It’s quite amusing – at the moment, in the UK, we’ll often see people being interviewed on TV, and hearing things like Look! Boris Johnson is an asshole, or Look! Boris Johnson is Superman, or Look! Boris Johnson is somewhere in the middle. (Maybe that last one not so much!) Look! Pay attention!

Somewhat surprisingly, it seems to have become fashionable among politicians.

Er, anybody who is watching the interview already is paying attention! It is not a big thing, but something I find amusing – seeing the clichés, the little fillers people use to allow their brain to catch up with their mouth.

For years, I remember y’know, and I associate it particularly with footballers, tunnel interviews, although that is probably unfair to footballers!

My daughter uses one cliché after another, she strings them together to the point where they trip naturally off her tongue. You listen to the sentence, you analyse it, you realise that every word is a cliché, and that she hasn’t actually said anything. At one stage, she would prefix her sentences with I’m not being funny, but… I would mischievously interject by saying something along the lines I’m glad you’re not being funny, because this is a serious subject. Slapped legs.

The French have a habit, something I often did myself as my brain was searching for the correct word in what was, after all, a foreign language. A tiny “er….” – just enough to let somebody know that you might be having a pause, but that you haven’t finished speaking completely yet. I hear it in English too, sometimes.

And it is true that you need special skills. Years ago I went on a public speaking course, and it does indeed take training to make the listener think that you have a constant, uninterrupted train of thought. So I appreciate that good TV presenters are more than just eye candy.

But I’ll bet footballers don’t go on such courses. Or politicians, it seems.

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed large IT systems, interrupted by a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Now mix development of health-related software with voluntary work and writing. Married, with an estranged daughter.

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