Sunday, May 15, 2016


Recently, I spent six hours with a person who used the phrase "You know?" 486 times!

YES, I did keep count.  WHY did I keep count?  It's because on the previous day, I had spent eight hours with her and my mind was reeling from her usage of "You know?" and "Do you know what I mean?" that day.  Sometimes I would respond, "No, I don't know.", but that did not deter her. To maintain civility and to keep my sanity, I merely kept making hash marks to document the usage.

My brother asked why I had shut down early and I answered, "It was starting to drizzle, but I couldn't stand to hear 'YOU KNOW' one more time."  He said, "At least she didn't use AWESOME!"  My brother said that I should have told her about it.  I said, "A lot of studies report that it takes 21 days to break a habit;  I'm not going to spend 21 days monitoring her."

Many people use these "FILLER PHRASES" and they are also known as "DISCOURSE PARTICLES".in their daily speech.  I know that I am guilty of using "ANYWAY" as a filler phrase. See this link:  Like, Uh, You Know:  Why do Americans say 'You know' and use other verbal fillers so often?

Even our usually eloquent President uses "You know" excessively, but his overuse of "Uh" and "Um" are the targets of "drinking games" whenever we listen to a speech!  Listen to this tape from Late Night With David Letterman:

Perhaps the worst offender I ever heard was Caroline Kennedy when she was considering a run for a U.S. Senate seat.  I cringed when I heard her use "you know" a whopping 142 times during a 30-minute interview.

If this seems that I am attacking only Democrats, that would be unfair, because if I were to cite the Bush family's blunders, I would still be writing this article next year.

Ronald Reagan was famous for his use of the filler word "Well".   I think every impressionist used the elongated "WELLLLL" when imitating him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At least you don't say ANYWAYS! ML