At Roundtable last night one of the kids, James, coined a good phrase - "hitting the backspace in your head". He was talking about how when you write an email or a text, you need to review it and then decide not to send it, or edit it. But when we speak we don't always use the 'backspace' button.
Maybe we should. There are many, many things I've said where I wish I could just hit the backspace button and delete them. My words are less 'seasoned with salt' and more 'drenched in chilli dust' sometimes. I'm not always kind. I'm not always gracious. I'd like to be, but I'm not sure that really counts for anything.
I also made a classic 'mis-speak' last night. We were talking about emoticons and how they've become vital aids to communication in a digital age, because actually our tone of voice and our body language convey 92% of the information when we speak to someone. Strip that out and people are bound to misunderstand you.
'So we need emoticons,' I explained, 'to help people realise what we mean. Like if I say something harsh, I'd use the...' - I meant to say 'winky one'. (Semi-colon, closing bracket.)
Unfortunately I said '...I'd use the wanky one.'
I don't know what keys you'd press to create the 'wanky one'. But as everyone fell about laughing, and Tom immediately updated his Facebook status, I was thinking 'Backspace key, backspace key!'