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Verbal Tic Alarm

It's, like, a device to help me stop sounding, you know, stupid. So I'm like "I want one!"
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  [vote for,

I use the word "like" much too much when I'm speaking. I'd like to stop, because it makes me sound like a character from the movie "Clueless", but it's a hard habit to break. I don't even realize when I'm doing it. That's why I just created the Verbal Tic Alarm.

The handheld verbal tic alarm helps me break my bad verbal habit, by letting me know when I am using the offending word (or phrase). The VTA's high quality microphone hears every word I say, and its embedded speech recognition software recognizes the offending word whenever I say it. The VTA instantly alerts me with a gentle chime, allowing me to stop in mid-sentence and rephrase my thought without the offending term. If I am using the word "like" properly, I'll know it, and I'll simply ignore the alarm.

The VTA also has a counter which keeps track of how many times per day I use the word. This allows me to monitor my progress and motivates me to improve. Once I am down to zero times per day, it will be time to put it on eBay, so someone else can cure his verbal tic.

The speech recognition should be relatively simple, since the device has a vocabulary of one word. Before the user can start using the VTA, he has to "train" the speech recognition by speaking the problem word into it several times.

The base model can be trained to a single word or phrase. The deluxe model would be trainable to multiple simultaneous verbal tics. (Some popular ones: um, uh, well, sort of, kind of, actually, you know.)

Localization feature allows verbal tics in other languages to be trained away. Guaranteed to rid you of your verbal tic in 28 days.

For extra discretion, the alarm can be set to vibrate, and kept in the pocket.

robinism, Jan 16 2005

This tv show helped me understand my use of the word "like." http://www.pbs.org/...ieties/californian/
"One of the innovative developments in white English of Californians is the use of the discourse marker “I’m like,” or “she’s like” to introduce quoted speech, as in “I’m like, ‘where have you been?’” This quotative is particularly useful because it does not require the quote to be of actual speech" [robinism, Jan 16 2005]

Someone already had this fantasy, but with a different twist. http://www.ubersite.com/m/41455
Looking for links about behavior modification to change bad speech habits, I found this. [robinism, Jan 17 2005]

A good page on discourse markers. https://intranet.ld...lines/2004/dm.shtml
From a linguistics course [robinism, Jan 18 2005]


       And it would still alarm if you used the word "like" properly?   

       Maybe an extra button to disable it at these times?
Inyuki, Jan 16 2005

       Good question. I added the answer to the description.
robinism, Jan 16 2005

       psychologically guaranteed to give you a stutter.
po, Jan 16 2005

       the word "like"is just mild. One could also use it to cure swearing. A big bun for this one.
Susan, Jan 16 2005

       Good call dude!
wagster, Jan 16 2005

       The perfect gift for the gramatically-challenged (BEEP). Oh, crap (BEEP). Wait a second, I would like (BEEP) to turn off my deluxe unit. (click)
Canuck, Jan 16 2005

       Ah! An "Actually Alarm!"   

       Perhaps these should be dished out at school to weed out the whole "an ah wiz like fuck up! and she wiz like an' wit? an stef wiz like man ah pure hate a' spure like a maddy" shbiddle.
calum, Jan 16 2005

       Stick one on the lectern at conferences. Set it to "Going forward...".
wagster, Jan 16 2005

       Hey, I like [jingle jangle] this! It's better than being slapped every time I said the word 'like' like a Valley girl (although I must admit it's cured me).   

       Interesting link there, [robin].
Machiavelli, Jan 16 2005

       [bing] [bing] [bing] [bing] [bing] [bing] [bing] [bing] [bing] [bing] [bing] [bing]
DrCurry, Jan 16 2005

       Bill Cosby would love to promote these.
RayfordSteele, Jan 17 2005

       I see [DrCurry] has set his to 'baked'.
stupop, Jan 17 2005

       Bun if it will also detect unnecessary repetition. I'm constantly irked by the Californianism: "The thing of it is, is that..."   

       Course, it could be a problem for statements like 'That "that," that that "that" refers to, is needless.'
csea, Jan 17 2005

       This device should be part of an orientation gift-pack for every freshman college class. A software version of it that could be loaded onto a cellphone would keep it on the hip of most of those who could really use it most. How about marketing it to media talking heads? Personally, I'm more irritated with the snappy little 'locution du jour' among journalists that never seems to die gracefully in its prime. "having said that" is starting to make me wince. "sending a message" ooooooooo, I'm burnin up! "moral clarity" What?? Whoever uses this in a serious sentence deserves to get a kilowatt zapp in the ass on network television. Big thumbs up (crap, there I go now) for this one.
JungFrankenstein, Jan 17 2005

       I didn't understand when I first wrote this up, that the verbal tics I'm targeting actually convey meaning. What linguists call "discourse markers," (see link), let the listener know the speaker is thinking, or that the following words are important, or that the following words may not be true, etc.   

       Yet I still want to give up these 'discourse markers' that I overuse. To do that, I need alternative ways of expressing what the discourse markers expressed.   

       So the Verbal Tic Alarm will have a LCD screen, like you see on a handheld dictionary, that flashes an alternative locution for you to use, when you need it. It will draw the fresh terminology from a factory installed database developed by linguists. For example, when I say "Like", the machine will display "said, thought, felt, approximately" etc.
robinism, Jan 18 2005

       [unabubba], That's not a tick, that's my new piercing. :P
robinism, Jan 18 2005

       I haven't been able to find anything to back this up, but I have a strong suspicion that George has been tutored to pause at regular, and increasingly lengthy, intervals while attempting to string full sentences together. Unfortunately, for those of us who delighted at the edge of our seats while he courted verbal disaster, it seems to be working for him. Instead of an alternative locution, perhaps the Tic Alarm could simply anticipate those dangerous junctions approaching and alert you to pause, take a breath, and waltz confidently into the next sentence. But I'm not sure yet what is worse. If too many people started up with the GB style frequent pausing (it's creepy as hell) I'd start pining for those familiar old verbal tics again.
JungFrankenstein, Jan 18 2005

       I like, like this y'know.   


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