Why do Americans say "You know" and "like" so often ?

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Why do Americans say "You know" and "like" so often ?

Message  MurielB le Lun 10 Mar - 22:02

http://www.ibtimes.com/uh-you-know-why-do-americans-say-you-know-use-other-verbal-fillers-so-often-1549810

Linguists call interjections like “you know” and “like” and “um” and “I mean” and a multitude of others “filler” or “discourse particles” – that is, an unconscious device that serves as a pause in the middle of a sentence as the speaker gathers his or her thoughts but wants to maintain the listener’s attention. However, it would appear that such fillers – which have minimal grammatical or lexical value – have infiltrated daily conversations to such an extent that they threaten to further damage the beauty, power and effectiveness of verbal communication


Dernière édition par MurielB le Lun 10 Mar - 22:23, édité 2 fois

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Why do Americans say "you know" and "Like" so often ?

Message  MurielB le Lun 10 Mar - 22:18

These fillers give the impression of nervousness and lack of confidence. It also helps the person to think about what he is going to say next. These fillers have increased a lot over the past 30 years. Are speaking skills in serious decline ?
In French it is also "tu vois "when the person is visual and "Tu comprends". Are they also increasing ? Is good French speaking in decline too ?

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Re: Why do Americans say "You know" and "like" so often ?

Message  gerardM le Lun 10 Mar - 22:31

Hi Muriel,

Thanks for this interesting link and subject.

I didn't notice Americans say "you know"; I thought it was British LOL ah no Brits say "well" or "er" instead.

These fillers have increased a lot over the past 30 years. Are speaking skills in serious decline ?
Do you think the frequency of fillers got higher?

In French it is also "tu vois "when the person is visual and "Tu comprends". Are they also increasing ? Is good French speaking in decline too ?
In French, "voila !" is frequent in some mouths... didn't notice an increase.

It also helps the person to think about what he is going to say next.
Muriel, remember English is not FRench and the masculine doesn't have the precedence in grammar: rather say "It also helps the person to think about what they are going to say next." unless you are speaking about Reagan Wink


Dernière édition par gerardM le Lun 10 Mar - 22:39, édité 2 fois

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Re: Why do Americans say "You know" and "like" so often ?

Message  MurielB le Lun 10 Mar - 22:37

Yes it was in Vocable and I thought you might be interested. They say that society is dominated by social media and texting and brevity so those fillers are like that : Instant communication.
It is not only in America but in every country I suppose.

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Re: Why do Americans say "You know" and "like" so often ?

Message  gerardM le Lun 10 Mar - 22:40

I'm surprised by the explanation: in short texts, people don't use fillers.

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Re: Why do Americans say "You know" and "like" so often ?

Message  MurielB le Lun 10 Mar - 22:46

Muriel, remember English is not FRench and the masculine doesn't have the precedence in grammar: rather say "It also helps the person to think about what they are going to say next." unless you are speaking about Reagan
Gérard, with "the person" you use "they" not "he" or "she" ?

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Re: Why do Americans say "You know" and "like" so often ?

Message  gerardM le Lun 10 Mar - 22:47

While I was writing I tried to remember which word my son was saying too often (he often has to make speeches)... I managed to find out: it's "en fait". What does it mean?

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Re: Why do Americans say "You know" and "like" so often ?

Message  gerardM le Lun 10 Mar - 22:50

Muriel,

Sorry for not having been clear.
MurielB a écrit:
Muriel, remember English is not FRench and the masculine doesn't have the precedence in grammar: rather say "It also helps the person to think about what they are going to say next." unless you are speaking about Reagan
Gérard, with "the person" you use "they" not "he" or "she" ?
When you don't know the gender of the subject (when the text is general), you must not give the precedence to the masculine: you have to use "they" instead.

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Re: Why do Americans say "You know" and "like" so often ?

Message  MurielB le Lun 10 Mar - 22:53

Like everybody should mind their own business... with everybody the possessive adjective is plural.


Dernière édition par MurielB le Mar 11 Mar - 8:03, édité 1 fois

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Re: Why do Americans say "You know" and "like" so often ?

Message  MurielB le Lun 10 Mar - 22:55


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Re: Why do Americans say "You know" and "like" so often ?

Message  MurielB le Lun 10 Mar - 22:57

My Grand-son also uses "En fait". For him it is out of lack of confidence but I am sure there are a lot of reasons.

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Re: Why do Americans say "You know" and "like" so often ?

Message  gerardM le Mar 11 Mar - 16:22

Muriel,

I've something to add...
gerardM a écrit:Muriel,

Sorry for not having been clear.
MurielB a écrit:
Muriel, remember English is not FRench and the masculine doesn't have the precedence in grammar: rather say "It also helps the person to think about what they are going to say next." unless you are speaking about Reagan
Gérard, with "the person" you use "they" not "he" or "she" ?
When you don't know the gender of the subject (when the text is general), you must not give the precedence to the masculine: you have to use "they" instead.

I told you that when they don't know the gender, Americans use "they" and never "he" (as the French do) or "their" but never "his". Sometimes we can find "he/she" or "(s)he" but it was in an intermediate step.

Americans are very respectful (or let's say American ladies know how to be respected).

On a similar way, they don't say any more "salesman" or "mailman", or other old words ending with -man unless they are speaking about a specific guy: they now say "salesperson", "mailperson" even though it is longer.
(mailperson is the American word for postman... I'm not that sure Brits use the same neutral words)

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