June 12

Like, You Know, I Mean, Um, Uh

A study now suggests that people who sprinkle their sentences with repeated uses of “like,” “you know” and “I mean” are not being ditzy or mundane but actually are “thoughtful” and “conscientious” in their conversations.

This is the result of a study whose results appear in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology.

“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,” write the researchers.

The interesting part is that the three researchers at the University of Texas used a device called the Electronically Activated Recorder, or EAR, to analyze the use of these words and phrases.

Click on the journal’s title if you, like, you know, want to read more.

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Posted June 12, 2014 by Gary McCarty in category "Grammar Notes


  1. By Heidi Dugger on

    My pet peeve! Once you listen for the phrase “I mean” you will hear it everywhere (and the worst culprits? sports newscasters!).


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