For Toastmasters Ah-Counters, what, exactly, is an “Ah” that you are to count?
I think the intention is to count and report on usages of fillers and other verbal tics that speakers may not be aware of, and if you notice any patterns provide suggestions about what the speaker can try to be aware of.
For example, at recent meetings, one Ah Counter noticed that one speaker was moving their hands just before a ‘pause … Um.’
I have already made the case in this blog for trying to avoid saying a leading “THEE” for “THE” … [ HERE ] since we rarely the “the-uh”, but we do say “thee-uh”
There are several unofficial classes of “Filler words” (and tics)
1. Pause filler words – uhm, er, ah, em
2. Bridging filler words – and, so, now, but, ok
3. Useless filler words – actually, literally, basically, really, like, you know, basically, (I) personally, as a matter of fact, honestly, truly, at the end of the day
(Not all of the above are always fillers, sometimes they are appropriate…)
4. Repeats of words
5. Restarts of sentences
6. Physical speaking tics – lip smacking, etc.
Drive carefully and please, don’t Fill-er up!