Wednesday, August 15, 2007

the "Ummers" and the "Aahhhhs"

We all do it. We all have certain habits, nervous movements, trademark sayings, etc.

The first one that I remember having my attention brought to was the California Valley Girl, "Like"......
Then there was the, "Ya know what I mean?"
And the ,"Totally"
And the, "Sick"
And the, "Dude!!"
And the, "Duhhh?!?!?!?"
The, "Wasssuuuuuuppppp?"

Now that I'm a little bit older, I have grown accustomed to both watching and listening to people when they speak (I guess it's a curse of being a nurse....always looking for the disconnect between the affect, behavior, and content of peoples speech). The other night, after maybe a little bit too much wine and not enough sleep, the concept of public speaking came up in conversation with my friends. here is what we decided:


1) People don't think before they speak; they just spew out whatever comes to their mind first, thus often creating awkward pauses they people fill with, "Ummmmmmmmmm."

2) Some people, already aware of the "ummmmmm" culture, choose to use, "ahhhhhhhhh". Although they may think it sounds more intelligent, it really just makes them sound like are getting a strep throat culture.

3) Some people just have no concept of personal space; yes folks, I'm talking about the close talkers. Those who no matter how hard you try and back away, they keep coming in closer acting as if the breath of their words will make them more comprehendible

4) The victims of the close talkers are viewed as ignorant and inattentive because they would rather stand very far away and hear nothing than to risk having their personal space invaded.

Although the previous descriptions are all unfortunate, the real tragedy is when they are all combined into one. For example, the blind date from hell who begins every story with, "Ahhh, so yeah, ummm,...I have a friend that, umm yeah ahhh, who" while simultaneously getting closer and closer to your face and when you attempt to back away and are no longer within an earshot, you find yourself nodding and saying, "Yes. Okay" and then you realize that you have just agreed to go out with the "Ummer-Ahhh-closer talker's" friend.

Moral of this all....think before you speak to avoid awkward pauses, be okay with a moment of silence, and never agree to anything that you cannot hear all the details about.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Ummm....
Good observations. I am working hard on eliminating the incorrect usage of the word "like" from my conversations. My kids have started picking it up and it just sounds so wrong!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I don't remember meeting you (but probably would remember if I saw you) but definitely know of you since Anjali and Oonie used to RAVE about you and were so upset when you moved!

I have been tested to see if my thyroid is working okay, and while I had really hoped that was the cause of the fatigue, the bloodwork showed everything was fine. I have a sleep study scheduled for the end of September where they will monitor me over night as well as for ten hours of the next day, encouraging me to nap every two hours or so. We'll have to wait and see what they find!