While watching the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meetings, we become fascinated in the weekly reports by the individual supervisors. Not for the content of their reports on meetings they attended or community events they are promoting in their district, no, we are engrossed in counting all of the "Uh's and Um's" in each of the supervisors' addresses. The reason we started counting is because the constant "Uh's and Um's" are quite an irritant. It's akin to nails on a chalkboard. Watching the July 5th meeting, we tallied the number of annoying insertions and here are the results:
Clif Clendenen: 40
Jimmy Smith: 22
Virginia Bass: 22
Ryan Sundberg 5
Mark Lovelace 79
Clif Clendenen did pretty well this week because he only had 40 Um's and Uh's. We say "only"
because the first time we decided to count the Um's, as a fun exercise, he had more than 80 and then, we lost count. Jimmy Smith had 22, but he had a short report. He is known to insert the offending pauses much more than that. Virginia Bass, who is usually one of the worst offenders, also only had 22 on this particular day. 5th district supervisor Ryan Sundberg had just 5. This is usual for Mr. Sundberg. He consistently comes in with the fewest number. Mark Lovelace is the winner with 79. Ding! Ding! Ding! Don't worry Mark, you have missed the record set by 2nd District Supervisor Clendenen. It seems the Uh's and Um's have become part of the actual speech pattern and rhythm. Our guess is they aren't even aware of it.
Can you say Toastmaster's anyone?