This is the blog I jumped. I apologize, but I need to look at BeakSpeak’s Fill-theSpace Chase’s language issues, so I’m going to post it now.
The tiny cockerel, Chase, has real problems speaking to anyone in the book. Because they are so much larger than he is, they intimidate him and, thus, make him nervous enough to insert empty words and sounds when he has thought pauses. It is an unfortunate issue that occurs among many people, no matter their size, and, therefore, deserves addressing. You shouldn’t have any trouble recognizing the examples I’ve incorporated into the following text, even if you haven’t read the book – yet. 🙂
Sometimes when Shelly would, like, come to the farm with the boys, we would, you know, go cat fishing at a nearby pond. Shel is quite a fisher woman, you know what I mean, but the boys would compete with her anyway. She would, like, drop her line in a spot where nobody would dream you could snag a fish and, uh, catch one anyway. She’d say, “come over here, Dill,” or, like, “try this spot, Justin,” but all to no avail. Everywhere she would go, you know, she’d catch a fish. Dillon and Justin would, like, catch one occasionally. Shelly and I were jubilant when they did, you know , no matter the size.
Justin didn’t scratch, either.
The “long and the short of it is” (cliche), whatever was caught, uh, we were frying fish for dinner. My job, then, was to see to it that everyone’s gear was, like, working properly, you know, and that hooks were removed quickly, that all had fun and that we ended up with a good stringer.
It was about this time that I, uh, gave up on Poppin’ Jenny, or, rather, that she, like, completely gave out on me. I still had cattle and a horse to hay, you know what I mean, so I had to buy another tractor. I also decided, to, like rent out my RV space to a friend for, uh, her trailer and bit of spare cash.
When Justin was around, he would, like, check and change the oil in the tractor for me and, you know, see to other mechanical issues. Mechanics was his forte; he received, like, a two- year degree in it at UTI in Houston.
This was also the time I, uh, added two rooms onto the back of the house. It apparently disturbed a huge nest of scorpions, with which I had trouble from that time forward, you know what I mean? I discovered I am, like, highly allergic to spiders and scorpions, you know what I’m saying, and made a number of trips to the emergency clinics because of them. In fact, I, uh, practically lived on prednisone and antibiotics, you know, until I left the farm in 2012. I couldn’t keep them out of the house, you know, no matter how many time I, like, had professional exterminators there. Scorpions would even, like, fall from the ceiling onto my bed at night!
Unfortunately, BeakSpeak’s Fill-the-Space Chase’s speaking habit of using empty words and sounds are, at the very least, irritating, and, at most, disruptive to the flow of his train of thought. What’s worse is that it is contagious. Look at all the athletes interviewed on TV before, during, and after an event, game, or whatever it is in which they are participating, and you’ll see what I mean. Yes, some of them are searching their brains for the words they want to express about how well or poorly they played, why a play was run, why they did or did not do what they were supposed to do, etc., but why not stay silent until the words come to them? We wouldn’t judge them poorly for it. In fact, I would applaud them. Instead, they make me wade through the ums, ers, and you know what I’m sayings until I can finally understand what it is they intend to say. I contend that much of it is habit. With some athletes, it seems a cultural right of passage: you get interviewed, you can dictate however you want to replay the events.
I have nothing against athletes. I was one myself, but I don’t recall responding to interviews like that. I think all role models, whether they want to be one or not, should be just that, in every way they can possibly be. Speak correctly, act properly and strive to better themselves and their communities. I’m no Ms. Manners trying to impose my values onto others; I’m just saying that, when you are a role model, you are responsible to those who look up to you, especially the youth.
BeakSpeak’s Fill-the-Space Chase is just a fictional caricature, but he has his real-life doubles. I can make him overcome his nervousness through Ms. Goldspeak, but the real-life doubles have to summon up their own courage and challenge themselves to overcome this impediment, either alone or with the help of speech specialists.