January 31, 2011


As much as I talk, and as many people as I talk to, I pick up on verbal tics fairly easily. We all have them, the "ums" and "uhs" that are our go-to time fillers in conversation.

It's a breeze to note others' chatting habits: An old roommate said "craaazy" as a mindless comment during lulls; it was as much a catchphrase as Paris Hilton's "that's hot." A dear friend says "anywayyy" several times before she wraps up a call.

It's tougher to catch your own tics, to pick up on your verbal "fall backs" in conversation. (It's also difficult to discern when you're using your "phone voice," something that makes B laugh out loud. Evidently I speak in a syrupy sweet tone to strangers on the phone. Who knew?)

I've noticed a few "Anne-isms" lately. It makes me grit my teeth to read these, something like hearing your voice on an answering machine, but I'll share all the same:

1. Can we talk about how...
"Can we talk about how I just burned my chicken pot pie?" "Can we talk about how this cold weather makes me want to wear yoga pants all day?" "Can we talk about how the doctor just rescheduled my appointment for the third consecutive time?" Fascinating tidbits, all.

2. Well, the good thing about that is...
My instinct, upon hearing any remotely negative piece of news, is to find some semblance of a silver lining. This has to get annoying when people are genuinely upset, but it pops out before I know it. "Well the good thing about your car being stolen is you weren't in it! You're safe and you get a brand new ride!" Cringe.

3. Y'ALL.
This is more of an exclamation, total filler when I'm far too flustered or excited to elaborate. As in: "Y'ALL. (gasps for air) You'll never guess who I just saw!" or "Y'ALL. (long, lip-smacking pause) Can we talk about these shrimp and grits?"

4. Perfect, perfect.
This would be my trademark a la "that's hot." I utter it entirely without thinking, in place of yes, okay, all right, sounds good or anything close to agreement. "You want to meet at 8? Perfect, perfect. Italian? Perfect! We'll pick you up. Perfect." I'm sure B has heard my half of a phone conversation more than once that has consisted entirely of "perfect."

5. You've got to be kidding me.
I reserve this for anything that wakes me in the middle of the night, requires me to walk half-dressed into the cold, costs me lots of money or makes me skip a meal. The worse an event is, the more emphasis on the "got." B must hear this incessantly on my bad days.

What do you say repeatedly, without thinking? Any you-isms?


EKM said...

I totally say "Y'ALL" too but it definitely sounds more like "yawwwwwwwwwwlllllllllllllll" oops.

Julie H. said...

Ha!! This post is great, Anne! Absolutely makes me miss our long church van chats and hearing all your -isms! Perfect! :)

Perfectly Imperfect said...

I do the "y'all" way too much as well. Along with "dude" as in "dude, seriously?" which brings me to my next one.. "seriously?" I say that anytime I'm not sure of something or if I think you're pulling my leg. There's so many more, but I'm starting to leave you a novel..


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