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At 6:09 pm -0500 27/6/99, Eric Christopherson wrote:
.....
>
>I think Raymond was a bit harsh on people who insert these fillers in their
>sentences. They're just another part of language usage. Saying that they
>reflect disorganized thought is about as correct as saying that Spanish
>speakers are illogical because they use double negatives.

No, it ain't.

Double (tripple or more) negatives are common in natlangs; as far as I can
see, those like Latin & standard English (colloquial English doesn't know
this prohibition) are unusual.  If it was good enough for the ancient
Greeks, I have no problem with Spanish, French, Afrikaans or any other
language doing this.

Indeed, *not* to use multiple negative in such language more often than not
actually violates the grammatical usage of that language & produces
sentences that "don't sound right" or, indeed, are simply not understood.

But omitting these space fillers does not upset the grammar of the language
one whit & actually *improves comprehension*.

>That said, though, I do find it a bit annoying, and in the case of "know what
>I'm sayin'," more than a bit. I'm not sure why it annoys me so much; possibly
>because "know what I'm sayin'" is such a long phrase for such an insignificant
>interjection, and it takes up so much of the conversation that I keep wanting
>people to get to the point! :)

Exactly - get to the point!

Basically, man, like, I encounter these, um, sort of space fillers - know
what I mean? - when, um, basically, one of my students is sort of trying to
explain, like, why he sort of arrived late, man, like, this morning or,
kind of, y'know, didn't meet this, er, sort o' deadline thing, right, know
what I mean, man.

Ray.

PS - in SW London, this use of 'man' has become epicene among the younger
generation; female students even use this mode of address when speaking
among themselves.  Does this occur elsewhere?