I learned today that there is Toastmasters karma. Our world was much more peaceful and quiet before, when we were blissfully oblivious, but that ship has long sailed away. Once we become Toastmasters, filler words and inappropriate interjections like “ah,” “um,” “er,” and “you know” began to haunt us. We can’t help but count those crutch words during interviews, presentations, and even the Academy Awards. Those words are especially evil for me as speaker of English as a second language. If the speaker uses too many crutch words, my focus gets misdirected and my comprehension level decreases tremendously.
filler words
Yesterday was one of those days. Somebody started talking to me on the street.

“Excuse me, I’m a psychic, you know that?”
Although I understood that it was one of the crutch words, I could not help but wonder why I would know that she was a psychic. While I was pondering, she continued to talk, and every time she said “you know that?” I would say to myself in my mind, “I know what?”

“Blah, blah, blah, you know that?” (I know what?)
“Blah, noise, blah, you know that?” (I know what?)

Seriously, I couldn’t hear anything that she said other than, “you know that?”

Karma, you know that?