Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Er, um, uh, and other useless words

What's with speakers using the phrase "If you will" as generic filler while talking? It's no different from "er" or "um" and is just as useless. I just heard a speaker use the phrase twice to apparently provide greater insight into other words that were already clear!

"What we're seeing is a better - or improved, if you will - habitat." WTH?! Gee thanks. I couldn't have navigated the complexities of that sentence without your critical linguistic guideposts. I didn't even have to use these breadcrumbs I stashed in my pocket for just that purpose.

This is why people like me write speeches, craft talking points and provide media and presentation training. If communicating was easy, everyone would be doing it. :-)