Monday, December 13, 2010

Verbal Slips and Trips

The world also apparently needs a dialogue coach...

Hearing other people misspeak can be amusing.  I laugh not because I'm mean-spirited, but because I've had my share of verbal blunders over the years and it's nice to know I'm not alone.  My family still ribs me about the time during my teenage years when I pronounced "picturesque" as "picture-skew."   

Thankfully I wasn't in front of a video camera at the time, but sometimes I think family memories can outlive videotape...

To make a gaffe in front of friends or family is one thing.  It's something else altogether to err in front of an audience.  We all expect media professionals and those in positions of leadership to be more polished in front of the camera than we would be, but that's not always the case.

From the Department of Redundancy Department, a reporter narrating a segment about a warehouse fire proclaimed, "The vacant building was vacant..."

In a report about the legality of a public official's place of residence, a reporter mispronounced the legal term "inhabitant" as "inhibitant" (which isn't even a word as far as I know). 

During a press conference, our own Governor Ritter addressed the lack of information about which homes had been destroyed during the early stages of the Boulder wildfire.  He understood how frustrated homeowners were, not knowing if their properties had been "implicated in these fires."  (Affected or impacted?  Yes.  Implicated?  No.)

My absolute favorite verbal gaffe of the year, though, wasn't so much a slip of the tongue as it was a skewed attempt to recall an elusive name.  It comes from my own husband's comment about a foppish man clad in purple and red that we saw at this summer's Renaissance Festival:  "He looks like that--what's he called?  The Purple Pumpernickel!"

He, of course, meant the Scarlet Pimpernel.  Yes, that one will live in my memory for quite a long time. <grin>

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