Drive-by Musing on Verbal Tee-Ups



I’m pretty sick of the Hawaii topic but since I spent over an hour transcribing the podcast yesterday, consider this a part 2. 

When I was transcribing, I had to re-listen to the Hawaii part a few times to get it exactly right.  I was thrown off by Sam using verbal tee-ups so much in within a paragraph of talking.  I’ve highlighted the below.

Sean: You’re stuck in Hawaii in this situation in this isolation, how on earth did you get to be there, filming work?

Sam:  “To be totally frank, those words being stuck in Hawaii doesn’t sound so bad, do they. <Kyle and Sean laugh.>  But I came here,yeah just before they still hadn’t implemented the travel ban. To be totally frank, I thought what better place to be stuck. Um, I’ve been here awhile,  I keep extending it, I’m a bit worried to go back to the UK to be honest, at the moment. You know, I think they are about to peak, so I’m going to try and sit it out another couple of weeks.  But, It’s a great place to be, you know there’s- I can’t complain at all.”

I was watching a little video on the Wall Street Journal site and the consultant said language researchers call them performatives or verbal qualifiers In every day language,  people call them tee-ups.  

“What they are telling us is that what’s coming after this initial phrase, what they are saying may not be good news and  it may not be perfectly honest.”

I worked as a freelance court reporter capturing testimony in depositions and witnesses were often instructed by their attorney to avoid using these qualifiers when testifying. I learned a lot about the study of dishonest behaviors in the years in my profession and there are quite a few in Sam’s podcast as Cb4tb explained. This is a very wordy way of saying I totally agree.😊

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