For many years, I was very annoyed when someone began a story or explanation with “So…”. This opening even became common in the professional lingo. Example : “So, I took my car to the mechanic and he told me I needed a new Johnson rod”
This so annoyed me that it took space in a portion of my brain, and now I started using it (which is even more annoying!).
Another example (that I’ve managed to avoid so far) is when someone orders off of a menu with “I’ll do…”. Example: “I’ll do the Cajun chicken tacos with rice and beans.”
I’m not sure why these aggravate me, and I fully accept that it’s a “me” problem.
One of those annoying ‘biz speak’ phrases has snuck into my vocabulary at work-- “going forward”, as in “we’ve done (business practice) (X way) up until now, but going forward, I think we should do it (Y way)”.
This phrase-opening use of “So …” is a useful shibboleth (anti-shibboleth?) to roughly determine someone’s self-identified generation (e.g. Boomer, Gen X, Millenial, etc.). To my experience, “So …” is a fairly reliable marker for someone not being a Boomer or Gen Xer.
Yesterday I was, you know, going to the store to buy, you know, some milk. And then I saw, you know, my buddy who asked me if I’d like to, you know, come over and watch the game. I’m a big, you know, college football fan and, you know, always up for some wings and, you know, booze.
It’s annoying for casual conversation, but outright maddening in workplace discussions. I always get the urge to verbally answer each and every “you know” with “Actually, I don’t know”–especially when I’m trying to get real information.
I’m sure I’ve merged some “you know’s” into my own conversations, but I do try to watch my speech carefully so I’m not spouting off a bunch of filler words.
I feel like I do the majority of these examples… I especially like “you do you”, “sounds good”, “cool”, etc…
Except the “you know” bit. I hate it when someone says “you know”, when I don’t. I will actually respond with “I don’t actually know”, or something similar. Which tends to confuse the person I’m talking to, as generally they aren’t even paying attention enough to the words they are saying to know that they even used the phrase “you know”.
I guess I feel like talking and getting my point across is very hard, and it is exceptionally rare that someone will understand me if I make a complex point. (Complex being, literally anything that takes more than three words to express), so many times I just rely on glib phases to carry me through the conversation.
I was resistant to widespread use of “they” in the newfangled ways it’s being presented. I don’t even remember consciously switching over, probably one day I said “fine, you win, I’ll do it”. And it was no hassle and I don’t even think about it, except to notice that I do it now.
It frees me from having to think about gender, or use a clunker like “he or she”, in situations when it doesn’t really matter. And it turns out there are almost zero situations where it actually matters.