Slip of the Tongue

Slips of the tongue that involve word substitution always seem to get the biggest laughs. Here Jeremy Hunt, the new Foreign Secretary, mistakenly refers to his wife as Japanese when she is in fact Chinese. The humour in this slip was obvious to the audience of Chinese dignitaries during a visit by Hunt to Beijing to discuss post-Brexit trade talks.

Jeremy Hunt
01 also erm my wife is Japanese
02   (0.4)
03 my wife is Chinese sorry
04   ((laughter))
05 terrible mistake to make (3.0)
06 redo the cameras erm (1.0)
07 no my er
08 we spoke in Japanese
09 at the state Banquet

External link to clip

Classification: Word substitution

Word substitution slips involve semantic errors which is why they seem to get the biggest laughs and get reported by the media more so than other type of slips. This is especially true if the slip is made by a politician although most slips are inadvertent errors in internal processing which become verbalised.

BBC Website, 30th July 2018

Comments are closed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: