June 13, 2014 by Roe
This post is in response to today’s Daily Prompt entitled, Verbal Ticks:
Is there a word or a phrase you use (or overuse) all the time, and are seemingly unable to get rid of? If not, what’s the one that drives you crazy when others use it?
YO. I am 100% guilty on this; I have way too many verbal ticks. Also “texting ticks”. They’re slightly different but definitely within the same vein.
Off the top of my head some of my most frequented verbal go-tos are, “That’s wild”, “For real?”, “No worries”, and “Word”. The “texting ticks” are kind of an extension of these. Instead of “Word” I’ll say, “Word up”. I also use “No prob” and “Sure thing”. I use “Yo” a lot too, verbally and with text.
It’s funny ’cause now that I think about it, I did have another word I overused that eventually (thankfully) found its way out of my vocabulary. That word was, “Trillz” – Slang for “True that”. I picked it up from a friend of mine at the time who always used it and it stuck like super-glue for years. I would continue using it, even though I was sometimes the only one who knew what it meant. I remember going to college my first year and using it in conversation and some people were like, “Huh?” or “Did you just say, ‘Trillz’?”. It was a trip. UGH. That’s another one I use. Sometimes to describe something crazy or unorthodox, instead of saying “That’s crazy” or “That’s wild”, I’ve now been resorting to “That’s a trip” or “What a trip!” or “It was a trip!” in describing something out-there, mind-blowing, unbelievable, an experience. But I digress. “Trillz” eventually progressed into “True”, which progressed into “Word”/”Word up”. I use the latter more frequently now. Must be all the Hip-hop I listen to or something…
It’s interesting to see how little catch-phrases and slang have such an impact on our conversational dialect and how often it’s understood by others, even if they don’t use it themselves. I’m not educated enough to know whether or not this phenomenon exists in other languages aside from English, but I suspect it does. It seems only natural, right? My Nonna pulls a few words from her sleeve from time to time. She’s a riot.
All in all though, I’m glad these verbal ticks do exist despite there potential annoyance. Think about how boring talking would be if we were straight-laced dictionary nerds. Slang and catch-phrases liven things up. It makes things fun. The words we use on our day-to-day basis are a reflection of our character, an outer extension of who we are. Not only do we communicate to one another through the interchange of words, but we communicate who we are by putting our demeanor on display and maybe even flaunting our vocabulary a little bit so we may be authentically understood. We speak who we are and we are what and how we speak, right?
But is it our true selves shining through? Or perhaps the projection or portrayal of who we want to be viewed as when the outside world is looking in…