A Slip of the Tongue
By Lowell's Notes
A few years ago, I made a list of phrases and idioms, then wrote part of each one on a piece of paper and asked my kids to finish them. The results had my wife and I laughing until we cried. Here's a few of their responses:
A penny saved is...a penny taken from dad's change tray (a penny earned)
A penny saved is...a waste of time.
Absence makes the heart...feel lost (grow fonder)
Absence makes the heart...get in trouble
To act high...is a good way to get arrested (and mighty)
Actions speak...Actish (louder than words)
Actions speak...to each other
To add fuel...keeps the car running (to the fire)
To add insult...and pepper (to injury)
To add insult...you must first subtract love
A little bird...is scared of big cats (told me)
A little bird...needs it's mom
All in a days...from playing too hard (work)
From all walks...you must rest (of life)
Apple of my...pie (eye)
Armed to the...pits (teeth)
To bark up the...driveway (wrong tree)
To bark up the...dog must raise his head
Don't beat around the...drums (bush)
Beg to...eat (differ)
Beg to...keep from working
The birds and the...trees (bees)
Don't bite the hand...because it hurts (that feeds you)
Let's call it a...puppy (day)
My doctor gave me a clean bill of...$200 (health)
Don't hold your...frogs because you will get warts (breath)
Don't hold your...food in your mouth
From coast to...the bottom of the hill (to coast)
Cover a lot of...mistakes (ground)
Don't drop the...dishes (ball)
Eat your heart...before you starve (out)
Eat your heart...ichokes
Get your foot in the...car before you close the door (door)
First and...last (foremost)
Get down to...music (business)
It is a golden...ring (opportunity)
Some of the funniest things that children say are because of their pure innocence, not because of a slip of the tongue. These mis-statements can be very profound or outright ridiculous.
As adults; however, most of our abuse of the language is because our tongues are devious little creatures and love to betray us when we need them most. "With a slip of my tongue I cut my own throat," bewailed a Colonial Politician.
Have you ever had a slip of the tongue at a critical moment? Like during a job interview, or when asking that special person out for a date?
We all, at one time or another, have said something entirely different than we were thinking--or twisted our words into a tangled wad of nonsense.
A slip of the tongue can be humiliating or the source of great amusement. Really, it comes down to your response at the moment. Learning to laugh at yourself helps take the edge off of those moments when you find yourself the victim of your own tongue.
There is, of course, the issue of speaking from the heart. Sometimes what we try to say is a slip of the tongue is in fact our mouth speaking what is in our heart. This applies, in my opinion, especially to foul language or cursing. When you let fly with a curse--that is not a slip of the tongue, but rather an eruption from the heart.
A slip of the tongue? Laugh it off, it should be harmless. An eruption from the heart? Take another look at your heart--it's never too late to clean it up.