UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Slips of the Ear

No study of speech misperception is complete without an understanding of how inferences are made by the listener. The concept of mishearing surfaces in our lives in many ways, perhaps the most entertaining of all is in misheard song lyrics such as in the most famous rock mondegreen of all: '' 'scuse me while I kiss this guy'' for '' 'scuse me while I kiss the sky".

A company took these misheard lyrics seriously and creating a site, Kiss This Guy, dedicated to collecting these naturalistic slips. 

In much of the same vein, the collection of these naturalistic slips is being taken seriously by academics, since we believe that these linguistic phenomena can help us reveal our speech perceptual processes.

Want to know more about slips of the ear? Click here to see a video of Prof Andrew Nevins explaining slips of the ear.

We Could Use Your Help

Why don't you contribute your daily slips conveniently via twitter using the hashtag #ohmightear?


Tang, K. & Nevins, A. (2013, in press) Measuring Segmental and Lexical Trends in a Corpus of Naturalistic Speech. Proceedings of the 43rd Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society.


Listen to Word of Mouth (BBC4, Tue 6 Aug 2013) with Professor Andrew Nevins on Slips of the Ear:

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Watch a short video with Professor Andrew Nevins on Misheard Lyrics (Mondegreen):

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A bit of fun from the Two Ronnies Four Candles sketch illustrating Slips of the Ear!

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