Friday, February 20, 1998 at 00:50:11
Um, I found your site very interesting. I, uh, especially agreed with the "conversational turn" reason for FPs, as that is the reason that uh I think I usually use them. The comment about why women might use them may also be relevant. I also think I use FPs at the beginning of conversation to make sure the listener has started listening - so he doesn't miss the first few words of my sentence.
It does appear that the two most common uses (which overlap to a degree) of FPs (filled pauses) is to stall for thinking time or to manage conversational turns either at the end or the beginning (as you pointed out) of a turn. I confess, though, that I am rather hesitant to support the notion of gender differences in FP use especially as a means of showing non-assertiveness. In the current social climate some might view it as politically incorrect. However, I hypothesize that if such differences once existed they may be disappearing with the vast social changes that have occurred in the last three decades.
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