Adventures & Insights

One man's adventures in the physical and intellectual worlds…

Please Explain – or Whatever…

I was going to write a pet peeves post, but instead thought I’d post this in light of the past couple of days. In particular, because both yesterday and today I had two humourous experiences that both flowed in a very similar way.

Have you ever found yourself laughing on the inside at people who are supposed to be professionals or who initiate a conversation to demonstrate their knowledge about something quite particular, only to find that they use the phrase “or whatever” an awful lot?

Being the kind of person I am, I will always listen to someone talk about a subject that they are interested in, or specialize in or seem to be quite intent on telling you about. I just find it really funny when these people start talking, and before too long they’re ending most of their sentences with “or whatever”.

Yesterday I was on the bus on the way home and these three students hop on and sit down in seats adjacent to me. Well, two sit down and one of the guys is standing in the aisle.

I’m minding my own business and the guy who’s standing up starts talking about reprogramming the Red or Blue Pokemon game to get some kind of sweet Pokemon. Well not reprogramming exactly, but using a cheat. So anyway, he starts explaining it, telling his friend that he has to go visit this particular trainer in this particular part of the game, and then once he’s had the trainer teach him how to catch Pokemon he’s got to travel to this other place and basically get stuck in the gym door. This causes a problem with the game programming “or whatever” because the Pokemon you catch are coded from a hash table that relies on the trainer’s previous instruction “or whatever”, and each patch of grass has a seperate entry in the hash table “or whatever”, and the Pokemon that is generated is random based on the hash table “or whatever”, but if you do visit the trainer then get stuck in the door then the codes are the same “or whatever” and you get this one kind of Pokemon… Unfortunately it was my stop then and I didn’t get the chance to hear the rest of the conversation. 😦

Today we had one of our specialists hold an information session explaining one of our processes that is currently undergoing update and modification. The “or whatever” monster reared its ugly head about halfway into the meeting and the end result was (in my opinion at least) quite hilarious.

I don’t mean to make fun of these people. Rather, I find it interesting and funny to notice how sometimes these “filler phrases” seem to hijack a conversation once they’re unleashed.

Maybe the first guy got nervous while he was talking. Maybe he felt like he was talking over his friends heads and getting too technical and tried to reign himself in. Maybe the second guy was thrown by the question and tried to encompass a larger, more general view in his answer. Whatever the reason, these poor souls soon found themselves drowning in “whatever”. I know I say the word “cool” WAY too much in my conversations. I’m working on cutting back, but it’s one of those things that is easy to just keep doing.


2 responses to “Please Explain – or Whatever…

  1. OpentoAdventure August 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Hahaha, I know what you mean! It seems that whenever you realise you’re saying something too much and you try to stop yourself, the word just gets its back up and comes out more frequently!

    When I was teaching in Japan, I talked about this in class once and in an attempt to ease up on saying “cool” I asked one of my regular students to give me another word to say instead. The class thought it was absolutely hilarious when I started saying “funny” instead of “cool” – but it certainly helped me stop saying it as much!


  2. Meg August 25, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    lol, I found a while back that during conversations with clients I’d say “Basically” a lot.
    After a while I found myself trying not to say it and end up saying it more, it’s like saying “like” basically 🙂

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