Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fillers - imagine speaking without them

This post ... talks about know... those expressions that we use all the time and we don't even realize we're using them. In English, we call them fillers and they help us in many ways:

* give flow to our speech (fluency)
* give us time to think of what to say next
* give our language a "natural" flavor
* check that our listener is following

Using them is what tells us if the person is a native speaker or ... uh ... has near native fluency. Even if you are not a native speaker, including them when you speak is more than a good idea; remember we do this in our first language subconsciously, you know what I mean?

But, you know, too much of a good thing is always a problem. Some speakers overdo: they insert a filler like after four or five words. This can make listening to them irritating. Moderation is always the answer, right?

Do you remember how many fillers I used in this post? Are they really necessary?

Do you use a particular filler all the time when you speak in your language? Or do you know someone who does?

Extra:Here is an interview with American rapper Eminem. I know he speaks really fast but see if you can hear the fillers.