Word Count

What follows is my report of a television news piece on a major network, which shall go nameless, transcribed from a paper bag which had only moments before contained an affordable bottle of Malbec.

  • Six minute long segment on World Affairs.
  • Panel of 5 ‘experts’ (insert derisive snort here).
  1. Uhh‘ was used 126 times.
  2. Y’know‘ was used 161 times.
  3. Obviously‘ was employed 14 times.
  4. I, I, I, I” was employed as a rash inducing interruption 6 times, all by the same grating person.

161010172158-baldwin-head-in-hands-large-169Surprisingly, not every single statement began with, ‘So…’, or at least not in this particular segment.

They did use ‘I mean…’ to begin their answers a few times, though. Usage of this really ought to indicate they’re re-iterating or clarifying a point, but you can’t in fairness reiterate while simultaneously iterating for the first time, can you? Can you?

Additional detail for “Y’know”: Here is an example, transcribed for full effect. “Y’know, it’s like, mmm, y’know, the State…Uhhh, y’know, State Departmentis like soooo, y’know, uhhh, AFRAID, of, y’know, like saying something, y’know…ahh….WRONG(?)”

Author’s note: Bracketed question mark indicates uptalk. Underlined text indicates ‘vocal fry’.

I felt illuminated by this in-depth coverage. I wondered how it is that, even with all this intellection and elucidation at our fingertips, world affairs are still going down the toilet. So…..it’s like, a mystery, y’know?



Photo Credits:
Kathryn Johnson Collection AP ::
Ed Murrow ::
Neil Macdonald :: CBC.CA



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