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There’s a New “Like” in Town

Posted February 6, 2014 by Marilu Hagen in Career Moves

It’s a pretty well known fact that teenagers and young adults are often caught saying “like” every few words when speaking. I assumed this would be something I would grow out of and have worked hard to try and eliminate it from my vocabulary. In the past year I have noticed a new speech filler, or rather a speech ender, that I hear from my peers around me.

Ladies and gentlemen, there’s a new “like” in town and it goes by “or whatever.”

I’ll admit it, I have used the “or whatever” and I cringe every time I hear myself say it. This recent phrase often appears in an instance such as the following: “I have experience with Excel creating expense reports, time charts, spreadsheets, or whatever.” Coming at the end of a sentence, “or whatever” is a way to indicate that you are not sure how to properly end a sentence or grasp everything you are trying to convey.

In an interview this can be detrimental to your chances of sounding intelligent and competent. The key is to fight the nerves and end every sentence with a confident statement. When preparing for an interview, as you have probably been told a million times before, make sure to have your answers ready to go in your head so as to avoid any unsure pauses or lapses in the conversation. Be wary of all speech fillers you may use in daily communication (i.e. “like”, “um”, “uh”, “well”, etc.) and try your best to moderate their appearances in conversations. Hopefully the “or whatever” is just a phase among myself and my peers and we will be able to overcome the uncertainty from which it stems.

About the Author

Marilu Hagen

Originally hailing from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, Marilu is currently a student the the University of Wisconsin-Madison and on track for graduating with a major in Communication Arts and minor in Integrated Liberal Studies. She is very excited to be one of the lucky summer 2013 interns for CGN and to gain experience as a marketing and public relations specialist for the company while bringing extra energy and positivity to the team. Her inspiration comes from powerful women working in the sports and entertainment industry and she has hopes to become one of these women herself as a sports agent or manager of team public relations. Marilu's favorite professional sport is ice hockey, having grown up with the Atlanta Thrashers, but her favorite sports team is the Atlanta Braves.