday, September 25, 2002 at 12:55 AM

Isn't this just like you, Chad. First I am ouched by the villanelle (?) you posted, then you make me laugh my head off with these "slips of the tongue" or perhaps freudian slips??

Posted by Roslee Wednesday, September 25, 2002 at 12:59 AM

mmmmmmm...freudian slips and such really are not my favorite "slips of the tongue." Hahahahhhaaa!