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People who say 'you know' and 'like' are, like, surprisingly thoughtful

It’s, like, science.

USING THE WORDS ‘um,’ ‘like,’ and ‘you know’ a lot in speech is often associated with being a little, um, ditzy and, like, vapid?

According to new research published in the June issue of Journal of Language and Social Psychology, however, peppering your conversations with such fillers may actually be indicative of conscientiousness and general thoughtfulness.

Charlyn Laserna and her colleagues at The University of Texas at Austin conducted research over the course of ten years examining the use of such phrases in everyday conversation, analysing 263 transcriptions from five previous language studies.

The study, entitled “Um…Who Like Says You Know”, categorised “uh” and “um” as “filled pauses” which scientists believe are a reflection of “the processing of complex thoughts”.

“Like,” “you know” and “I mean” were characterised as “discourse markers” and younger women were seen to prefer these turns of phrase. Fear not, though, because scientists believe there is a correlation between such verbal tics and conscientiousness. Take it away, scientists:

The possible explanation for this association is that conscientious people are generally more thoughtful and aware of themselves and their surroundings. When having conversations with listeners, conscientious people use discourse markers, such as ‘I mean’ and ‘you know,’ to imply their desire to share or rephrase opinions to recipients. Thus it is expected that the use of discourse markers may be used to measure the degree to which people have thoughts to express.

tumblr_m7cbztPztz1qdf43eo1_500 Source: Co

Meanwhile, still no word on whether regularly saying “D’ya know what I mean, like?” or “Em, what was I going to say?” is directly related to being thoughtful, smart and engaging.

*fingers crossed*

About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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