Slugger: Watch the Word Vomit

So, like, um, you know, he, like, um, totes friend requested me. “Totes.” Totes? What is this language we kids are speaking? Because it sure is not English.

More and more now I hear these familiar word crutches riddled throughout spoken conversation. But rather than just a minute foible in a manner of speaking, words such as “like,” “um” and “you know” have become a major hindrance on my understanding of what the heck everyone is saying. Instead of actually being able to hear and understand what any of my fellow pre- and post-pubescent teens are trying to say, whether it be in a speech, a presentation or just an everyday conversation, my mind zones in on the word crutches. I find myself subconsciously listening to and paying attention to only the frequency rate of these dummy “nothing” words, this atrocious word vomit.

In my own experience with such valley girl talk as this, I have found that people tend to whip out the “likes” and “ums” as a fallback option when trying to give an extended explanation of how to do something they do not entirely have a firm grasp on. The horrid words also come out of their cages when we are nervous. We get so focused on how afraid we are that we do not take care to make sure we are speaking proper English. Unfortunately, high schoolers slip into the limited danger zone of who can actually comprehend what they are saying: 13-year-old Bieber Fever fanatics.

But it is not just the notorious “like,” you know? Now people have started creating their own “isms,” their own word crutch terminology. Often times someone might use “all right” while trying to give an explanation as a self-assurance system. It goes into effect regardless of whether or not the person listening actually understands what is going on.

Try this out for a week or so: limit the word vomit that spews from your pie hole on a regular basis. It might be difficult to accomplish, but honestly, if a wider range of people will be able to understand you better and will actually pay attention to what you have to say, then I would say it is definitely worth it.

Seriously, just, like, try, like, listening to, like, yourself talk. If you find that, like, your mind is scattered and totes all over the place, then your language is not actually a real language at all.

By the way, if you have not figured it out yet, “totes” is a shortening of the word “totally,” and is a term that I find ridiculously stupid to hear spoken aloud. Or even written. You can’t bring yourself to say it without feeling like in order to say it properly you have to pop a hip and do the “Bend and Snap.”

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