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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Summary of Oops! How's That Again ? | The Magic of Words

UNIT FOUR : HUMOUR
OOPS ! HOW'S THAT AGAIN ?
ENGLISH | THE MAGIC OF WORDS
Roger Rosenblatt


“Oops! How’s That Again” is an essay written by Rosenblatt and this essay has a humorous tone. Through the humorous tone also, the essayist has tried to reflect the bitter reality of human beings when they make mistake when they speak. He enriches his discussion with remarkable examples; although, as befits its subject. He is much concerned with the psychological causes of bloopers.
Human beings often make mistake knowingly and unknowingly when they speak. After making mistake they also apologize for it. From the uneducated person to highly intellectual and educated, scholar, different mistakes are made according to their level. This essay describes the mistake
the people make while speaking and the reasons behind it are divided into four categories. They are as follows: i. Public Blunders ii. Memorable Translations iii. Bloopers iv. Spoonerisms.
Public Blunders are the mistakes made by the people when they give speech. While delivering the speech, they don’t actually care for the grammatical mistakes or vocabulary mistakes. These mistakes are specially committed by especially by the political leaders when they deliver their speech. They try to give emphasis by giving different examples but their sentences are not totally complete. This happens due to their tongue slip. Here the speaker may be trying to give message from one view but the different audience may take it in wrong way.
Memorable translations are the mistakes generally done by the people who speak very fast. This is also related to the psychological condition of the listener. The words spoken by the fast speaker may not be easily understood the real words. There may be misunderstanding between the speaker and listener. The person with weak psychology, if, wrongly interprets the words of the speaker, it may bring violent situation.
Bloopers are the mistakes done foolishly and not tried to correct. These mistakes are very simple types of mistakes, which are not given much importance by the speaker. This may be the habit of some people. Spoonerisms are the mistakes, which are done by the use of incorrect words due to tongues slips. Here, wrong words are not known by the listener as the speaker immediately tries to replace the wrong word when he comes to know the mistake. While the replacement of words the speaker should be conscious as wrong replacement can misinterpret the actual meaning.
There are different views about the verbal errors according to different people. Victoria Fromkin, a linguist, says that the verbal errors happen due to tongue slips concerned with the brain. Before the words are expressed, thought is placed by the brain into a grammatical framework. Sigmund Freud, a psychiatrist, presents his theory about the verbal error in different way. According to him, a tongue slips are caused by the network of id (unconscious mind), ego (subconscious mind) and superego (conscious mind). When people make mistakes, it has become the trend to laugh at them. Why do we laugh at them we don’t know. According to the philosopher Henri Bergson, the act of laughter is caused by any interruption of normal human fluidity or momentum. So, tongue slips are like slips of banana peels. We simply make fun and hoot at the errors simply to break the monotonies.

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