Ya Know What I Mean?

“And this one here, this one we’ve got loads of in stock; ya know what I mean?”

There it was again, grating.

The motorsports salesman continued his spiel, hands gesturing and mouth sideways-smirking. Every now and again, he’d slip that phrase at the end of a statement -not in the same pattern, no. He couldn’t even alleviate my senses that way.

See, I’m bothered by repetition. Maybe you’re not. Maybe in sixth grade, you could have sat through your classmate’s reading her report aloud with an, “And, um” announcing each new paragraph. As she became more and more nervous, the phrase increased to lead each line. Then, she stuttered it after every pause.

Maybe you like “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

Instead of reflecting on irritants, however, my mind wandered to a mirror: what am I doing, perhaps unconsciously, that drives others up the wall?

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

I know of one thing. I know because of others’ comments and because of my own instincts. I wrestle with years of childhood shyness and mumbling and such to just LOOK PEOPLE IN THE EYE when speaking.

Much of my conversational behavior irritates me. I know I couldn’t stand a recording of myself; I’d spend the entirety of it regretting this gesture or that head flip or ugh; was that what I thought smiling looked like?

Not that I am recommending harsh criticism of oneself. Rather, I wonder what habits you’ve noticed in yourself. Did another person have to point it out for you?

What sorts of amusing or irritating idiosyncrasies have you seen in others? Will you write a character based on them -if ya know what I mean?


Here’s last week’s recap:
Tuesday, January 11: Updated y’all with “The First-Ever 2022 Blog Update!

ALSO!! Matt of A Prolific Potpourri has been doing audio performances of my Wilhelmina Winters series. He does them once a month for Short Story Saturday and they are excellent. Go listen!!

©2022 Chel Owens

29 thoughts on “Ya Know What I Mean?

  1. that’s easy for me; ‘that’s lovely’ I say to a little anecdote by Marge or Lynne but the phrase annoys the hell out of my buddy , Ted; I try to pull myself up short everytime I hear it coming, but somehow it gets out 🙂

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  2. Love this. Short and sweet, but full of meaning.

    Some things that grate me are the common things people say but really aren’t true. Like, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” OR “You deserve it!” AS IF we need to earn rest or pleasure. I also can’t stand it when people use large words in the wrong context.

    One thing I do often which annoys the life out of me is that I start using an idiom, but then forget the wording of it so I say them wrong! LOL! The other day I said, “The proof is in the pancakes.” Only to realize afterwards that I sounded like a complete IDIOT!

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    1. 😀 😀 Your idiom mis-use is adorable. A character in The Mysterious Benedict Society has that foible as well.

      I’m with you on your irritants, too!


  3. One of the things that I hear young people use that I find annoying is the overuse of some words like “dawg.” They like to attach it to the end of names like “Rob-Dawg” or at the end of sentences. “You know what I’m sayin’, dawg?”

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  4. My husband says the phrase “ya know” every three words.. it DRIVES ME UP THE WALL! He turns what should be a 3-minute conversation into a 10-minute chat sesh… I feel for the people on the other line … also sometimes he likes to explain the history of something before giving me a simple yes or no answer … why?? lol I have no clue! lol

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  5. I have discovered, Chel, that the way to happiness with recordings of yourself or even live television broadcasts to the nation, is NEVER, EVER to watch them. That why, you don’t know if you said um or did anything wrong and it doesn’t bother you. I never watch my YT recordings. I know if I made a small mistake or two, but I usually just live with them and don’t worry about it.

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