An Uh, Er, Um Essay
In praise of verbal stumbles.
Grandfather: Hey, Iver, how's it hanging?
Iver: Um … wheels?
Michael Erard is the author of Um…: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean. His book, Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners, will be published next year.
Photograph of woman speaking by Comstock via Thinkstock.