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When people speak, they often punctuate their pauses with short interjections. Observing some colleagues working on editing a video recently, they suggested that academics often do this at the start of sentences. Furthermore, they had observed that scientists typically say “so” while those working in the humanities are more likely to use “well”. I am sure there is a linguistics thesis in there somewhere (or, indeed, it may already have been written).

Now, does that mean that jazz aficionados would say “ah um“?

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