There’s always, like, one not-so-brilliant movie character who talks this way, you know? Don’t write off their intelligence: Research suggests that those who often say “like” and “you know” may be especially thoughtful. In a study published in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology, researchers examined more than 260 transcriptions of normal conversations. They discovered people who used these “filler words” tend to be more conscientious than people who don’t. Researchers say discourse markers imply a desire to thoughtfully share opinions with others, and may give someone more time to phrase something just right.
Funnily enough, “conscientious” is one of the 15 hardest words to spell in the English language.