There are things the world doesn’t need. The banana slicer, for example, when a knife gets the job done just fine, or shoes for babies. For generations of linguists, filler words have fallen into the same category. The common belief is that they add little to a dialogue aside from making the speaker sound nervous (“uh”), juvenile (“like”) or insecure (“sort of”). Yet, verbal fillers are a major part of how we talk, featuring in virtually every spoken sentence. Humanity This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Two Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture City Guide The Standard, High Line Setting a high standard in the Lower West Side. Arts & Culture Food Issue 46 At Work With: Deb Perelman The little blog that could: An interview with Smitten Kitchen’s unflappable founder. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Word: Wintering When to withdraw from the world. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Brock Colyar An interview with a professional partygoer. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Studio Visit: Yoko Kubrick In the studio with a sculptor of monuments and mythologies. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Community Inc. Can a brand be friends with its fans?