Sunday, January 24, 2010

Common English words spoken by the English

A couple of days back, after watching an interview conducted on BBC, I couldn't help but notice the interviewee kept on repeating the words 'you know'. Granted that this is a personal speech habit but I wonder what are the most commonly words used by English. That's what happen if you watch too much TV.

I tried listing down some of them within a 140 character tweet and asked for some suggestions at the same time. Here's the finalised list,

1. Sorry

2. Brilliant

3. Absolutely

4. Literally

5. Thank you (fine, two words here but still)

6. Indeed

7. Really

@enkemeniel quickly replied and suggested two

K sent me a message and contributed

Read from somewhere that one could tell much about a people by the common words used. If that's true,  English would characterized as a polite people, full of conviction, love their poison and hate their weather.

Would you agree with that? Or have I missed out any words?

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*lynne* said...

Teeheehee I like this post! :)

I noticed that my then-bf, a Malaysian enamoured with his life at Warwick, always used "sorry?" in the context of "Huh? repeat what you just said?"... to my horror I found myself imitating him, and unfortunately it's still with me even now. I find it a little disconcerting, because I'm not literally sorry, y'know? :D But anyway, so "sorry" is something I strongly associate with British politeness.

p/s I musta missed the fact that you tweet too! I just added you to my followees :)

Anonymous said...

haha. That's funny 'sorry' is number one.

I also get thrown by 'alright' as in 'you alright' 'alright' and also 'innit'.

I think a lot of you English women use the word 'like' a lot as a substitute for 'um'. I know I've picked up that habit. Although I guess lots of Western people (ie Canadians, Irish, American) use 'like'.

Nora Din said... celebrity that I am a huge fan of...BOY GEORGE have this habit of ALWAYS using YOU KNOW at the end of his sentences in his interviews. Check this out on YouTube and you will know what I mean. Also, another thing I noticed about the English is they like to end their sentences with question related to the topic of what they just said.
For example :-

"He would say that, wouldn't he??"
(Ok this quote was made famous by Mandy Rice-Davies of the Profumo Scandal fiasco back in the early 60s to imply someone is lying)

"She just came back from a holiday, didn't she?"

"It's right around the corner, isn't it??"

"Bloody awful weather today, isn't it?"

Well you get the idea.

Another very English phrase is ....

"Would you like a cup of tea??"

etc etc....

I miss England already......*sigh!*

kyh said...

I'm glad to know that the list doesn't include the oh-so popular F word. It's so common these days, esp among youths!

FĂ«anor said...

If you are in the habit of listening to market makers and brokers, you'll soon realise that they use the word 'obviously' far too often. Everything is obvious to them, and that's why they get all the bonuses!

C K said...

Sorry? is an all emcompassing word really. You can't fault anyone who keeps on apologising to you even though it's quite clear that he/she isn't the slightest apologetic. :)

See you on Twitter Land then!

Hmm, I'm not sure I got what you meant by substituting 'um' for 'like'... you mean at the start of a conversation or merely to fill gaps?

Hey, the complimentary tea offer is still open if you drop by London.

Haha, I totally get what you're trying to say. There is a certain charm in the language itself, isn't it? :)

Haha, that'll be a certain Mr. Ramsay.

Looks like I have use more of that word obviously. Otherwise, it wouldn't be obvious to my boss that everything is so obvious to me. They should obviously hand me a huge bonus this time round.

I am obviously in need.

Ok, that's obviously overdoing things a bit.