Often, when we are going to Gary and Amy’s house, I do not refer to it as going to Gary’s house, nor do I refer to it as going to Amy’s house. For whatever reason, I always say both of their names. They take equal precedent in my brain. Nonetheless, their names do not always flow out of my mouth correctly.
“Where are we going?”
“Gamy and Ary’s house.” Wait? What? Somehow in my mind, I mix their names.
It is peculiar how it comes out of my mouth. Is this a Freudian slip that needs psychoanalysis? Do I have a deep-seeded feeling toward one or the other of them?
If I psycho-analyze my verbal error for repressed meaning, this is what I surmise: I keep the G to Gary’s name, the masculine identity first, but then I mix it with Amy’s name, the feminine. I have to conclude, that I am gender bias: I secretly think Gary is a girl and Amy is a boy. Wait, this explanation is not just far-fetched, it is ludicrous! In the case of Gamy and Ary, I have to rule in favor of “a slip of the tongue.” It is nothing more than a syntax error. Linguistically, it is a simple case of switching sounds.
I talk so fast, I have slip-ups all of the time. Many people do. Here are two more clear-cut examples.
Example One: A few years ago before the flash drive became popular, students and teachers were still using 3 1/2 inch floppy discs. I needed my students to bring discs to class because I had them working on a research paper. They needed to access the information in class that they had been compiling.
At the end of class, wrapping up, I reminded the students that we would be spending the following day in the Media Center. I said, “And, please, be responsible. Do not forget your dicks tomorrow. I mean discs.” Too late. They were lost to laughter.
Example Two: Donny Osmond, in a TV interview, was talking to the guest host about flying. The last time he had been to the show, he flew Concord Airlines. This time to get to the show, he flew Virgin Airlines. Discussing it he said, “This time I came on Virgin. I have never been on a virgin befo…” He couldn’t even finish the sentence.
Obviously, we sometimes misstep, unintentionally say one thing when we mean another. However, I do believe sometimes it is more deep-seeded. Sometimes, I think the subconscious takes over and something comes out of the mouth that relates to some hidden truth, some repressed emotion, some other restrained intent. At these moments, I think Doctor Freud might see some reason for analysis.
Example Three: Tom and I rarely fight, but when we do, they are knock down, drag out, last man standing kind of battles. When the onslaught of insults begins and all that either of us is looking to do is produce carnage, my frustration levels rise to the verge of rage. What happens every time (I mean every time) is that at some point I feel se exasperated that I call him the wrong name.
“This is ridiculous,” I say.
“You’re ridiculous!” Tom responds.
“You’re not even listening.”
“Oh, and you are?”
“You make me so mad, Ricky!”
Ricky is my brother’s name. When it happens, we both burst out into laughter. We have come to realize that if I am using the name “Ricky” this fight is a doozie!
Example Four: Jimmy Dimora’s defense attorney was giving his closing arguments yesterday. At the very end of his argument, when he was supposed to be making the biggest impact on the jury, his attorney said, “Based on the evidence, based on all the facts, you should return a verdict of guilty on each and every count.” The reports have said he almost returned to the defense table before he realized, turned back to the jury, and said, “I mean not guilty.”