Watching the many interviews with commentators and other experts on my TV, I am struck by the number of times they come up with “you know” and “I mean”.
Consequently, I find myself shouting at the screen …….
Firstly, you are right, I don’t know. If I did know, you would all be out of a job.
And subsequently, if you don’t mean it, then don’t say it.
But listening carefully, I find that most commentators do know what they are saying and mean what they say. Saying “you know” is just a trick that gives the speaker time to think of what to say next.
Similarly, “I mean” is a way to stall for time while the person is thinking what to say. These filler words or phrases are used to avoid any awkward silences. Quite often, the speaker isn’t even aware they’re using these fillers. But they don’t add any meaning to the speaker’s words, and it can be annoying for the listener.
As a matter of fact, these filler words have a name, “discourse markers”. They are usually only needed when you’re speaking out loud. Broadly speaking, you won’t find fillers in a written work, although there is always the exception.
However, I will admit, in the first place, that I have very little to say in today’s blog, but, you know, I must find something to write. It is, I mean, difficult to come up with something new, you know, every day.
What I need, you know, is a bloggers’ equivalent to these useful meaningless words. I need to fill in enough content, I mean, to get to my, you know, usual 500 words.
So, in conclusion, to sum it up, you are invited to count the number of discourse markers I have managed to slip in to this otherwise pointless blog. But, as a matter of fact, I am, meanwhile, working with both the Telegraph and Sky News on my next blog which, above all, you should not miss. It might, moreover, once again, mention our fearless, or perhaps fearful, leader.
To see for yourself how and when to use pointless fillers: englishan.com/discourse-markers
And, whereas on one hand, I have managed to finish this blog, on the other hand I have not reached my target 500 words. Despite this fact, I will submit it for publication.
Furthermore, dear reader, do not bother to count the words; in contrast to my usual blogs there are just 427.
And lastly, all that remains is to get this blog past the watchful eye of the Times of Israel editor.