(972) 490.8676

Annoying speech habits – Part Two

by | Aug 21, 2023 | 6 comments

Last week I wrote about the top 3 pervasive and annoying speech habits according to Dr. Alice Silbergleit, the Director of the Speech-Language Sciences at the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan.

You responded! You agreed with Dr. Silbergleit and you added your own list of grating speech habits.

More bad speech behaviors to avoid

1️⃣  Dr. Steve Spivack: “What about ‘you know what I mean’ and ‘Hum’”?

➜ Note: Both of these are filler clutter.

“You know what I mean” at the end of a thought makes the speaker appear less confident. You are asking for approval for what you just said. Total waste of words.

🎤 Tip: Stop! Don’t ask this type of question.

“Hum” is in the category of verbal clutter. Its cousins are “um”, “you know”, and “uh”.

🎤 Tip: Pause instead of adding clutter.

2️⃣  Barbara Franklin: “Reminds me of kids saying ‘like’ – every second word.”

➜ Note: The ‘like’ epidemic applies to all of us, not just kids.

“Like, when you hear someone, like, say ‘like’, you might want to scream. But, like, listen to yourself and, like, monitor your own use of this word.”

🎤 Tip: Ask a close friend to be your “’like’ accomplice”. Have that person keep a “’like’ tab”. Become aware of how often you use this word and then be a self-monitor.

3️⃣  Harry Hall, a fellow communication consultant, on correcting Upspeak (ending all sentences as if they’re questions):  “Playback a recording of them doing it. That fixes it pretty quickly.” Harry added, “Upspeak totally undermines credibility.” Agreed!

Steve, Barbara and Harry – Thanks for sharing.

😬 What speech habits annoy you? 😬  Share comments below. ⤵︎


#communication   #SpeakForYourself   #KarenCortellReisman   #BadSpeechHabits



  1. Joel Litman

    Like, another bad speech behavior I mean is a long “and” that a speaker uses to like begin and end a sentence,
    you know?

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      Joel – You nailed another annoying habit… the LOOOOOOOONG “and” instead of pausing. I can also add the loooooong “so” to this category.
      “I mean” and “you know” make me crazy!!
      Thanks for your comment and addition to our list.

  2. StevElpaso

    But I do “know what you mean!” 🙂

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      HI Steve – yes you do! Thanks again for your comments here!

  3. Harry Hall

    Starting a sentence with, ‘So.’ I was editing a self-published book not long ago, and the storyteller began several sentences with, ‘So…’ I went through and deleted the most egregious violations. He sent it back to me, having replaced them all.
    Well, it’s his book. It might be even more annoying in speaking.

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      He REPLACED the “so’s”??? Nooooooo!! Yes, it is annoying in print and in speaking.

Pin It on Pinterest