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Study: Saying ‘Like’ All the Time Isn’t All Bad

(Newser) – Those who speak by packing their sentences with words such as "you know," "I mean," and "like" aren't being ditzy as pop culture would suggest—they're being conscientious. So suggests a new study in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology whose authors say that such "filler words" tend to be used by people who are more thoughtful than most, reports Research Digest. "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.

At New York, Melissa Dahl paraphrases: "This is a person who is truly paying attention, to you and the conversation at hand," she writes. "Conscientious people are careful, diligent individuals who are very concerned with doing things correctly—including, apparently, idle chitchat." Read more.

Like, I'm not sure, I buy these findings, I mean, isn't it just annoying when people pepper their speech with phrases like "you know"?

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.