I have a speech impediment. It is not a lisp, or a stutter, or a habit of swallowing letters or softening r's into aaahr's. I have a problem that can best be described as Angela Chase Syndrome.
Observe the affliction in action, will you?
Much like Angela Chase, I can not, like, get through like, a sentence, without like, adding the word like, about like 9 million times, or whatever. It has gotten to the point where I can't even type without adding "likes" into the sentences, in order to convey a proper speech pattern, a sense of timing, a type of personality or some such. "Like" is the worst of it, but it is not the only issue: "you know," "goes" (as in, "So she goes, blah blah,") and "right?" are all repeat offenders as well.
It can be a blessing and a curse: I tend to think in pictures, and it often takes me a second to catch up with my brain, so "like" and "you know" give me a few extra seconds to access the words to describe what I'm trying to say. But at the same time, I recognize that it doesn't appear that way on the outside: it often sounds like I'm 15 years old and like, kind of like, stupid, or something, you know?
I know I'm not alone on this one: the conversations I have with women my age are filled with likes, you knows, whatevers, etc. It just a normalized way of speaking at this point, though as I get older, I am starting to realize that speaking in Angela Chase mode is off-putting and irritating, to the point where I cringe as soon as a "like" or "you know" escapes my mouth. I suppose there are worse things one might have to deal with: the dreaded baby voice, for example, that leads so many women to begin a conversation with, "Hi-yeeee!" and end it with "Think yaaauwwww, mmmbyee! (thank you, bye)." And, of course, there's that obnoxious mode of speaking wherein people insist? Upon ending all of their sentences? In a question? Even though they aren't actually asking a question?
The best thing, I guess, that one can do to fight Angela Chase Syndrome is to just be aware of it and try, in the smallest ways, to work on it. A small voice is a sign of someone who is unsure of what they are saying; "likes" and "you knows" are hesitations, pauses from a stream of certainties. I am almost 30 years old. I should probably stick to saying the things I am sure of, and leave the "likes" and "you knows" behind.
Or whatever. You know.
What say you, commenters? Do you suffer from Angela Chase Syndrome? And is there any way to fix it?