I stole this from Ed Gonzales who put up this clip from Steve Farber's blog:
Actually, I do believe there are other uses for these terms. For instance, when I say "you know" or "you know what I'm saying," I'm searching the face of the person I'm conversing with, seeking to see whether they understand and/or agree. If not, I'll rephrase the statement. And I use "like" more than I should, but it is often instead of "for instance," "nearly," "almost," "resembling somewhat" or "approximately." It's like, kinda the same thing. You know? No. Okay, let me put it another way...
I also use it instead of "uh" as a time filler in my sentences. As I'm searching for the words to say exactly what I mean, I say "like." It is no better, possibly worse than "uh." But I do it. When I haven't started speaking yet, I say "How shall I phrase this?" This drives some people crazy. But then, if I say nothing as I'm thinking of exactly how to phrase it, they generally assume that I'm going to say something bad or negative.
My father uses "and" repeatedly as a time filler. I do wonder if he does it for the same reasons as me. Then again, I've never asked. Maybe I should.
I don't speak at the same rate at which I think. I do read at that speed, which tends to make people assume I'm lying, speed-reading, or skimming. I usually think very, very fast, and on multiple topics at once. This makes it somewhat difficult to converse, as I'm probably finished with one thought and on another entirely by the time I finish a sentence. I have to keep circling back to the sentence in my head.
This sometimes. Leads to strange. Almost... Shatner-like rhythms. Inmyspeechpatterns.
I've never really done a great deal of public speaking. I wonder sometimes if I'd be any good at it, or terrible! I don't get stage fright at all, and I don't get nervous. Those are usually the main liabilities for public speakers. But I come with (probably unique) liabilities of my own!
Speech is a very, very fascinating thing. On the one hand, it must evolve. On the other, some branches of evolution should not be protected as endangered, but merely allowed to die. Like the dinosaurs, or the woolly mammoth, or "Ebonics." You know?