I remember a time when “Umm” or “Uh” were the worst things I could utter in front of my English teacher.
Today’s social and business climates are largely governed by intelligent people who have cast aside their childhood habits and do their best to never utter the U-word. Unfortunately, our human nature of needing a break while still desiring to maintain verbal control of the narrative hasn’t gone away. Instead, its been replaced by an equal (perhaps greater) auditory annoyance that pretends as if the listener and speaker are in alignment, when in reality agreement has never been established.
Right has filled the gap when “authoritative” folks are looking to gain agreement, but can’t allow their statement to stand on its own. Its used when a pause would be acceptable but when the speaker wants assure they’re in command. Its a verbal tick for someone who doesn’t care about others opinions. Its used when one is unsure but wants to sound like the world’s foremost expert. Its used to belittle.
Is this important? Maybe yes, maybe no. But if you’re speaking to me, don’t assume I’m in agreement until I say the R-word.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s).