To the Editor:

“Um.” Is that really a word? I think I have a phobia about it. For years I gave talks in front of assemblies and groups of people. When I started in the 1970s, my trainers and people I worked with never relied on “um” as a word. We were stopped and corrected if we used it.

So “um” is short for, “Just a minute---I’m thinking of what to say next.” If you use notes or off the cuff, just listen to other speakers. There are so many people who use this little saying.

I received a lot of training at home. My grandma and aunt and several cousins were teachers. English teachers, let’s pay attention and teach the children public speaking. Parents are #1 to listen to your little ones, too or do you use “um” also?

Believe me, I’m watching my own habits too in using “um.”


Ardythe Ryan  

Pine City

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