Article Empty Speech


As I was walking into work this morning, I heard a student say 'This is me talking.' Bizarrely, he didn't follow it up with anything. It seemed to me the ultimate in phatic speech- utterly meaningless.

In conversations nowadays, I often see a tendency for turn-taking and comprehension checks to reach such a level that communication is minimal. Is it a sign of ageing, or is the sentence above meaningless unless some more speech is reported (the speaker had been silent prior to this, so it wasn't referring backwards).

Categories: Speaking Out



Was your student talking to anybody or was he talking to himself? "'This is me talking", like "I am saying this" does seem to be the ultimate in stating the obvious. There is an expression, "This is me you are talking to", which is a way for someone to say he can't be taken in (fooled) easily, but that requires a certain context, and, of course, it is not the same thing at all.


He was speaking to another, but he just stopped. I rather got the feeling that he felt the need to say something at that stage, but had nothing to say. ;-)

This person he was talking to, was he talking to him/her in person or on the phone? If it is on the phone, was if the person called him, asked if it that was him, and then right after he said it was him talking the person hung up on him?

In person, which was struck me as strange. ;-)

I suppose he could've meant : " This is my opinion". But as he had been totally silent previously and not having refered to something said before, I suppose he has gone mad or something. Or he just likes to talk to himself , like I do sometimes, but always in English so as to practice. :)

I think he was just saying something to fill a space and had nothing to say afterwards. talking to yourself is a good way to practise a language. ;-)

I think I received a few emails from your student... ;)

Leave a comment