I have been noticing the insertion of “kinda” and “you know” into too many speech patterns lately. “Kinda” is useful because it tempers whatever you’re about to say so it doesn’t offend anyone. Avoiding making a definitive statement is usually the safest way to go. But it undermines what you’re saying precisely because you’re choosing not to take a stand on an issue.
“You know” is just a placefiller, like “um.” In fact, one of my co workers has shortened it to just a vowel-based syllable. “Yoo-uh” or something like it. That, combined with his ND-male propensity for not enunciating his words enough, makes it more noticeable.
Maybe we need a National Swear Jar, but instead a National Non-Important Words and/or Phrases Jar. Then we’d pay down our ridiculous debt in under a year!