Month: June 2010

Easy (50%) Fix your ums: stop saying theee …

Some thoughts on filler words – after reading what other people had to say – and talking to my wife.

Filler words, aka pause fillers, crutch words, clutch words and even vampire words can be tolerated, genderly better understood and – fairly easily – reduced by half.

  • Women have been accused of using “you know” and “like” much more often than men. It seems true to me. Stephen M. Croucher in his paper: Like, You Know What Iā€™m Saying: A Study of Discourse Marker Frequency in Extemporaneous and Impromptu Speaking contends that the reason is cultural. He is right about that. then he goes on to suggest that it is related to the “Valley Girl” talk we learned in “Fast Times at Riddgemont High” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. I think he misses the uh- boat here.
    Women tend to look for collaboration more than men and choose the pause fillers “you know” and “like” often as part of their speech /communication for the goal of community rather than as a crutch. You know?

  • Stop saying “theee” when you mean “the”.
    Since ‘um’,’em’,’er’,’uh’ and ‘ah’ all begin with a vowel, we end up saying “theee, uh, book” when we mean “the book
    Hmmm, so we know ‘theee’ um/uh/er is coming!
    If we were going to say “the” book, we wouldn’t start with ‘theee’ (the with a long ‘e’).
    My modest proposal is to drop the “theee” form of ‘the’ from your speech: if you never say “theee” it becomes pretty hard to say “theee um”. Of course now you will have to insert an adjective every time you talk about “the” (adjective) elephant šŸ™

  • I read the book “Um” by Michael Erhard. It is well written and a bit of fun. It left me just a tad disappointed – I wanted more science.

    check this out

2 heads are better than one …


Even if they are both YOUR head?

It’s time for Toastmasters Club Officer Training (COT) again – does that make you šŸ™‚ or šŸ™ ?

Many people need to be dragged to this, especially veterans – too bad, they can often add a lot to the discussions – especially in Phase I training.

But what about people who are officers for the first time or holding a specific office for the first time. Of course, “we” STRONGLY recommend that they attend club officer training, and most do – mainly because they are trying to help get that DCP point for 4 officers trained.

Here’s a thought, if one COT session is a GREAT idea for all ‘new’ officers, how great is attending 2 (or more) COT sessions?

If you are a new club officer, new to your role, don’t stop at one! Plan to attend at least 2 COT sessions in Phase one – an extra couple hours now and you may get a head/jump start that will pay off for the rest of the year!

What you might get: cheap edibles, great networking opportunities, and a chance to rethink what you just thought (learned) about šŸ™‚