Up to Eight Percent of Everything We Say Is—Ummm—Filler

The New York Times reviewed Michael Erard’s new book “Um…” this morning. Among the, er, highlights:

“The average person will commit somewhere between 7 and 22 slips of the tongue each day and from two to four times a day will struggle, for an embarrassing length of time, to find the right word or name.

“It only gets worse. As the years go by, speech reverts to childhood levels of disfluency, with more pauses, more errors, more repeated words, but even the peak years are not great: up to 8 percent of the average person’s word output consists of meaningless fillers and placeholders like um, uh and er.