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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 03-Dec-10

 


Friday 03-December-10

A Freudian slip

Have you ever jumped feet-first into a situation where you hold forth about something and then find you perhaps should have asked a few questions first?

It happened to me recently when I was at a dinner of the delightful London Eccentric's Club. I sat opposite a lady and we chatted for a while. I asked her what she did and she said she was an artist. She asked me and I rambled on about psychology. She mentioned Sigmund Freud and I went off on one about him. Then I noticed her name tag, which said 'Lucy Freud'. I slammed on the anchors and asked if she was related? Yes, she said. He was my great grandfather. Oh and her father is famous artist Lucian Freud and her uncle was the wonderfully dry wit, Clement. Oops. Fortunately, I'd been relatively complimentary about Freud, noting how he was innovating an entirely new subject. I'm sure she gets all sorts of comments and thankfully didn't seem to object to my brain-dump.

A few years earlier, I'd seen it happen to my wife, who has a degree in Welsh literature and who patiently listened to a rather fanciful lecture on the subject from a drunken wedding guest. It's so easy to hear a word that triggers a thought stream and then dive off into an opinionated ramble without checking whether your listener is more expert than you (or has any interest at all).

I know that I get more loquacious when I have a drink, which after all is probably one of its key functions, but next time perhaps I should look before I leap.


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