Repetitive Phrase Disorder

It’s not everyone, but there are alot of people who have particular phrases that they say all the time.  Some examples:

  • Kevin, a guy who used to work for me, said “Essentially” about 20 times per sentence.  Another variant was “Basically” which several people I know say in every sentence.
  • At least 1 in 40 people in the technology industry say “Shits and Giggles” or “Shits and Grins” on a daily basis.  This is a horrible phrase.  I want to start a foundation to stop it.
  • Chetan sits near me and says “Whatnot” in every other sentence.  “We have to fix the data and whatnot.”
  • Scott says “Heart of Hearts” and “Dream of Dreams” way more than is advisable.
  • It’s not a phrase, but I use “air quotes” way more than a normal person.
  • Some people fucking curse alot.
  • Of course, the ubiquitous, “Umm“.

There is no way to stop these habits.  They don’t even realize they are doing it.  This is the subconscious messing with our tongues.  Years ago, in college, I took a public speaking class.  The teacher told me that short pauses in your speech are not nearly as noticeable as you might think.  Saying “Umm”, is way worse than pausing your sentence.  Saying “Essentially” or “Basically” doesn’t actually help you get to the heart of the issue.

I definitely try not to say Umm, but I know stopping using “Air Quotes” will be a very difficult task.

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