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Fluency is one of the significant quality of the English language. It is a measure of smoothness or continuity rate of a speech. We often tend to add fillers intentionally or unintentionally during a conversation. A filler can be defined as a word or a sound used by a participant during a discussion to signal to others a pause to think without giving the impression of having finished speaking, for example, um, like, well, hmm, etc. All these words lead to the disruption of the speech.
Using fillers has become a habit of ever individual because everyone commonly uses all these words. I have monitored myself for two consecutive days, and I have deduced that in my conversations I am habitual of using fillers. For my first day I have used fifty fillers, and on the second day, my count was of forty-five. I have used these words mostly in casual conversations with my friends. The first filler that I used was "hmm" when my friend asked that what you want for your lunch today? And I said hmm… let me think. Basically, this filler shows that person is currently speechless, but he or she is thinking that in what way they should answer the question. The other filler that I used was "umm." This filler is also used as a pause or getting time to think of the exact word that could perfectly describe the situation. The situation was that my friend and I tried a brownie from a bakery and I said these brownies are umm…so yummy. Next day my friend came to my home, and I said you know my neighbor has "like" ten dogs. Now in this sentence "like" is a filler obviously, my neighbor does not have exactly ten dogs but "like" filler is used when we are exaggerating the situation to catch the attention of the readers. These were the common fillers that I used a lot in these two days. In casual conversations, there is none to rectify the words that we use hence they become our habit or part of our daily speech.
On the second day, I made up my mind not to use fillers in my casual conversations but unfortunately, whenever I encountered any situation unintentionally the first word from my mouth was "umm." Hence, I thought to myself that I should come up with some effective steps to get rid of my habit of using fillers. The first step was to analyze the situations in which fillers were frequently used so that I could work on those first. My analysis was completed in the two days, and for improving my speech, I started to follow a technique of slowing down. Whenever a situation comes up like my friend asking where you want to go tonight? Before saying any word, I take a moment to think and structure my answer first in my mind and then conveying it to my friend. This technique helped me a lot, and I started to manage the use of fillers in my casual conversations.
Pausing during the conversation has proved to be the best remedy in reducing the use of fillers. Whenever I felt that I am about to say a word like "umm, ah, huh, or hmm" I took a pause and rethought the sentence in my mind. It is better to replace filler words with silence. Participants use these words to show their full engagement in a conversation or a discussion, but these words cause disfluency or disruption in the flow of the speech.
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