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Slips of the tongue

Recently I was in a meeting with a couple of people, including the owner of Bridgetech Systems, which is a computer company I’ve been dealing with for years. We were discussing the roll-out of a brand new computer network at work.

Throughout the meeting, I repeatedly made the same two mistakes:

1) Whenever I wanted to say “Bridgetech” I said “Bridgehead.” (For those of you outside of Canada, Bridgehead is a collection of Canadian-owned fair trade coffee houses.)

2) Whenever I wanted to say XP (as in Windows XP), I said “XUP.”

The harder I tried to stop doing this, the more I did it.

I think Doug, the owner of Bridgetech, had encountered the Bridgehead error before, but XUP was a new one for him.

I suppose I could have explained. I could have said “Oh I have this blogger friend and her name is XUP, short for Ex Urban Pedestrian, and some people pronounce it Sup, and some people pronounce it Zoop, but I pronounce it X-U-P.” But I didn’t feel like getting into it, so I said nothing.

The other thing I always mix up is RSVP. I say RRSP instead.

My old boyfriend, Henry, could never say millennium. He always said minnellium. 1999 was a difficult year for him.

Do you have a word you always get wrong, even though you know what the right word is?

(P.S. A little birdie told me that XUP thinks I’m mentioning GC too often on my blog, so I’m going to mention XUP every day for the rest of November.)


23 comments to Slips of the tongue

  • I think it’s sweet how often you mention GC.

    I always say heat seater instead of seat heater. Not that I find myself talking about seat heaters that often (hey – that mistake TOTALLY happens when I’m typing too!), but when I do I always have to go really slowly and think really hard about the right way to say it. I still get it wrong.

  • Jo

    The Man of Science has lots of those kinds of issues with words, my favourite being a complete inability to say “Dali Lama”. It always comes out as “Dama Lulu” or something just as silly.

    I don’t have anything that gets me when talking, but whenever I attempt to type “Las Vegas” I invariably type “Las Vegan” instead. Which is funny because I’ve perhaps never been to a LESS vegan-friendly place than Las Vegas.


  • I love to read stories about GC – he’s such a groovy guy. Sorry XUP, Zoom’s audience demands GC stories. Here’s my slip of the last few months. Everytime I try to say GC, I say GQ.

  • For the life of me, I cannot say the word keychain. It always comes out as either kitchen or chicken, and I never know which until it comes out. Leaving everyone looking surprised and confused.

  • Re

    It has taken me years of practice to say “szechuan.” It was one of those words that caused my brain to seize up. Of course, now that I can say it – I no longer live near a szechuan restaurant.

  • I keep saying my hairdresser does a great blow job when of course I mean blow dry. and the harder I try not to say it the more it happens.

  • Gilles

    When I try to say “Conservative Party of Canada”, it somehow comes out “Contemptible, Knuckle-Dragging, Knuckle-Headed Mysogynists, Xenophobes and Chauvinists”.
    Go figure.

  • Margery

    Can’t top Gilles’ comment – rofl! But when I’m thinking “chewing gum” I find myself saying “toothpaste” … and once that’s out of the way I can get back to the words I really wanted to say.

  • XUP

    HEY – I never said you mentioned him too much. NEVER. I believe made an assumption that he would be accompanying you to an event and he wondered why I would make that assumption and I just pointed out that he has been featured in almost all of your blog posts excursions recently. (And perhaps I also said something about hip-fusion surgery). BUT, there was no judgment intended. I’m very excited for you and GC and all your adventures and love reading about all the zany stuff that’s going on in and around Ottawa. I’m keeping a list and everything.

  • Jen

    It’s not a slip of the tongue, but I pronounce XUP: “Zup” and think of it as a homophone for the extremely hip expression ‘s’up (abbreviation for “What’s up?”, meaning “Hi”).

  • I may be the only one with this problem, but when I am talking about the landmark 1980 case in family law, I often call it “Bettkus and Pecker” instead of “Pettkus and Becker”, which it should be. Imagine my embarrassment when my students suddenly hear the hilarious word “pecker”. sigh.
    Pettkus v. Becker, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 834

    Also, I pronounce her blog EX-UP.

  • While we’re talking about other people, I pronounce her blog like “zoop”.
    DH says “pisnachio” instead of pistachio, no matter how hard he tries not to. I talk about nuts a lot in the house, trying to get him to say the “p” (no, not pecans, and not peanuts) word so I can fall in love all over again.

  • XUP

    Oh, and when I saw the title of your post today, I was certain it was going to be about GC again! Ha ha hahahahahahahahaha

  • GC

    Ha ha, XUP… I wish I had thought of that!

    I’m often accused of saying “close” the lights as opposed to “turn off” the lights. Apparently it’s a French thing! So I just say keep the damn lights open!… n’est-ce pas?

  • I have to stop and think before saying “prostrate” but it still comes out “prostate”. One of my co-workers says “poo pah” for “faux pas” and “flustated” for “frustrated” but I don’t think he realizes his pronunciations are incorrect. Oh, and I can’t say my real name correctly (it’s not “Abby”).

  • Hey Jen, I also say “Zup” for XUP, like s’up! Whenever I mention XUP in conversation with my husband, we have to pause for a moment while we both make fake beat box/rapping sounds.

    I used to say “revelant” instead of “relevant” and it took me years before I even realized I was making the mistake.

    My latest problem is with the word “nickel.” My nephew is named “Nikhil” like NICK-kill, so I never can seem to make my mouth say NICK-kull.

    Talking is hard.

  • Hi Zoom, did you know that your Dad says “prevert” when he really means “pervert”. Funny as he really isn’t one!!

  • I say perimeter instead of parameter or/and vice versa….:)

  • For me it’s the Weather Network…. I always says the Nether Wetwork and I don’t know why. My Dave has been driving me nuts saying “congenial” when he means to say “congenital”

  • Sin, GC was hoping somebody would say that!

    Jo, I always thought Henry was verbally dyslexic since he had dozens of those kinds of words and phrases that got twisted on the way out. He and the Man of Science would have had some interesting conversations. 😉

    Woodsy, ha ha! He’s a groovy GQ kinda guy, that GC.

    Megan, now that you mention it, keychain and kitchen are very similar, but for some reason it surprises me.

    Re: I can say szeshuan but it’s one of the few words I find impossible to spell – there are so many possibilities.

    Nursemyra – ha ha ha ha ha! I’ve said blowjob instead of blow dry too, but it seems more appropriate coming from you. :)

    Gilles, that’s hilarious!

    Margery, that’s interesting – I think you’re the only one whose mixed-up words are functionally related but nothing alike sound-wise!

    XUP – okay, maybe some assumptions were drawn from that innocent hip-fusion comment. Inferences and implications and so on. (But I’m still gonna mention you every day for the rest of November.) And don’t you like that everybody’s talking about you over dinner and they all have their own special ways of pronouncing your name, and some of them, like Lynn, even have special rituals whenever they say XUP?

    Jen, we should start an actual poll thingy to find out what the most common pronunciation is – I suspect it might be yours.

    Julia – Bettkus and Pecker? Yup, I think you’re all alone with that one. 😉

    Susan, I used to get my dear old grandfather to say “drawer” all the time. He literally could not pronounce it, but I loved getting him to try.

    XUP – ha!

    GC – but you’re not even french!

    Abby, I do that prostrate/prostate thing too! I always hesitate before I say either one. Fortunately neither comes up in conversation all that often. (And, coincidentally, I can’t say my real name all that well either.)

    Lynn, yes, talking is hard. Writing is easier. I think that’s hilarious that you and your husband have a ritual whenever you mention XUP.

    Merle, nice to see you here, and happy birthday! I did not know that my dad says prevert instead of pervert. I thought only Archie Bunker did that!

    Lola, I’d probably do that too except I never try to use parameter in a sentence.

  • Gwyndolyn O'Shaughnessy

    You may have a thethaurus; I have a dictionary of synonyms. You may also have a plastic container for storing food; I have a hat. I cover the hat with a hat-hat. It makes for a little confusion in the winter, when everyone is wearing a hat.

  • Valerie, those are great too, and they reminded me that I sometimes say Yoo Nork. I also sometimes say virgin instead of version – this used to embarrass me terribly when I was a virgin.

  • It’s interesting how many people have trouble saying their own name. I do too. (Last name.)