On the mistakes patrol

Three recent  mistakes on my part: a writing error; a mishearing; and a misinterpretation of what I heard.

The writing error. Back on the 25th, I intended to write big fuss, but started by producing bigg, then realized my mistake — anticipating the doubled letter in fuss by doubling the g of big — and corrected it. Errors of anticipation (and also transposition errors) are evidence of planning ahead in language production: the plan for what you are about to write or say interferes with the execution of your current plan.

The mishearing. From an episode of the tv show NCIS I watched yesterday:

A: Who cuts your hair?

B:  My sister. She has for years.

Unfortunately, I heard the second part of B’s answer as “She has four ears”, but almost immediately saw that made no sense in the context and realized what B must have said. For and four are homophones for me, and years and ears are phonologically very close.

The misinterpretation. Yesterday, I heard (on television, while not looking at the screen) what I took to be an ad for a product called Bare Back and Body. Then I looked at the screen and saw this:

For me, Bayer and bare are homophones. And it was probably relevant that I’d been posting about barebacking recently.


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