She points out that there is a trend to use words as punctuation marks as we speak to each other, and ummm, aaah, I've found that these words are like creeping into my writing too! Just like my over-use of exclamation marks!!! So I think I need to take a nice, deep, uh, breath and think about this.
Guilty! I use lazy words, do you?
The writer calls them verbal crutches, words that prop up a sentence that is limping along, a resting word to lean on when your brain is blown or feeling a tad, like, sluggish. Sometimes in Queensland it's just too darned like hot to finish a sentence before it gets eaten by humidity.
Well, along with the writer, I've noticed that this trend is rife in youngsters, well, like, those younger than some of us, like, we can actually read and er, write as well as speak. A teen made me laugh out loud when she said 'I really like like Thai food.' My befuddled brain was left to, er, wondering if she meant like 'I like the food, but in a kinda-like way.' Sort of like, a double eardrum assault.
Then there's the 'you know,' or 'y'no', like a quick tongue-trip. Some say 'Do you know what I mean?' or 'd'yanowotimin?' which actually like means 'Are you listening to me??' (Well, why would you?)
Ever heard someone use 'sort of' or 'sort of like'. Like 'I'm feeling sort of like um depressed?' No wonder.
What about 'in reality? 'In reality I just don't care about going shopping today.' The lazier version: 'I suppose, in reality, I don't kinda-like necessarily want to buy that ummm dress d'yanowotimin?'
Another old favourite with oldies: 'and so forth.' 'I went and visited the doctor and so forth and what have you.' Well, what have you? I ask you?
The worst thing about lazy words is that they're contagious. You catch them like a yawn. When I find myself spouting forth with the lazy words I'm like hearing all around me I immediately head to the bathroom to clean my mouth out with er, soap. I kinda think you all know what I mean, like?
Thanks to Ruth Ostrow who must have, like, been eavesdropping...