Ryan J. Lacy
Ahh, Like, Here’s My Essay on Verbal Fillers, Ya Know?
I used ninety-three verbal fillers in three days. However, I am not ashamed of this because most people do the exact same thing. My fillers are “like,” “ya know,” “um,” “ahh,” “Jesus,” “shit,” and different forms of “fuck.” Some people have more disfluencies, some have less, but here’s the story of my usage of verbal fillers throughout three fun-filled days of talking to friends and attending a football game. To my surprise, I actually caught most, if not all, of my disfluencies and my friends had a lot to do with it. I originally didn’t even plan on including my friends into this project, but it just so happened that they made their way in anyways. The way it worked out was I’d be talking and then immediately catch a verbal filler, exclaim “shit” and break out my index card to write it down. The bringing out of the card, of course, led to me having to explain to my friends why I’m writing down these particular words on the card. After describing the project assigned, they seemed more than happy to point out every freakin’ verbal filler I had used for me. This was especially true for one of my friends, Nick, who would wait for me to finish a story and then, immediately after, tell me how many fillers I had used.
The disfluencies I used most often were “ahh,” “like,” and “ya know.” I expected those were going to be my most used phrases because I’ve noticed, even before this project was announced, that I use them an awful lot. I tend to use “ahh” in sentences such as “I was going to walk the dog but, ahh, I decided to paint the deck instead.” The filler of “like” usually makes its appearance when I’m not exactly sure of something. For example, “Yao Ming is like seven foot six.” In this situation, I know he’s around seven foot six height-wise but I’m just not sure if he’s exactly that tall. As for “ya know,” it always shows up at the end of my...
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