Word-stretching is an epidemic that’s sweeping not just the nation but the world. Although its roots seem to be steeped in the female gender, it can strike both men and women of all ages at any given moment.
Also called “word elongation,” word-stretching is not just annoying and difficult to shake, but an eyesore on the face of humanity. Although it’s something that can be stopped with proper retraining, the problem with word elongation is that it’s highly contagious. You may think you’ve outed it from your system, then all it takes is one email or text from a friend that reads, “I reeeally need to talk to you,” and you’re back at it again.
NYMag‘s Maureen O’Connor has broken down word-stretching into the top five reasons that one might use it. They are as follows:
1. The Kindness of Word-Stretchers. Example: “Reeeally reeeally.”
2. The Passive-Aggressive Repeat. Example: “Yeahhh riiight.”
3. The Iterative Intensifier. Example: “Whaaat… nooo.”
4. The Sexiness of Word-Stretchers. Example: “Heyyyy girrrl.”
5. The Playfulness of Word-Stretchers. Example: “Squeee!”
So, now that we’ve identified the causing factors, let’s cover how to get a grip on the situation before the situation gets a grip on you. [Insert Law & Order theme here.]