Sunday, February 22, 1998 at 11:47:54
There are two words that I hate. YOU KNOW.... Delete those two words from the English language and I will be a happy camper. Now that I think of it there are two letters that can also be deleted. O.K.
Yes, it is true that 'you know' and 'okay' are over-used fillers by many (I am particularly guilty of using the latter...). However, the real issue is that during spontaneous speech, speakers have a need to pause (only a small minority of the population actually develops truly fluent speech). Many develop a variety of techniques to compensate: using a variety of lexicalized filled pauses, unlexicalized filled pauses, or lengthenings (elongating the enunciation of a word or phrase). Others have not developed these strategies (particularly young people who tend to over-use one strategy, e.g., 'like', 'you know'). In researching this topic I have become more and more aware of my own shortcomings in producing spontaneous interactive speech. Now, the question is how to correct it...
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