Weblog van Spruit
Goal in life: Create order, think lateral.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Mixing up words
Can you pass me the tomatoes... ehm strawberries, I meant. Look that is the new model Volkswagen... ehm Volvo! I am going to Heenvliet this afternoon... ehm Spijkenisse! Do you get that? I often mix up two words that seem to have no relation at all. And I do it consistently! How come?
Probably it is because I am thinking in general abstractions at those times. That seems to be where the words are related:
- Red fruit with a green crown.
- Cars whose names start with 'vo'.
- Villages near Geervliet.
Somehow in my mental lexicon the wrong homonym is activated for the hyperonym I was thinking about. I think because I use the more abstract terms in my thinking, but need to make that concrete in my speaking. To avoid this I could, of course, think in the homonym terms, but they seem to get not as easily activated as their corresponding hyperonym in some cases.
Labels: homonym, hyperonym