A blue book with an orange sun on the cover

Slip of the Tongue: Talking About Language

by Katie Haegele Author

Slip of the Tongue is a love letter to words and the myriad and contradictory ways we use them. Author Katie Haegele is a respected memoirist who makes sense of the world around her by looking at the ways we use language: to communicate, to make art, and simply to survive. She takes us through her life by describing her family’s rich linguistic history and her own coming of age as a feminist and an artist, and introduces us to her hometown of Philadelphia, a city lively with graffiti, poetry, and the remnants of its colonial heritage. She connects history to the present with research, interviews, and musings on digital technology and the contemporary state of the English language. As bawdy and brainy as it is heart-warming, Slip of the Tongue is a celebration of humanity in all its complicated beauty. Haegele's tone is personal and conversational—she is able to explore her subjects with both intellectual vigor and a lot of heart. Her memoir takes the usually inaccessible academic subject of linguistics and joyfully breaks it open for all of us to see and marvel at.

Read an interview with author Katie Haegele on our blog.



Comments & Reviews


"If the reader is looking for something different, something unusual, this is the book to read."


"Slip of the Tongue is about appreciation and respect for words, both everyday and obscure, and how words, well-behaved or not, express our values and spirit."

Lynn Levin - Philly.com


To read this book is to be indulged in the most enveloping, entertaining and exquisite language. Katie Haegele writes in a way that draws you in to her intelligent, honest and enquiring mind with such ease and assuredness.You won't want to leave her. I love this author. I read this book in two days flat and it would have taken me less time if I wasn't trying to eak it out to enjoy it for longer. I tried to pace myself - but I couldn't help myself. For lovers of language and culture as well as for language specialists, this book is enlightening and totally entertaining - bursting with Katie's generous writing style. I cannot wait for her next work - thank you Katie - I need your books.


"She equates sexism and flatulence."

Jenna Freedman - Lower East Side Librarian


Part memoir and part intellectual ruminations on language, how we use it, and how it has changed, Slip of the Tongue will please anyone who fancies themselves a logophile or linguistics genius, or even just someone looking for a good, fun book.

Ashley Houk - Utne Reader