Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Mark Miyake of Abode of Amritas asks what the word "well" is doing in this sentence:

Well,* that wasn't Sean Kinsell's intention, but his words do describe the world view of...

I'm not sure what the technical term is for it, but I've always called them "throat-clearers". Words such as "like" or "well" or "ano", noises that are half-word and half-nonsense, like "er" and "um" and "ah". They're informal oral devices, which aren't technically supposed to be used in formal settings such as public speech or formal writing. Or at least, that's what I think they are.

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