Blame California

I’m no paragon of the spoken word, as anyone who knows me can verify, but it always amuses me when I hear students — not just undergrads, grads and everyone in between — using filler words in their speech.

“Like” I can understand; it’s an unconscious filler word, like “um,” “uh,” and all the rest. But today I listened to a couple of poli sci grad students chattering away over coffee about lesson plans, peppering their conversation with words like “ordinal” and “constituencies,” and one of them kept very studiously and carefully interweaving into the dialogue California beach bum expressions like “SWEET!” and “Okay, so … that’s cool.”

There was also the woman from Toronto I overheard larding her conversation with liberal doses of “Fer shure!” (Moon Unit Zappa, you’re wanted on the white courtesy phone.)

I blame California for all of the above.