Wednesday, April 27, 2016

People who don' their sentences

I've always been an impatient git and these days find myself increasingly irked when people don't finish the sentence they are speaking.

You know what I mean. Someone's talking and then they um and err and suddenly the sentence is left dangling, waving its nouns, verbs and participles in thin air.

I have an image of unfinished sentences floating aimlessly around our house just under the ceiling in a cloud of words and letters, as my husband G is a chronic non-finisher of sentences.

I wonder sometimes whether he's getting early onset Alzheimers or whether there's just too much going around in his head, as he's under a lot of pressure with his job. I'm sure he completed his sentences most of the time when I first met him.

I do have the odd problem myself. I lose nouns. I can't think of the exact noun I want to say or write; usually the name of a flower or something. Then I'll um or err. But I'm nothing like G.

He'll be lounging against the kitchen cupboards while I'm making dinner - and why he has to lounge against the exact bloody cupboards I'm always opening to get pots, pans and plates out I don't know - and chatting away to me, then a sentence will drift, incomplete, into the ether.

I wait for it to resume, but it doesn't. I wait and wait. I feel like snapping, "Oh, finish the bloody sentence!" I try not to show my impatience; I keep the same expression on my face, but inside I'm gritting my teeth.

It's easy for sentences to drift into nothing in English. In German, you have to think about your sentence before you utter it, as the verb at the end of the sentence you will put.

G's a great one for umming and erring too. That's not quite as irritating as not finishing a sentence, or listening to someone pepper their speech with 'like' every few words, however.

Am I the only one annoyed when people don't finish what they are saying?  Or do you also find it um... ?

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