As I was updating the message on the church’s electronic sign to promote the annual Super Bowl of Soup (February 2), I made a minor mistake in my spelling. Mind you now, some minor mistakes can really have a major impact on the meaning of a message.
My typographical slip of the tongue had the message reading Super Bowel of Soup—not to appetizing is it?
According to Psychology Today, “Slips of the tongue are almost inevitable. For every 1,000 words spoken, we make one or two errors. Considering that the average pace of speech is 150 words a minute, a slip is bound to occur about once every seven minutes of continuous talk. Each day, most of us make somewhere between 7 and 22 verbal slips.”
I remember an incident several years ago that involved Ted Kennedy. Education was one of the many passions of the now deceased senator. During the speech, Kennedy said: “Our national interest ought to be to encourage the breast.” There was some nervous laughter from the audience, and Kennedy quickly corrected himself—“I mean the “best and brightest.”
I remember Frank Marley, a rock solid individual and man of character, telling me one day: “Don’t take a man for what he says, take him for what he means.” We need to be careful when we speak, so that are words are appropriately meaning-filled.