Obviously, I’m a bit of a stickler for language and how to interpret it. I like my spoken words to mean exactly what I intend (obviously, no mean feat given the English language). I will also compose emails and edit them over a few hours so they mean exactly what I want them to mean. This is probably why I, obviously, struggle with SMS (text messages to the masses) and occasionally Twitter.

I agree that we use some fillers in our language.

  • er
  • um
  • like
  • well
  • literally [people using this should be literally shot]
  • obviously

My pet hates are any of these mentioned but particularly:

It was, like, well hot.

WTF does this mean? It was like it was hot? It was hot? It was really hot? My usual response would be “So was it warm then, if it was like hot?”

Obviously, I’m going to play some tennis today.

Unless you know me really well, it probably wasn’t obvious to you. Me saying “obviously” belittles any comment that you think would be appropriate or any questioning of my statement. This annoys me. I am trying to only say “obviously” when I then wouldn’t need to end the statement because whatever followed you would automatically know/understand.

Maybe I’m too much of a stickler for literal interpretation of language. Which would be odd as I am happy to accept that language can evolve and things change over time, not always following survival of the fittest though. Language evolution seems to follow the stupid uses of language rather than the correct ones. We are doomed [not literally, except for APG].