linguistic tics

Challenge: Noise Challenge #6: The Eavesdropper |

By: Soeine

As I am listening to a BBC 4 radio program, I hear this person Nigel Farage (I didn’t know who he was, and googled the name –> a British politician and leader of the UK Independence Party??) repeat “to be honest with you” or something similar, e.g. “I will be honest with you”, in almost every other sentence. If he does not say the phrase, is he not being honest? The second interviewee has another linguistic tic in her speaking – “You know …”. “You know what I mean” is one of those in the same vein.

These are British ones. In America, one of the worst conversational crimes is “like”. I think even MacDonald poked fun at it in one of their advertisements.

Unfortunately I seem to pay more attention to these unintended senseless phrases than to the actual content of speaking. (Sigh…) People with these habitual phrases do not hear them while they speak. Probably most of us do not hear ourselves while speaking. I learn more about the speaker from the manner of speaking than what s/he says. The same goes with bodily gestures.

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