Thursday, March 12, 1998 at 03:56:47

Regarding Filled Pauses in internet chat, I've noticed I have a tendency to consciously type them in when communicating with friends.  For that matter, your comment about women using FPs to defuse the appearance of assertiveness rings true:  I've noticed in situations, both live and on line, when I want to correct someone else's statement of factual error, I WILL preface it with "Um, er, well, you know..."   Age-wise, I'm a "veteran" of the so-called Women's Movement of the late 60's-early 70's-etc., so spent my childhood being socialized to be sweet, polite, and self-effacing, and my late adolescence/early adulthood attempting to teach myself to be firm and assertive.  It's not easy?  You know?

- ND

I've been getting a lot of feedback from women who find some truth in the notion of gender differences in the use of FPs (filled pauses).  In my own research I have found something slightly different.  All the subjects in my study (both men and women) used more FPs and other speech hesitations when they were being more assertive.   It is apparently a useful means of mitigating the potential impact of one's assertions.

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