Summary of Oops! How’s that again? | Magic of Words | Grade XI

Summary of Oops! How’s that again?: Roger Rosenblatt

People do multiple mistakes while using verbal language. Verbal errors create misunderstandings and negative effects upon the listeners. So, humorously Rosenblatt mucks over the human follies created through spoken language. Rosenblatt categorizes verbal errors into four different groups. The first one is ‘public blunders’, for e.g. Nancy Reagan told her husband that she was highly delighted looking at all beautiful white people although there were many black people.

The second verbal error is ‘mistranslation’. For example the slogan “Come alive with Pepsi” when translating into German as “Come alive out of the grave with Pepsi” and elsewhere it was translated as “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”. The third mistake of spoken language is ‘bloopers’ often made on radio or TV.

Once radio announcer Harry von Zell called Hoobert Heever for the president Herbert Hoover. Bloopers are the lowlife of verbal error and have become part of toilet jokes. The fourth error is ‘spoonerisms’ such as ‘you have hissed all my mystery lectures’ but in reality, it means you have missed all my history lectures.

Rosenblatt says that verbal error is the natural tendency of human beings. Its main cause is slip of the tongue. Such slip of the tongue is the expression of inner desires for a psychoanalyst. Sometimes the verbal error is caused because of misunderstanding. When a single matter is repeated regularly, it can be twisted differently.

Mistranslation is the next cause of verbal error. Verbal error creates humor. Sometimes it damages personal dignity also. Verbal errors also affect our actions. It creates misunderstanding and miscommunication. We can just show sympathy in such a condition.

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