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Annoying verbal tics?

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Sometimes when speaking to people, one feels impelled to run away screaming after a short period of time in their presence. Why? Irritating verbal tics.
My principal bugbear is the 'yes' merchants, repeated often from the moment you start speaking, regardless of it being necessary to interject with some expression of agreement, or understanding, of the subject matter in question: JUST LET ME FINISH FOR CHRISTSAKES!!!!

'Driving to work today ('yes') I saw an ex. in the street ('yes') who was with...... (((arggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh)))))

Interested to hear others observations.
post #2 of 53
I agree with you but have some friends who get annoyed with me because I am silent while they speak and therefore must not be paying attention.
post #3 of 53
i'm guilty of both but in public speaking engagements, i cannot stand the overuse of:

(1), 'Um' (just makes you sound unprofessional)
(2), 'Basically' (serves no purpose)

post #4 of 53

to me it signify being a teenager or undereducated.
post #5 of 53
I've been hard at work eradicating "ah" and "um" and "you know" and "well..." and "like", and "sort of", and also working on bringing my sentences to a full stop. I hear myself trail off and it upsets me to no end. I hate hearing it in any case but when I do that I am ready to scream.

Speaking to groups, I'm much better, but then again I write and rehearse so there's comfort in that routine.

The worst part is - you hear "um" and it creeps back in...ARRG

At TM meetings, we count the "ah's" during a speech and note afterward. Some goups use a bell, and that is 1) distracting, but it's also 2) effective in making you think through your next few words. Something I should be doing much more often.
post #6 of 53
Originally Posted by iammatt
I agree with you but have some friends who get annoyed with me because I am silent while they speak and therefore must not be paying attention.
I don't mind that in face to face communications, but it bothers me on the telephone as I keep wondering whether the call has dropped and feeling like I may be wasting my time. Not like it's that embarrassing, but it's annoying to be at the end of a very long paragraph and have the phone ring in your ear when the person calls you back. And then you get to try to remember what you said, etc...

Just keep saying 'mmhmm' every once in a while, every sentence or so, so we know you are still with us.
post #7 of 53
"Not a problem".

I dealt w/ a copy vendor who uttered this in response to everything I said. When putting in a job it was merely annoying, but after they totally FU'd the job and I tried to explain what was wrong and how I wanted iti fixed I would go ballistic: Yes, ithere is a problem you freakin' moron - if it wasn't a problem we wouldn't be having this conversation!

Also people who cannot convey the gist of a conversation w/o resorting to Valleygirl-speak: "And then, I was like 'Why did you do that?', and she was like 'Um, I didn't know you were there', and I'm like, 'Hello, I'm standing right here', and then she's like, 'Whatever'....
post #8 of 53
I have no problem with the "yes" or "umm hmm" thing. I actually do that my self. I would venture that it may be a cultural thing if you find certain groups of people do it more than others. I have noticed that.
post #9 of 53
i had knew someone who kept uttering, "the thing is..."

before every new paragraph he says.

sometimes he would repeat it before he would go on.
post #10 of 53
I do not interrupt a fellow companion. I find that this helps to keep conversations short, and sweet. I don't interrupt on the telephone, either. Again, much more gets said, in less time. What drives me nuts, is when someone repeats a phrase: 'LIKE I TELL 'YA,' before every sentence begins. 'Like I tell 'ya, your tractor's shot . . . ' Or, 'Like I tell 'ya, you need a new water heater . . . ' Another person I know, tends to begin sentences, with 'To be honest with you . . . ' Over and over, and over, and over . . .
post #11 of 53
I don't mind the occasional "um" or "like". In written form, I sometimes enjoy "like" in particular (see: David Foster Wallace). But when they're overused, they become maddening. I only notice when it's really bad, but when I do notice, it drives me crazy. My fiancee and I were having a nice outdoor lunch one day when we noticed that a guy seated next to us (who was dominating the conversation at his table) literally used "like", on average, a little more than twice per sentence. I know because I counted.
post #12 of 53
Thread Starter 
Umm, interesting, like, feedback - y'know?

I can understand some people feeling the weight of a conversation is not balanced correctly if long silences are 'employed', especially on the phone, but when on the receiving end of a monologue (particularly) surely a well judged combination of 'I see's', 'Umm's', 'Yes's' and 'quite's' is more appreciated (ie. the 'recipient' doesn't notice) and considerate toward the conversation or exchange.

I can identify with all of the above posts.

Still, the one which gets me is the 'yes, yes, yes' in response to something which does not justify it. It is almost as if the person knows where your sentence is going and wants to hastens its end, and hopes you get the message by warning you that there really is no need to waste their precious time with your words.
post #13 of 53
The "yes" annoyance is culturally specific. In Japanese, saying "yes" at strategic points while listening to the person speaking to you is considered polite as it signifies that you are actively paying attention. This is called "aizuchi" and is an important conversational skill. Of course, English is a different matter.

Back in prep school, my English teacher would make anybody who abused the word "like" repeat what they were saying from the beginning. For me, this nipped the habit in the bud.

During college, I made a point of noting the various stalling devices and gratuitously used "y'know, like, whatever" type phrases and made a concerted effort to purge them from my speech. They tend to water down meaning and torture the ears of anybody listening.

Two other extreme pet peeves are "I'm (all) like . . ." and "I go . . ." instead of "I said," and "what it is is . . ." instead of "it's a . . ."

In Japanese, the use by store clerks of "sen en kara oazukari itasimasu" instead of "sen en wo oazukari itasimasu" makes me want to throttle the idiot who utters it. The latter is proper and basically means "You've given me 1000 yen," while the former ends up meaning some nonsense like "You've given me from 1000 yen." Getting a phrase like this wrong is simply inexcusable.
post #14 of 53
I don't like the over-usage of "yeah".
post #15 of 53
"ya know what I'm sayin'?"
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