Overuse of the word "that" in casual conversation
November 26, 2012 6:35 AM Subscribe
Linguists, is there a name for this annoying trend, and can we point to where/when it originated: Overusing the word "that" without first defining what you are talking about?
posted by jbickers to Writing & Language (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've seen this in various places lately, but it really rankled me on a recent Southwest flight, when the flight attendant was giving instructions on stowing bags:
"Go ahead and put that large bag in that overhead compartment, and put that smaller bag in that space below your seat."
There's four different uses of the word "that," without first defining what "that" is. While I instinctively know what they're saying, it feels lazy and sloppy to me.
So, is this a thing that there's a name for? Did it originate in any particular place (book, movie, trend, etc.)?