Well, Let's See

September 24, 2018


I've noticed a pattern of speech recently. Now that I have, I can't not notice it.


The pattern first caught my attention while listening to a TV anchor interview some newsworthy person.  I  then began listening for it in other interviews, and heard it at least once or twice in every single one.


It goes like this: 


Anchor: "Senator so-and-so, can you tell me why you abstained from that important vote?" 


Senator so-and-so: "Well, I just wasn't convinced that either side presented a compelling argument."


Anchor:  "So, you would abstain again if you were given a do-over?" 


Senator so-and-so: "Well, none of us can go back in time, but I think I would."


You saw it, right? Senator so-and-so began his answers to both questions with Well


It seemed completely unconscious and automatic, like saying "Bless you" when someone sneezes. 


I was curious and did some research. What I read confirmed my feeling that it was not a conscious choice on the part of the speaker; rather it's a verbal filler, akin to "um" or "uh." It allows the speaker a split-second to gather their thoughts before providing an answer (which shows how impressively fast our minds can work). 


Wondering whether this pattern appeared in casual conversation, I asked my husband a question: 


Me: "What year was the biggest turning point in your life?" 


Rob: "Well, that's hard to say. Maybe my senior year of high school." 


Bingo! I then asked him 8 more questions; none of which he answered beginning with Well. So I've decided it's a speech pattern that is more common in interview situations (televised or not)  where the interviewee is being judged on their answer.


Have fun listening for it!  




















Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Recent Posts

May 20, 2020

April 24, 2020

March 16, 2020

February 13, 2020

Please reload

Please reload

Please reload

Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square

© Copyright 2018  |  Your Words Your Story LLC.  |  All rights reserved.

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon