Conference Bloopers

I tried hard to keep my foot on the ground, but gravity didn't cooperate and my size ten got stuck in my mouth a few times.

The worse faux pas was when I saw an author whose name I recognized and since she was standing right next to me, I told her how much I liked her book. And then I paused, horror filling me as I realized that I couldn't remember which book of hers I'd read. And then I tried to fill up that awkward silence by saying I knew I'd read a book of hers, but I couldn't remember which...uh, yeah. Not quite the right thing to say. That was my worst thing, I think, especially because I didn't know whether I'd maybe hurt her feelings. The last thing I'd want to do was make an author feel like her book wasn't memorable.

The second blooper was less serious. I'd just met some fellow bloggers and we were talking and I threw out the word heroine in our conversation. The blogger (wasn't it you, Katie?) looked at me funny and it dawned on me that my entire mental life has been spent saying heroine the wrong way.


Not too smart, but now I know the name sounds like the drug. Weird.

Any words you've been mispronouncing lately? Has your mouth ever moved faster than your brain and then you accidentally hurt someone's feelings?


Jody Hedlund said…
Those are funny! But in my opinion you did so good at the conference!! You were calm and collected. No falling on the lobby floor in front of agents! :)
Too funny because I did the same thing at the "She Speaks" conference. I could not remember the book title!


I mispronounced plethora. One person had the courage to say to me, "Are you forreal?" I asked about what and he said that word you just said. I told him yeah, I repeated it and gave its meaning and he told me that he knew what it meant but that I was not saying it right!

I had been so confident with using that word, so confident that I thought I'd used a word that he didn't know! I tell ya, pride is something else!

Though that didn't hurt anyone's feelings, my transparency sometimes does that but I don't intend for it too.

Jody, I may've fallen when you weren't looking. *snort* Okay, I didn't and I was too tired to get hysterical. I def. had jitters at my appointments though. :-)

Larie, ouch! So how were you saying plethora? Now I'm wondering if I use it wrong too. LOL You're right, pride really trips us up sometimes.
Those are awesome. My kind of slips.
For some reason it's always been hard for me to say acrostic.
~ Wendy
It could have been me, Jessica. It could have been me.
Wendy, that's too funny!
Thanks Janna. :-) Makes me feel better!
Jill Kemerer said…
My mind always blanks in those situations. It's like I can't function! And I'm forever forgetting names, even though I don't forget faces. Uggh!!
Tamika: said…
Sometimes when I am overwhelmed with excitement, I can stammer and clam up too. My brain suddenly slows to a tortoise pace!

I hope you had a great time anyway!

Happy writing!
Angie Ledbetter said…
It's NOT pronounced like the drug? Coulda fooled me. :) I bet the author lady wasn't disappointed...unless she only had one book out. hehe

I'm still stuck with the old pronunciations of Carribean, Halley's Comet, Carnegie Hall, harrassment, and a few others. Funny how words sometimes change over the years?
Oh, dear. I didn't think these were too awful, really.

I used to think epitome was pronounced epi-tome, raher than eh-pit-o-me. Sounds like you want someone to pity you!

If those were the worst mistakes you made, you're doing well, Jessie!
MeganRebekah said…
LOL! Thanks for sharing these stories!

I always giggle at the world heroine, because it really does sound like we're relating our female leads to a drug. Hmm, some of the heroes in our stories might actually agree.
Terri Tiffany said…
Thank you for sharing these bloopers cause I know we have all made them but hate to admit it! I always feel so dumb when I meet with other writers!!LOL
Jill, I used to be horrible with names. Now I make a really conscious effort to remember them because I once hurt someone's feelings and I don't want to do that again. But it's def. a challenge.

Tamika, I had a wonderful time. :-)

Angie, no, it IS pronounced like the drug. Isn't it? hmmm, lol. The author was multi pubbed and I think she probably has one bestseller, so hopefully she doesn't even remember me. LOL
LOL Jeanette, they probably weren't my worse but I'm in the dark about what my worst were. If I knew, I'd share. :-) No pity, just laughs is fine. And too funny about epitome!

Megan, I like that connection!!! Who doesn't want to be their man's drug of choice? LOL

Terri, don't feel dumb. We've all done this and that's why it's funny. :-)
Linda Kage said…
That would embarrass me too if I'd been you. But if I'd been the author, I still would've been pleased someone actually knew who I was, so it probably wasn't so insulting to her.

I had a foot-in-mouth syndrome once when I asked a lady when her baby was due... because I knew she'd been pregnant. But not only had she given birth already, she also had the baby with her. In my defence, this would've been her third baby--they were very close in ages too--and she only had two children with her. I thought she was still just a few months along... and she was still wearing maternity clothes. Still, I felt awful.
Oooh, that's tough Linda. I think we've all done that though. And honestly, if you're still wearing maternity clothes it could be extremely confusing. *cringing for you*
Haha! These are really funny! At least you didn't mispronounce anything in front of agents/editors!

Have a great weekend!
Tana said…
Oh Jessica... it seems we've been inflicted with the same foot in mouth disorder. I met Jacqaline Mitchard (sp) during a book signing. She had all her books laid out on the table. (about six) and I asked her which one was the good one. She stared at me, just this side of a glare. Anyway....

yeah it's like the drug ;)
Stephanie Faris said…
I'm giggling. I've been there, done that. There are words I've pronounced wrong because I grew up as a reader. Words like hors de ouvres I'd read over and over but didn't realize when people said "Or-derves" that's what they were saying. (Some jokingly call them horse doovers.)
There are times when I suffer from "foot in the mouth" disease!! I probably could write a book about them!

Thanks for sharing and I'll bet that the author doesn't even remember this incident. If she does, you could always change your name and hairstyle for the next time you meet! LOL!
Diane said…
All the time. I think our brains move faster than we can process and things get garbbled up. You're still a heroine in my book! :O)
Sarah Forgrave said…
Oh, I put my foot in my mouth more times than I want to admit. I haven't made it to a writer's conference yet, but I do fear making the same mistake you did with a published author. :-)
LOL Kristen, I hope I didn't mispronounce anything... *searching my memory*

T. Anne! That's too funny. I can't believe she glared at you. Heh. I've heard authors have favorite stories. She coulda picked you a good one. :-)

Stephane, that word messed me up too! It is odd to read a word and have it in our heads, and then find out it's been wrong all along.
Good advice Donna! LOL Actually, I'll bet you could get some good short stories out of all the mistakes we make. :-)

Thanks Diane. :-) You're too sweet.

Hi Sarah, yeah, I didn't see it coming. After that I made sure I knew what book I'd read before I said hi to a pubbed author, or mentioned their work. LOL
Elana Johnson said…
All the time. I'm so glad it's not just me. Sometimes I just can't find the right word to express how I'm feeling. So I come off sounding mean.

Don't worry. Your examples are nothing!
Danyelle L. said…
*hugs and giggles*

You're not alone. I hate it when I go to talk to someone and can't remember their name or whatnot. Very frazzling. :$

I mispronounce words all the time. I usually pick words up from a page rather than hearing them spoken, thus I pronounce them one way, and the rest of the world pronounces them another.

No worries. You're human, and that's the best thing to be. :D
Elana, you? Mean? I don't believe that. :-) Maybe blunt, but I don't think that's the same.

Thanks Danyelle! *whew, wiping forehead* Human is great, though maybe some of your characters would disagree? LOL
LOL, Jessica, I pronounce it the same way as you!!! My hubby is constantly correcting me on it. He even goes so far as to say: "You're a writer, Eileen, don't you think it'll be a little embarrassing if you say it like that to a publisher!" Um, yeah, it sure would be, so I stick with protagonists, that one I think I pronounce properly!
Nancy said…
Jessica, this may make you feel better. I'm bad at French words. I once called the men's tie thing a jab-it (Jabo) spelled jabot. I also called the front of the building a fakade spelled facade. I guess this happens when we read things and there's no pronunciation key. Anyway, glad you made the most of your time.
AngeliStarr said…
I can never say "vegetable." It comes out as "veggie-table"
Julie Dao said…
I mispronounce things all the time! Apparently I have a funny way of saying the word "clandestine" ... got a lot of weird looks on that one. And I once slipped and said something "hurted" - I swear people were thinking, "And she wants to be a WRITER!?" Glad you had a good time at the conference! I'm sure that author was happy to hear good feedback on her work. :)
Gwen Stewart said…

I think we all make little bloopers from time to time. I don't think the ones you described are that bad at all! I'm sure the author understood that you were busy and maybe a little bit overwhelmed at ACFW. I think we all were at some point or another: agents, editors, and even authors. It was just so busy all the time!

Have a great weekend.
Deb Shucka said…
So I think it was a good thing you couldn't remember a title - because you've read so many of her books. If that had been me, I would have been flattered and grateful

When I was (much) younger I had no brakes at all on my mouth, and didn't care all that much. Now I'm very careful about how my words might be received.

Looking forward to hearing the good stuff about the conference next!
Erica Vetsch said…
Jessica, you seemed so with it and together, when I met you. Though our banquet dinner conversation had me laughing so hard my sides ached!
Erica, I loved laughing that hard! It was wonderful, wasn't it? :-)

Hi Deb,
Whoops! No, I actually hadn't read any of her books. I thought I had but couldn't remember a name and then freaked out thinking I must've because I thought I liked her... LOL It got very complicated, mentally. But I'm happy to report I just saw her book in the library and got it and am enjoying it. :-) So, thanks for reminding me to say good stuff about the conference. LOL I think I forgot to do that.
Eileen! Great idea! From now on it's female protagonist. LOL

Nancy, no worries. Everyone's mistakes make me feel better about mine. *smirk* Too funny about facade. I've heard that said wrong before. French is very tricky.
Angeli, that's interesting. I haven't heard that one mispronounced before. I wonder why our tongues are so stubborn sometimes? :-)

Julie!!! Haahaa about hurted. :-)

Hi Gwen, you know, I didn't even think about her understanding. Thanks for that positive perspective. :-)
Hi Jess -

Great hook to this blog post!

I had trouble with the word, "Beatitudes." I'd pronounce it, "Beat - ta - tudes." I now think of it as two separate words: Be - attitudes. It keeps my brain and mouth coordinated.

Susan :)
AngeliStarr said…
Answering your comment: They were around but never really noticed. At that time, the computer was in their room. I hid it well too when they would pass by me or something, plus it helps they arent computer savvy people. Generation gap definitely helped me lol
That's a good idea Susan. I think it's mental, just trying to get past how we think something sounds, etc.

Angeli, thanks for clarifying. Sheesh. Scares me a little about my own kids. I'm sure the generation gap did help. Heh.
Katie Ganshert said…
Jess - so funny! That would totally be me in the elevator with the author. I do that stuff a mind will just blank out. I'm sure the author understands! But I feel ya, I would have been embarassed to. Just know you're not alone in doing stuff like that!

And yes, it was me with the here-royne. I totally forgot about that. It is awkward referring to heroine...I LOVE my heroine! Makes us all sound like drug-addicts. :) Enjoy your weekend!
Victoria Dixon said…
I am an adept at catching foot-in-mouth disease, Jessica! In fact, I may be patient zero - the disease originator. I once commisserated with a fellow actor about a severe list of symptoms she had. She was such a trooper after each test came back negative. I really believed she had Celiac's, but that test was negative, too. Problem is, Celiac's can do that on tests, be a negative. So I asked her if she could act as if she did have it and put herself on the prescribed diet. She wrote back a scathing response and said something like "If I were ACTING any part of these symptoms...." She thought I believed her a hypochondriac or that it was in her head and I felt HORRIBLE. I wrote back and apologized and explained I meant to "Take Action." We've both recovered, but we don't communicate as much! Then there are the times I babble until I show AND tell everyone about my stupidity. *sigh*
anita said…
OUCH. Well, don't feel bad. I'm sure her feelings weren't hurt. She should've been pleased to think maybe you'd read more than one of her books. :-)

I've heard heroine pronounced both ways, so you're not the only one doing it!

As for my mouth being faster than my brain? ALWAYS. I come off SO much better on paper because my brain has time to work it all out.

It's so much worse when I'm nervous, so in those situations, I tend to clam up and people think I'm either shy or snooty. But that's not it at all. I just don't want to say anything to embarass myself. HEH.
LOL Anita! Snooty? I actually had people think that about me too. :-)So glad others are mispronouncing heroine. *snicker*

Wow, Victoria! What a story. That must've felt horrible for you. I'm sorry you two aren't close anymore. I babble too, don't worry. :-)

Thanks Katie! Your usage of heroine, as in I love my heroine, made me laugh!
Chelle Sandell said…
I've definitely got the same disease. ;) My problem is that my face turns beet red when I'm nervous. I said it wrong in front of an entire room full of pubbed authors at my OKRWA meeting. *sigh* My face was on FIRE!
Belle said…
I've done these things before, too. And I always feel so awkward saying "heroine" that I just use "protagonist" these days (takes me several tries to spell it right, though!). As for mangling words, I do that, plus more - I mangle clichés so much I have to stay away from them now. I can't seem to ever get a cliché right!
Warren Baldwin said…
These were funny. Verbal faux pas? I was conducting a funeral for a "Mrs. Warren." I kept telling myself, "It's Mrs. Warren, not Warren ..." being afraid that I would say my name first and then follow with my last name. Well, the sermon went fine. Then I was doing the closing prayer and said, "Lord, give comfort to the family of Warren Baldwin, ah, I mean Mrs. Warren."

I've had one or two others that I can't mention here! I've felt my face burn before.

Unknown said…
I'm so glad other people have bloopers too. I mean that in the very best possible way.
Elgersma, I know you do and I feel the same. :-)

Warren, that's horrible!!! LOL Kudos to you for sharing that. Heh.

Belle, that's really funny, because I mess up cliches too!! Thanks for stopping by. :-)
Chelle, well at least it was authors. :-) I think they're probably the most forgiving group of our word bloopers! I'm sorry about your face though. LOL

Popular posts from this blog

No One's Perfect

Very Naughty Blogger

Formulaic can Rock