Essay: Oops! How's That Again?

"That is not what I meant at all. That is not it, at all."

—T.S. Eliot, The Love Song ofJ. Alfred Prufrock

At a royal luncheon in Glasgow last month, Businessman Peter Balfour turned to the just-engaged Prince Charles and wished him long life and conjugal happiness with Lady Jane. The effect of the sentiment was compromised both by the fact that the Prince's betrothed is Lady Diana (Spencer) and that Lady Jane (Wellesley) is one of his former flames. "I feel a perfect fool," said Balfour, who was unnecessarily contrite. Slips of the tongue...

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