Tuesday, December 2, 2008

When 'Okay' is Not Okay

I recall many years back one of my directors was watching a few us from the back of the stage. We were giving our respective presentations. He was holding a counter - clicking away.

At the end of our sessions, we found out what he was up to : He was counting the number of times we said, "Okay" as we spoke.

I did it half a dozen times within the ten minutes allotted. One of my colleagues said it fourteen times.

It's not only "Okay". There's also, "Alright", "Yah", "Uh-huh" and whatever verbal soft-farts we unknowingly make as a way of pacing/steadying ourselves.

Why a fart? i. Because it's not palatable (and is sometimes downright irritating), ii. we're often barely aware of it (but our listeners would be) and iii. like a bad odor, such words 'cloud' our speeches and turn people off.


blogpastor said...

In Toastmasters they have an "Ah" counter whenever someone is speaking. I wonder if pastors who speak Sunday after Sunday, need such a counter. Most don't I suppose. Some AoG pastors have a habit of ending sentences with a low "erh" a speech defect learnt from US missionaries I think.

Alwyn said...

the British seem to make 'Uhm' sound like an art. it comes up after a punchline, mostly.