An editorial assistant at Allure, putting together a piece about the book, asked me what verbal blunders tell about us. I wrote:
Yesterday I couldn’t leave the gym because it was pouring down rain and I didn’t have an umbrella, so I sat and waited for a while and watched little kids coming in for soccer camp, which had been moved inside. I don’t have kids of my own, don’t have a lot of access to them. But I really liked watching them trickle in, some with parents, some alone, some get spooked by the large new space, others handle climbing the stairs with a selfless aplomb.
I think verbal blunders say something about us the way that children say something about us. They provide a glimpse of who we are as creatures, as biological organisms with these really amazing brains, before (and in spite of how) society tries to contain and discipline us. Verbal blunders are small moments, fleeting and often microscopic, of the wildness that’s a part of all of us. Maybe encounters with that aren’t for everyone’s taste. But I find them totally fascinating.