Um Vs Uh…How Where You Live Affects What You Say
We all use some sort of filler word when speaking. Whether you're nervous, forgot what you wanted to say or just need your brain to catch up with your mouth something comes out to buy you time. And apparently where you live can change what that something is.
I really don't know why these things get studied, but clearly they do because Quartz.com posted a recent finding from Dr Jack Grieve (a forensic linguist at Ashton University) who has given the world The Um/Uh Divide.
Oh yes, that is a breakdown of who says "um" versus who says "uh" and all sorts of statistics about them.
Again I think we can all agree that there are better things to be spending our time studying, but hey this happened and it's kind of interesting.
Seems men tend to say "uh" while women lean towards "um."
The map on Quartz's website also shows that folks living in the Northeast and Southeast corner of the US say "um" while those living in the Southwest and Central parts of the country say "uh."
As a woman living in New England I guess statistically I should be saying "um," and I think that I do. The theory for why people choose one version over the other is dialect or accents. So theroectically a Southern accent leans towards "uh" while a New England accent tends towards "um."
So do you ever stop and think of what your filler word is? Do these study finding seem accurate to you?