Put an End to Ineffective Sentence Bookends

A sentence bookend is a word or phrase at the beginning and/or end of a sentence often used to fill space, is often not necessary and is even distracting when used frequently.

I once worked with a guy who seemed to end every sentence with the word “right.” It quickly became annoying and pompous.

“Well, I think we should go to the movies instead, right?”

Personalizing a conversation by addressing a person by name can be effective, but don’t wear it out. No one wants to hear their name in three consecutive sentences. Be cautious using a first name without some type of introduction. Many find it offensive or at least off-putting – especially if there is a large age gap between the two in conversation.

“John, step out to the car and get the umbrella for me, please.”

The addition of emphasis provided by tone, pitch and inflection can add more negative punch to bookend words.

“But, you shouldn’t say things like that, you know what I mean?”

Occasionally use of such terms can be natural and unassuming. Repetitive use is down right distracting.  Increase your chance of effecting clear communication by being alert to the repetitive words or voice style you use to sandwich your statements and work to eliminate them. Not sure if you have any? Ask a friend or co-worker to help you identify and stop using them. Your communication skills will improve.


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