It, like, evolves

Posted by Word Camel on February 28, 2005

In Reply to: "you know" posted by James Briggs on February 28, 2005

: : : : : The term "moronic interrogative" has been usefully coined, so is there one for today's excessive use of "you know" in speech? I've thought up "gneisitis", but I'm not too well up on classical Greek (gneis = you know?).

: : : : How about "Idiam?" The continued use of, like, moronic interrogatives (know what I mean?) is a telltale sign of one's idiocy (know what I'm saying?) because the questioner, you know, has only rarely been in the company of people capable of grasping simple concepts on the first try. He (can you dig what I'm saying) can't possibly make sense of things quickly and therefore assumes we can't either.

: : : More charitably, one can construe the you-knows as an attempt to establish an interpersonal bond of understanding, something like "I'm sure you've had this experience too."

: :
: : From the original poster: I'm all for interpersonal bonds of understanding, but not every few seconds as is often the case.

: This is the scourge of many of our so-called 'celebrities' in the UK. David Beckham, the England soccer captain, is one of the worst offenders. Almost every sentence contains the 'you know' sequence. Whats's more, even some non native English speakers, when they use English, suffer from the same problem!

It may be my imagination, but in the US "you know" (as annoying feature of spoken English) seems to be losing out to "like". According to the program, Do You Speak American?" this is a form of "surfer dude". I heard a woman in the park using the expression "like" 37 times in the course of three minutes. I wanted to shake her and scream " For God's sake, get a grip!"

But sadly this never works except in the movies.