Inexplicable Mistakes

Hunter, Lynne R CIV SPAWARSYSCEN-PACIFIC, 71700 lynne.hunter at NAVY.MIL
Fri Oct 12 17:05:30 UTC 2012

I've had that experience, too, John. Can't venture anything beyond the
rather obvious guess that homophones may be stored together, requiring
some extra attention to select among the choices (which would help
explain why you make those mistakes more frequently when you're tired).
I _do_ want to mention a somewhat similar phenomenon that is interesting
to me: Sometimes in speaking (especially with proper names), I utter
"Lewis" instead of "Phyllis," or "Gustav" instead of "Pavlov,"
suggesting that the _ending_ sound of a word may figure more prominently
in storage and retrieval than might be expected. I'd be interested in
hearing what a psycholinguist has to say about those types of flubs.

Lynne Hunter

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
Of Baker, John
Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:27 PM
Subject: Inexplicable Mistakes

---------------------- Information from the mail header
      American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       "Baker, John" <JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM>
Subject:      Inexplicable Mistakes

I began an email to a colleague today, "I think you're write . . . ."
unately, I immediately realized my mistake and changed it to "I think
e right."  Sometimes I make similar mistakes, such as writing "their"
when =
I mean "there."  It seems to happen more often when I'm tired.  But why
s it happen at all?  I am under no confusion as to the difference
between "=
write" and "right," or "their" and "there," nor do I have any difficulty
 spelling any of these words.

John Baker

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