London, Apr 12: British are the world's worst when it comes to using fillers like ''um, er, basically, actually, you know'', research found. A study claimed nearly 10 per cent of British speech was wasted on fillers, working out to more than five hours a year.
Analysis of more than 80 hours of conversations between 150 people in a survey carried out on behalf of BT, Britain's biggest fixed-line telecoms provider, found that they used meaningless words such as ''um'', and phrases like ''at the end of the day'' on avergage every nine seconds.
Phillip Hodson, speech expert and Fellow for the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, said, ''Britain clearly loves to talk but many of us need to re-learn the art of conversation. It seems to me that the Anglo Saxon countries like Britain and the US are the worst for using these filler words to pad out conversations.'' ''I think it is because unlike other country' s like France we do not protect our language,'' the Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying.
''Some say fillers are a sign of intellect, used to consider what to say next. However, research shows that if your speech is full of padding, you're harder to understand, which makes listeners tend to tune out,'' he said.