Andrew Davies seems to have infected others with his ‘Brexit is breakfast’ slip of the tongue. Here is Andrew Neil, the BBC presenter, producing a similar slip of the tongue on the Daily Politics programme while interviewing Gavin Barwell.
The ‘word substitution’ error can be observed on line 04 in the transcript below. Andrew Neil (AN) meant to say ‘what you propose on Brexit’ but mistakenly substituted the word ‘breakfast’ for ‘Brexit’. The 0.7 second pause is followed by laughter from panel members. Neil makes light of the slip of the tongue with humour before correcting himself in line 19 and re-phrasing the question.
... 01: AN: but how (.) how can this country 02: come together in anyway 03: until it knows 04: what you propose on breakfast 05: (0.7) 06: GB: on xx 07: AN: xx 08: ((laughter)) 09: AN: or even breakfast 10: I mean I would propose for breakfast bacon and eggs 11: I’m not sure .hhh 12: Zoe xx (obviously)muesli 13: ZW: it’s a ((laughter)) 14: AN: play with the xx 15: I’m not sure what the Time is 16: probably croissant 17: do you think 18: ((laughter)) 19: let’s get back to brexit 20: h- how can the country come together in anyway 21: until we know (.) what it is you’re after ... AN – Andrew Neil GB – Gavin Barwell ZW – Zoe Williams
We don’t know exactly what causes slips of the tongues (speech errors) but they happen to all of us, even experienced BBC presenters. In the case of the Brexit > breakfast slip, it is probably the phonological similarities between the two words which leads to the slip rather than any subconscious desire to eat.
If you discover anymore Brexit > breakfast slips please let me know via the comments section below. Here is another BBC presenter having problems with the word. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37666628
Daily Politics, 2nd December 2016, 25m15s approx.