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New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information

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Title: Um . . .
Subtitle: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean
Written By: Michael Erard

-- Um... is the first book ever written for a general audience about speech
errors (including malapropisms, Spoonerisms, Freudian slips, eggcorns,
Bushisms) and speech disfluencies (filled pauses like "uh" and "um," silent
pauses, repairs, sentence restarts, repeated words). It's lively and
engaging, designed to keep a reader's attention, and it communicates
linguistic ideas accurately and in depth.

-- When used in undergraduate courses, it generates lively discussions
among students about language and the brain, the history of language, norms
for speaking, and language discrimination. The book is also a good platform
for fieldwork, media observation, critical writing exercises, and other

-- It contains some history of the field of linguistics, which students
don't usually receive.

-- I interviewed dozens of linguists and psycholinguists and delved into
the research literature in order to explain how often these phenomena
occur, why they occur, and why they're scientifically interesting -- not
just funny "stumbles" or discrediting "verbal crutches" that we should
avoid. Among your colleagues who appear in its pages: Vicki Fromkin,
Merrill Garrett, Arnold Zwicky, Jeri Jaeger, Rulon Wells, Herb Clark, Jean
E. Fox Tree, Ann Cutler, Heather Bortfeld, Gary Dell, Bernard Baars, and
many others.

-- "An enjoyable tour of linguistic mishaps...Rewarding... It reveals the
dynamic nature of the human mind." The Wall Street Journal said that
"Erard's enthusiasm for his subject is infectious. He gets you wondering
about blundering." -The New York Times Book Review

To order a desk copy, contact Claire Kelley at or
go to

If you decide to use Um... in a course, I can be available for web-based
visits with your class. For more about the book, including all the reviews,
go to

Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: Random House
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Discipline of Linguistics
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1400095433
ISBN-13: 9781400095438
Pages: 320
Prices: U.S. $ 14.95