Verbal Crutches

Lots of people have them.  In radio they’re particularly irritating.  There’s a news anchor (and there have been others) who starts every story with a “well”.  But it comes out: wool. It gets so you brace yourself for it.  And it never fails to arrive.

I once interviewed a man from a car dealership who added “at the end of the day” somewhere in every sentence.  Even when I’d think there was no way he could squeeze it in, he found a way.  A former colleague said “relative to” probably a few dozen times a day. When we were kids, a couple of my cousins became overly fond of saying “most likely”.  It was an answer, a prediction and had a host of other purposes.  And we all know the younger folks who, like, have to, like put in the word like over and over.  Cuz I’m like and then she’s like and then I’m like – argh!

Another one is “you know”.  I’m convinced that most people who rely on “you know” to bridge phrases and buy them some time have no idea they’re saying it so often. It must be like that for all of these crutch words or people would simply stop using them so often. I’m sure I’ve missed some other common ones.  Feel free to, like, add your own!

1 thought on “Verbal Crutches”

  1. You over looked the most popular crutch, “ah”, at least for Canadians and I’ve often found myself amazed at how many times “and” can be inserted into a statement/sentence. Then we have the frequent ‘um’ as a temporary pause between various fragmented statements.

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