There are many perils and pitfalls facing anyone who would speak in public. Most of us who do it for a living, in one context or another, will have our own cringing memories of gaffes and blunders we have made, which is probably why there is a little frisson of secret delight when someone else does it!
Perhaps the only thing worse than accidentally saying the wrong word to a 'live audience' (since speaking to a 'dead audience' doesn't count!) is broadcasting your gaffe on national radio.
I was driving home a couple of days ago and, though I tend not to listen to the radio when I am driving, I was tuned in to Radio Scotland in order to hear the news at the top of the hour. Immediately following the news and sport there is normally a traffic report.
The female announcer (whom I will not name on compassionate grounds) unfortunately stated -with all due solemnity- that, as a result of excess surface water, traffic was very slow in the Charing Cross Underpants!
I just wonder what was in her mind at the time...
No, actually, I don't.
She compounded the error by immediately noticing her mistake and trying to correct it thereby drawing it to the attention of those who had not heard it in the first place.
For, of course, the truth is that we often hear what we expect to hear, just as we often read what we expect to read.
It's just a pity that sometimes we fail to say what we expected to say...
Oh, incidentally, she meant to say Charing Cross Underpass... I think.