Sunday, February 27, 2011

Verbal tics

I like to make the dialogue in my books distinctive and interesting, so I’m a keen listener to what people say AND the way that I say it. I try to capture peoples’ verbal tics and give them to my characters.

Dave has a lot of verbal tics. They change over time. At present his favourite is to add “and stuff” to the ends of his sentences. Someone else in the family uses the word “obviously” a lot – often when it’s not obvious. One of my good friends frequently says “To be honest.”

I’ve been asking Dave for ages to spot my verbal tics, and he hasn’t been able to come up with any.

This morning he said “That’s a verbal tic of yours!”

“What is?”

How very odd,” he said. “You say How very odd, usually in situations when you’ve just been proved wrong about something.”

Me proved wrong? How very odd. 


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