This original, entertaining, and surprising book investigates verbal blunders: what they are, what they say about those who make them, and how and why we've come to judge them.Um... is about how you really speak, and why it's rmal for your everyday speech to be filled with errors--about one in every ten words. In this charming, engaging account of language in the wild, linguist and writer Michael Erard also explains why our attention to some blunders rises and falls. Where did the Freudian slip come from? Why do we prize umlessness in speaking--and should we? And how do we explain the American presidents who are famous for their verbal stumbles? Full of entertaining examples, Um... is essential reading for talkers and listeners of all stripes.
Michael Erard, a graduate of Williams College, received an M.A. in linguistics and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas. His articles about language have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Science, Seed, The Texas Observer, and many other publications. His website is www.michaelerard.com. He lives in Austin, Texas, and Portland, Maine.