The “you know” verbal virus plague

Posted: August 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

“You are the one you are looking for.” Richard Rubacher

The verbal virus of saying “you know” has afflicted Hollywood stars like Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman; the irritating “you know” has infected the movie mogul Quentin Tarantino. Tennis luminaries like Roger Federer and Andy Murray have succumbed to the verbal virus. 

The prodigious Deepak Chopra is infected with the scourge. 

Ordinary people are plagued by the “you know” syndrome. Watch any interview on CNN or BBC. The interviewee will invariably spout the virus. 

Kevin Spacey, the star of American Beauty, night club entertainer and master impressionist. was the guest on August 7, 2010 on CNN’s “Talk Asia” hosted by the charming Angelina Rao. Here’s an example of the exchange with the CNN hostess. Kevin, “I love imitating Bill Clinton, you know. When he was President he told me his throat hurt and he could not speak, you know. He asked me to do the speech for him. (Kevin did a remarkable two-sentence impression of Clinton.) “The President told me to forget it, as I was better than him, you know.” 

Roger Federer after his loss in the 2010 Wimby quarterfinals. “My back was hurting, you know.” “I was also playing with a leg injury, you know.” “You know, I can beat the big hitters when I’m 100% fit.” 

Andy Murray, when interviewed any time, any place, any where: “You know, my play is erratic at times.” “I’m looking forward to the US Open later this month, you know.” 

Terrell Owens, the star receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, is unable to put together two sentences where “you know” is absent. 

Anderson Cooper, the master commentator and host of the popular TV show, has the verbal virus. Watch his impromptu comments on his CNN show. When reading from prepared text he does not spout “you know.” But adlibbing is a different story. As he too cannot mind his mind. Most of his guests and interviewees spout the irritating and contagious “you know.” Even guests interviewees of non-English speaking language use the irritating words. It’s a global disaster. 

When engaged in a conversation, notice how many times your friend/lover/family member says “you know.” Gently remind him or her that he or she has the verbal virus. Since the virus is a habit, the person will not know he or she has been contaminated. 

What to do about ending the global verbal virus that is soooo irritating to listen to? Your suggestions are welcomed.


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