Bunch Of Fives – Radged-Packet: Favourite filler words | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Believe us when we say that Radged-Packet is the thing you need right now. Described as “two blokes who have decided to have their midlife crisis in the form of a podcast”, the weekly podcast is hosted by musician David Saunders (and NARC.’s web guru) and graphic designer (and winner of Family Fortunes) Paul Burgess, who discuss such varied topics as 80s movies, posh comedians, sex in graveyards, ‘Nerfing the sadness away’ and paranormal investigations. With loose themes, bucketloads of hilarity and a tonne of heart, Radged-Packet makes for a much-needed diversion. Here, David reveals some of his favourite linguistical tropes…

Listen to Radged-Packet through various outlets

When you edit your own podcasts repeatedly, you begin to realise just how rubbish you are at speaking. In particular you begin to acknowledge the amount of filler words that clutter up your sentences and make you sound like a Little Britain sketch. However, in time, you grow to love them and realise that they shape your adorable little idiolect, which your mum wouldn’t change for the world. Here’s five of those little linguistical scamps that adorn my every line….

Like – It’s a word filled with warm and positive connotations that I enjoy popping in conversations when I need to slot some passive, but pleasant, single syllable words in a sentence to maintain the pace of conversation. Also, it’s ideal for those, like myself, who are less concise. If you can’t think of a word but know of something with a similar definition, then use it paired with a ‘like’ and keep doing it until you triangulate and hone in on your intended semantic position.

Erm – If used incorrectly you can sound like a bumbling old fool, however once you’ve mastered this filler word then you can sound all contemplative and in control. Use it to pace the conversation by holding the ‘r’ sound and adding a bit of silence either side. If your mind has drawn a blank, then ‘erm’ offers a quick escape from the conversation and allows you to compose yourself and remember vital information that can give your next sentence some substance and bite… Or, if you are going for a bit of upper class geek chic to melt some hearts, then ‘erm’ with a RP accent can be used to devastating effect (see Hugh Grant in Four Weddings And A Funeral).

Sorta – This a new one for me and I think I’ve slipped it into my conversation to make certain sentences seem more palatable (e.g. I sorta think that you are a crank. I sorta find Ann Widdecomb attractive, etc), or I use it to demonstrate doubt in my conviction at times when I want to appear more humble (and in turn more engaging and approachable), or to set up others for a retorte, which can kickstart some scintillating debates.

Obviously – I love the confidence of this one. No room for debate, just pop it in the sentence to make it an absolute truth. The earlier in the sentence you can get this, the more potent it becomes, but be careful not to put it at the end, as it has the ability to make you sound a little condescending.

So – Said with a bit of gusto, whilst slightly holding the ‘o’, can allow you to pick up a point from earlier back in the conversation for a recap or a bit of extra analysis, but at the same time it can be equally as effective in closing then starting new chapters of chit-chat.


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