Word-parasites, what they say about us

Word-parasites, what they say about us

First of all: "parasitism" is not so much the essence of the individual turns (in per se "as if" themselves or "in general" no big deal), and the frequent and inappropriate use. For example, French researchers particularly amusing parrot in a conversation the word "clear / clear". Because it is clear that the world certainly never was. Or "short", which raises questions about whether there will be further information important and interesting (why else would it be shortened?). "In quotes" - an expression of abolishing said first sense - another "favorite" of the sociologist, author of books about the language of Pierre Merle.

"This in itself is not new: in the" extra "words complained even Balzac, - says Merle. - However, in the present generation of this habit - a consequence of "radio and television syndrome": the silence in the air is not allowed, so a pause filled with a torrent of words. "

The emotional state (and not only)

Spontaneous speech, in principle, perfect. We think about how to develop your idea, we can not find the right words, trying to hide the ignorance of the subject, in the end, just worried. When we stop typing correspondence. When the oral communication, we use the fact that the English-speaking scientists called disfluencies.

"Oddly enough, if a pause is filled with silence, it looks even worse than if we fill her words-parasites or sounds like" uh-uh "," mm-m ", - says Maxim Krongauz linguist. - Their function is not in the sense of, and in structuring and completing the pause, the causes of which may be different. "

were popular in Soviet times, "means" and "so to speak." Current favorites - "as if" and "like"

Can I do without them? "Word-parasite necessary for us to overcome speech difficulties, and fight with them is pointless. Of course, if you do not put through the word "therefore" and "so to speak," because then it is a speech impediment hampering communication and annoying companion. "

Belonging to the generation era, social group

Once these words are only perceived as inept performance proficiency, errors, only complicates the perception of information. They were objects, unworthy of research attention and study. But over time it became clear that they should not be underestimated. For all its senselessness, they indicate our belonging to a particular social group, the generation era. For example, in Soviet times it was popular "mean" and "so to speak." Current favorites - "as if" and "like".

Word-parasites, what they say about us

and the first most people use the more educated, the second - less. They both talk about some uncertainty. But in unusual context for them, that is, when there is no uncertainty, lose their meaning. For example, "I am here as if live," - says about the apartment a person who lives in it exactly.


It happens and the individual word-parasite, which is not popular with a wide range of speakers, however, regularly slips from a single person (such as the famous "clear", so beloved by the famous politician) and may eventually "infected" with his listeners and interlocutors.

"Definitely," she emphasizes the speaker's confidence. And, on the contrary, insecure people use the "as if" more often than others, "- said Maxim Krongauz. But with unknown authors walk on the Internet note "Word-parasite give our secrets," he does not agree: "After all, the idea that they reveal our deep hidden quality is not very accurate. Rather, it is simply a bright touch to the portrait of our speech and characterization of the epoch, and the community to which we belong, and not our individual characteristics. "

Communication intentions

And do these words national characteristics? Since they are not recommended for use in dictionaries, they do not, we are not familiar with this part of foreign languages. In the English-speaking world a rare informal conversation complete without a palisade of "I mean" ( "ie", literally - "I mean") and "you know" ( "know / know").

"The similarities are quite a few, - says Maxim Krongauz - for example, our" like "is crossed with the English" like "(not in the sense of" like "). Although it is not known whether there is anywhere else analog "shorter". Where did these expressions, found out the American scientists: a cognitive psychologist, a specialist in psycholinguistics Gene Fox Three and a psychologist Joseph Schrock. "I mean" warns about upcoming refinements to the above, and "you know" is inviting the interlocutor to take part in the conversation (at least - to express agreement or disagreement). Such words are called discursive marker. They, too, are not used for the primary sense, and for the formation of conversational structure and warning speaker communicative intent. An example of a marker in the Russian language - "huh?".

"The form of this question, but the answer to it, we do not wait until not even pause to listen to something managed to insert, - says Maxim Krongauz. - Its function is to keep a person on a short leash, so he was more attentive. This "huh?" Makes a more dialogical monologue. "