At some stage it happens to nearly all of us.
We're asked a question by the boss, a job selection board or a potential client – and we say something really stupid.
Maybe, on a bad day, it can even be a combination of all three.
And then you realize a short time afterwards what you should have said.
This human experience is so common, the French have an expression for it.
They talk about the annoying phenomenon of thinking up the perfect thing that should have come out of your lips all too late – while you're on the stairs leaving after that bruising verbal encounter: “L'espirit d'escalier”, otherwise known as “the spirit of the stairs” or ...