habit

I’ve Got a Catch Phrase…How ‘Bout You?

I find it amusing whenever I observe that someone has a favorite catch phrase. You know, it’s one of those personal buzzwords/phrases that (s)he involuntarily favors and repeatedly inserts into conversations.

Sometimes it’s a simple filler word, as in “um” or “like.” Often it’s a more full-fledged anchor phrase, a la “Quite frankly.”

One of my co-workers (let’s call him Frank) loves to insert “sort of” into every verbal nook and cranny. Another (we’ll call her Betsy) has an affinity for “At the end of the day” (which, unfortunately, is an expression that has crept its way into many a current lexicon).

True to form, I have created a pseudo-game out of identifying and charting these individual catch phrases (after all, man can’t live on Snark Central alone…)

Amusing as that exercise has proven to be, trust me when I admit that it becomes much less enjoyable upon discovering that you rely on your own embarrassing catch phrase and hadn’t realized it.

Turns out mine is “You know.” Those two inane words infiltrate far too many of my statements.

When first confronted with the reality of my verbal addiction (following an intervention-like encounter something along the lines of, “Mike, you have a problem…”), I initially denied it…as most addicts do.

But upon further reflection and analysis, I realized it was painfully true. And there are few things as frustrating as knowing you cling to a throwaway phrase and are unable to halt its transmission before it passes your lips.

I believe I’m making some progress toward controlling this habit. But clearly, it’s not going to be easy to scrub these unnecessary two words from my speech.

Guess that’s just the way I roll. You know?