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Some people talk too much. This writer included. Nearing a new decade in 2020 there seems to be excessive noise everywhere. A lot of souls, bots and spammers are striving to be heard above the din. We all want to be heard, yes? Social Media has compounded and amplified this effect. Not everything (or everyone) needs to be heard at all times. In many cases, especially work-place settings, we are forced to hear. Not that everyone is “listening.”
Take meetings for example. How many have we sat through where a lot of nothing was said? Absolute nonsense. “Can you hear me?” In many instances at said meetings’ conclusion, we often can’t recall what it was about.
It was during these workplace meetings this writer began to notice “filler words” or verbal disfluencies. If you engage in any form of self-monitoring you may notice certain phrases or filler words regularly punctuating your speech. These may be ingrained to a degree where you recall them automatically without thinking. A lot of these words and phrases can be purged from our lexicon to strengthen our speech. Recognize any of these offenders?:
- I’m like, you’re like, he’s like, she’s like, they’re like, we’re like
- I’m all, you’re all, he’s all, she’s all, they’re all, we’re all
- Not a problem, No Problem, No Worries
- Hey, hey man, yeah man, come on man
- You know (what I mean)
- Kinda, kind of, sort of
- Um, Un Huh, Huh
- Sounds good
- It’s all Good
- I’m sorry
- I mean
These verbal disfluencies can derail your speech to deleterious effect. We are judged (and perceived) by others based on how we look, comport ourselves and yes, ultimately how we speak. Speaking well in the business world is critical to success.
This writer’s current favorite abuser of the word “man” (including himself,) is our former Vice President. Go Biden, we want you as the Democrat Presidential Nominee. Ratings gold. See below; We love Biden’s misuse of the word, “man.”
This writer is guilty of lazily using many of these filler words and phrases, the most notable being the aforementioned “man.” Mindful effort to expunge “man” in all its permutations from his day to day vocabulary is underway. A recent infraction took place at Home Depot. After the employee finished helping this writer, appreciation was offered in the phrase, “Good work, thank you man.” Damn. There it was again. A machine automated response. “Man,” it snuck up on me.