Why do people speak like this?

  Sapins 15:30 16 Nov 2016
Locked

Just watched an "expert" talking about computer security and i could not believe how many times he interjected with "eh or erm".

There are many more er or erm users on TV and radio.

  john bunyan 15:36 16 Nov 2016

At last a post on speakers corner- "If you don't use it you'll lose it" ! Other annoying bits in broadcasts include "you know what I mean" , "Like" and starting a sentence with "So,"

  Belatucadrus 16:27 16 Nov 2016

"It's a big ask"

Ask is a verb it has no dimensions, there are no excuses for mangling the English language so badly. At list erm that's what I you know feel like innit.

  Forum Editor 16:51 16 Nov 2016

Come on....

Give these people a break. How many times have you appeared on TV? Being an expert in computer security doesn't mean you have to also be able to speak confidently and smoothly in a TV interview. I have not appeared on TV, but I have twice been interviewed on BBC radio - about internet security - and I can confirm that it can be a bit of an unnerving experience.

  Belatucadrus 16:59 16 Nov 2016

Maybe he should have done a Power-point presentation. Added some nice transition effects and a bit of Musak to give it that polished "Expert" look ?

  Forum Editor 17:00 16 Nov 2016

Belatucadrus

'A big ask' is a classic example of adapting English usage to good advantage. It's an expressive term, and beautifully describes a situation. I'm all for it, because it says something succinctly - it's far better than the slightly more cumbersome 'It's a lot to ask'.

I'm usually among the first to defend the purity of our language, but I don't believe in doing it in an uncompromising way. The language is robust enough to absorb lots of technical misuse, in fact it is often enriched by it.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:02 16 Nov 2016

PPPPP

Proper preparation prevents poor perfomance.

Very difficult to do something straight off the cuff and appear professional. Interviews are nerve racking at the best of times.

  bumpkin 18:56 16 Nov 2016

Do they not rehearse this sort of interview first and edit it?

  Forum Editor 19:12 16 Nov 2016

bumpkin

Sometimes (not always) TV interviews are pre-recorded. One of my radio interviews was recorded in a studio and post-edited. The interviewer was miles away, and spoke to me via headphones. When I heard myself on the broadcast, I sounded OK because they had removed any pauses or fumbled words. The other interview was live. I found the live one a little daunting, because you only get one chance - I didn't really know what the next question was going to be, although I had been briefed on the broad outline the day before.

I think that in the main, audiences understand if you don't come over as a totally confident speaker. With luck, they are more interested in the content than the delivery. When I watch TV correspondents being interviewed on the news broadcasts I feel for them. They often appear to lose their own thread, and have to waffle a little to get themselves back on track.

We're all human, and capable of making mistakes.

  rickf 22:22 16 Nov 2016

I hate politicians saying "What people want is...." as if they somehow have a crystal bowl. What an assumption????

  bumpkin 22:29 16 Nov 2016

I don,t think that I would very confident on a live one either. It is very easy to say something one minute then wished you had rephrased it later.

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