Does anyone else have trouble with homonyms? (Groups of words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings).

There needs to be a word to describe those conversational car-crashes where you guess one version and the speaker actually intended another, as when someone asks what kind of Windows you have but then reacts in complete confusion to your reply that you’ve got a Mac – because they were expecting something like, “double-glazed uPVC”.

I had a classic example happen to me a couple of days ago, when I was half listening to my brother and my wife talking about berries – strawberries, raspberries and so on. All of a sudden, my brother started talking about BlackBerries, which totally confused me, because aside from the bizarre conversational switch, he doesn’t own a BlackBerry (and nor does anyone else in my family) and he really isn’t into mobile phones at all! Then I realised.

They were still talking about berries.