Viper Squad Ten

[ Thursday, June 16, 2005 ]

Bad language
Starbuck [13:50] Comments: 2 []
I've been letting steam evaporate from my keyboard recently over a few petty annoyances, however there's something one annoyance that scalds like a muddyfunker.

It is the entirely unneccesary use of the phrase "I mean" as a conjoining device at the start of any sentence, used to repeat exactly what the speaker has just expressed with the aim of boring it into your mind.

It's a nasty mind-control trick and everyone is doing. I mean, you turn on the television, and you'll see Tony Blair saying it every other sentence (and Blair is the one that I blame for the now-epidemic levels of dissemination), you'll see newsreaders saying it, anyone with a mouth. I'd thought it was purely a UK thing but then I heard some American lawmaker using it. Listen to your family, friends and colleagues, and they'll all inadvertently use it.

It's horribly viral - somewhere within our brains it is decided that a statement needs more gravitas, that the listener might think that everything that is usually spoken is utterly unimportant but that THIS THING really should be taken on board, and before we know it, it just pops out of our mouths. It's so deeply ingrained that its now as autonomic as blinking for a large swathe of the Western world.

I mean, I do it myself just as much as all these other languaddicts - I'm not being superior or elitist. And I hate myself for it the moment I say it. Sometimes I get half way though the phrase - "I mea..." and then stop, unable to say anything further, mind caught mid-stutter.

Perhaps it's evident that we all talk way too much without thinking things through. We're so desperate to have our own way that we spit out our selfish needs rather than contemplate what's best. Or maybe we all feel that we need to shout just a little bit louder to be heard above the rest of the static. Whatever, its the hardening of attitudes and the polarisation of politics that has brought us to this.

Or maybe I'm just rattling on too much. Know what I mean?

2 Comment(s):

Comment by Anonymous Gary, at June 17, 2005 8:58 am  :

At the end of the day. AT THE END OF THE DAY. What point are those 6 words, unless referring to the beginning of night? "But Know What I Mean?" is equally galling.

Comment by Blogger Starbuck, at June 17, 2005 10:15 am  :

I mean, to be totally honest, we're all guilty of procastination. At the end of the day, we're all addicted to the sound of our own voices. Or scared of it. You know what I mean?

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