This isn't just 'foot in mouth' disease. It's a deeply hidden synaptic pathway, temporarily illuminated.
A few days ago in a Bloomberg interview, businessman Michael Moritz was asked about the scarcity of women working at his company, Sequoia Capital.
His responses — among them that the firm is seeking women but is "not prepared to lower our standards" — were described by many as "open mouth, insert foot." Similar remarks across sectors and industries have been described this way, too.
But this foot-in-mouth characterization is wrong: It suggests that the speaker fumbled his words and misspoke.
What’s happening when Moritz talks about "lowering standards" is not a clumsy handling of speech. It’s this: In that moment, a deeply hidden synaptic pathway is temporarily illuminated.