Covering a vast array of verbal blunders, from Spoonerisms to malapropisms to “uh” and “um,” linguist and author Erard creates a unique narrative blend of science, history, pop culture, and politics that gets at what really matter when we speak — and when we listen.
One exceptional chapter is about where the notion that good public speaking is always umless comes from; another chapter explains why Sigmund Freud (and a lot of other people in late 19th century Vienna) were obsessed with errors. What do “uh” and “um” really mean? And can we do with out them? Another chapter looks at the media empire that Kermit Schafer created from bloopers.
Full of entertaining examples, Um… is essential reading for talkers and listeners of all stripes.