You know what I’m sayin’? Maybe, like, you know...

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

I turned on a sports talk station while driving around town the other day, and the voice kept asking me: “You know what I’m sayin’?”

Every second or third sentence into the interview, he kept asking me that. Yes, I know exactly what you’re saying. I happen to understand every word of what you’re saying.

“You know what I’m sayin?”

Why do people talk like that? Why are they asking me all these questions while trying to make a point? Unless you are talking in a language I do not understand, I know what you are saying.

“It’s a ‘Valley Girl’ expression, just like ‘you know’ . Nothing more, nothing less. College kids have picked it up the last few years,” an Internet source reassured me.

“I hear ‘you know what I mean’ as much as ‘you know what I’m sayin’. Annoys the heck out of me. Along with people saying ‘like’ 100 times in a story they tell you,” another friend chimed in.

“Are you following me?” asked a relative as he explained a basic computer function recently.
“Following you where?” I asked back.

“Follow what I’m saying.” he said.

“Oh, that following. I thought I was supposed to follow you somewhere. I was wondering where you were going,” I replied.

For the record, I was following him. But the question was intended to point out that he was the teacher, and I was the student, when in fact I knew exactly what he was talking about, and he was kind of boring me with the basics. Hey, I was born a geek. Do you know who you are talking to? I know.

“You know… .” This one bugs me a lot because a many of people use it to fill space while they are thinking of something to say. If I know already, then why are you saying it? Tell me something I don’t know.

“’You know’ gives other people the idea that you have some kind of shared knowledge with them. People use it to show that they have a common understanding. Sometimes people use it as an acknowledgment marker because they want to know if you agree with them,” according to the voanews.com’s Learning English page.

(You can find an explanation for anything on the Internet, you know.)

O.K. I got it, and I know. But throw it at me once or twice, not every second word in a sentence. That tells me that I know more than the person who says you know.

My favorite is “do you know what I’m thinking?”

Lynus of Hollywood, a singer I never heard of, actually wrote a song entitled “Do You Know What I Am Thinking?” I found him by searching the phrase on the Internet.

For one minute and 55 seconds we hear what he is thinking. But without him singing it, I wouldn’t know.
If I knew what you are thinking, I could read your mind, and you wouldn’t have to tell me. But since I don’t have such powers, go ahead - what were you thinking?

“Like, you know.”

No I don’t. Surprise me. I’m not following you.

“My bad. I thought you knew.”

You have a bad? Krunk.