11 July 2007

"A SORT OF...", "A KIND OF...", and "YOU KNOW..."

These three figures of speech and predictable affectation can be found most annoyingly and excessively in overly educated persons in urban centers trying to impress others with their intellectual process. Frequency of their use correlates directly to the degree of abstract bullshit that the speaker is trying to pass off as profound thought.

The British present this complex more often than most.

For example:

(read aloud with thumb and forefinger pinching nose closed)

"It's a sort of allusion to a, you know, asymptomatic experience of a sort of hypochondriacal reaction."


"I think the piece could best be explained as a sort of 'running forward through nothing.' A kind of, you know, sort of unparalleled experience that sort of signals a sort of 'coming through.'"

...or some other bullshit.

One might argue that these are just linguistic reposes, during which a speaker might be pausing in order to gather the precise language with which to express his thought. I think it's a bunch of pretentious malarkey, an affectation employed to produce a certain air of pseudosophistication.

Or rather, a kind of, sort of pseudosophicated air.

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