On the overuse of ‘though’, though

“Let’s meet at Glorietta?”

“Sure, I love it, though.”

“Will you be able to make it at 5? I’m thinking of dropping by the office first.”

“That’s fine. I’ll just wait for you at Starbucks, though.”

“Great! See you then.”

“I can’t wait to tell you about it, though.”

http://womenwriters.library.emory.edu

I do not know if it’s only I who notice it but it appears that there is an oversupply of uncalled for “though” in almost all conversations in any workplace that require English (or at least a tinge of American/British/English accent), especially in high-rise offices along Ayala Avenue, Ortigas, Alabang, or Libis in Quezon City.

“Though” may function as a conjunction as in ‘in spite of’ or ‘despite the fact that’, or as an adverb as in ‘nevertheless’ or ‘as though’. But it may also function, informally, as an intensifier.

Of the three ‘thoughs’ in the conversation above, only the second ‘though’ is closest to any of the possible meanings of though, that is, if it means “I’ll wait for you not in Glorietta but in Starbucks.” But the problem with this is that the speaker is referring to that specific Starbucks located in Glorietta which makes ‘though’ here unnecessary.

Language is dynamic. One day, this proliferation of useless ‘thoughs’ may eventually be acceptable. But that’s going to be one day. Hearing these inappropriately used ‘thoughs’ irks me, though.

14 thoughts on “On the overuse of ‘though’, though”

  1. john,

    i felt alienated by this new look of your blog. and your topic? it’s wickedly fun to read your commentary on the unnecessary use of “though”. i may be a little handicapped of the language but this will not be an excuse to put myself to further shame using “though”. thanks for the lesson, mr. pedantic, he he he. joke lang.

    1. marvin, please do not feel that way. this blog hasn’t changed just because the theme has changed. besides, i always change theme.

      i’m glad you enjoyed reading this post.

    1. hahaha. we all keep words like these. mine is ‘for example’ and ‘rather’.

  2. hahaha, of course i remember him. he was the one who recommended anh ngu london to me.

    or probably because vietnamese students are more concerned with perfecting the basics of english than embellishing their sentences with words such as though, of some sorts, awesome, etc.

    i miss you le.

  3. Funny… I’ve never experienced any conversations with that many ‘though’s. Maybe here people are so concerned with grammar, so we rarely use slang and construct sentences very carefully without any “extra” word.

    Btw, do u still remember the guy named Thanh in my TOEFL review class? He used way too much the word “awesome”. Ur article reminds me of him 😉

  4. I guess it is a sign of lack of knowledge about the language, so in reality the speaker is just speaking with the limited English that he or she has. Saying the word “though” seems to mean that you guess what he or she meant

    1. agreed.

      it’s been a while since you dropped by here. i wonder why i cannot leave comments in your blog. i suggest you move to wordpress. it’s a lot easier to navigate than blogger.

  5. I think I do the same thing with “so” when commenting online. This would be a Hiberno-Irish characteristic, like most Hiberno-Irish expressions, used once, it is addictive. I can’t remember why I originally adopted it but I suspect it was part of playing to the gallery re. my Irishness. I don’t end my sentences in this way in spoken conversation.

    Another hiberno-Irish characteristic is to end sentences with “you know”. This drives me personally up the wall, particuarly when I don’t agree with the speaker. After the fourth or fifth “you know” I have a tendency to say “no, I don’t know” in an annoyed tone. This is usually not the best policy.

    Sometimes though adding these superfluous words can be useful in conversation, to put the other person at their ease. There is such a thing as being too direct & the spoken word is more meandering than the written word. a relevant question of course is the degree of repetition as well as the particular sensitivities of the person one is talking to.

    1. i think of these expressions as fillers for thoughts difficult to express or when the speaker is groping for words.

      but what is interesting about ‘though’ in the philipppines is that even in writing it is pervasive.

      i totally agree with your last sentence.

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