Slips of the Tongue from the Linguistic Graveyard: One shit, two cunts and a Brexit breakfast.

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Of the 125 trillion words spoken around the world every day, approximately two in a thousand are uttered in error. That works out at 250 billion words a day! Most of these slips of the tongue are quickly repaired and retired to the linguistic graveyard unnoticed. A few may catch our attention and make us chuckle – if the speaker is some well-known personality, politician or presenter, they may even make the headlines. This book dissects some of these linguistic slips to see what they can tell us about the speech planning processes that produced them and the persons that uttered them. The book is not designed to mock these people, however, but to celebrate them, and to thank them for the little nugget of linguistic creativity they have donated to the graveyard.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCoventry
PublisherHampden Books
Number of pages93
ISBN (Print)9798684342943
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

Michael Cribb is Assistant Professor of English Language at Coventry University in the United Kingdom. His books include the uniquely revealing "It’s Language, Stupid: Unravelling the DNA of the mind" and the equally charming "Hesitation, Equivocation and Pausing: Unveiling the micro-world of political rhetoric and spin".


  • speech error; misspeaking; lapsus linguae; Freudian slip; malapropism; language production; linguistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication


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