Word Whiskers of Self Doubt and Phantom Questions: Like, you know?

by Kelle on January 24, 2011

Sorry for the stream of posts on presentations, but AAS was clearly inspiring.

Like, you know? | Mahalo.ne.Trash
JohnJohn brings up several excellent points about the speech patterns pervasive in the language of our youth (mostly). Not just sentences sung like questions, but also word whiskers and everyday language indicative of self-doubt. Commenter Megan commented on her old habit of saying, “I guess” when she was not guessing at all. When people say, “you know” during talks, I usually think to myself, “no, WE DON’T KNOW, that’s why we came to your talk you blippty bleep.” As JohnJohn says,

Tell me what you know. Be the expert in the room. Not just for your sake, but for mine and the rest of the audience.

Now, what we really need is good advice for how to get rid of these speech habits! In high school, I took a class where the instructor rang a loud bell every time we uttered a word whisker of any kind during our presentations. This method was extremely effective and we quickly learned to hear our own whiskers and, eventually, catch ourselves pre-whisker and pause instead of experiencing the embarrassment of the jarring bell. What are other things people have done to clean up both their everyday language and their public speaking voice?

In case you aren’t sure what exactly what this language sounds like, check out this video:

Typography from Ronnie Bruce on Vimeo.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: