If someone inadvertently spoke lashon hara, can he or she remedy it by being melamed zechus (make it out for good) for the person, or say that you were mistaken. That it never occured to that person. Are there any remedies that can rectify the lashan hara if its already been spoken by mistake, and you need a remedy quick. Please list. Help!
Yes, the prohibition of lashon hara depends on the impression given to the listening party. Once the impression is “fixed,” the misdeed is remedied.
This idea is mentioned by the Chafetz Chaim (Lashon Hara 6:4 in a footnote), and it is certainly advisable wherever possible.
For some cases, it might be possible to say that you got the person wrong, and what you said actually applies to somebody else, and not to the person mentioned.
Of course, it is best to work on not slipping up in the first instance!