|Let's graduate from Elaine's school of diction today, okay? Image from Wikimedia Commons http://bit.ly/ezQ9XD|
by Elaine Dunaway
“You know.” Put simply, these two words are destroying the spoken English language. Now, I understand that you may be unwilling to go that far at this precise moment; therefore, I have devised a series of talking points by which I hope to convert you to my way of thinking.
Let us begin with the series of events that brought this to my attention. It seems as though many of the people I spend all day conversing with – people at work, my boyfriend, my mother (please don’t kill me, Mom) etc. – have decided that “you know” is a necessary component of any phrase which passes through their lips. For example, let’s say that my boyfriend (let’s call him Jack) told me this: “Lauren and I went to, you know, get some Girl Scout cookies which are great, you know?” On the phone at work when clients call in, many of the people in our office pepper each sentence with copious amounts of “you know.” This morning in church, the pastor kept up a steady stream of “you know” along with his bible-beating thunder. Even professional radio broadcasters seem unable to refrain from letting this verbal comfort blanket slip: listening to an episode of Stuff Mom Never Told You from howstuffworks.com, while generally extremely enlightening, is like listening to two women vying for the Olympic gold medal in the category of “you know.”