We all use words like ‘um’ and ‘mmm’, to keep a conversation flowing. These are called ‘filler words’ and are helpful for keeping those awkward silences away or to stall for time while we think of something clever to say.

Some of the most common filler words used by Australians include:

Filler words

But then there are some people (mostly females) who use filler words too much. Excessive use of filler words is called ‘valtalk‘, short for Valley Talk. Don’t know what I mean?

Think of Summer Heights High and how the characters repeatedly use ‘as if’, ‘seriously’, ‘whatever’, ‘like’, ‘totally’, ‘way’.


“Seriously, as if. Like you’re going to pass. Like, all that stuff is, like, so way over your head. You’re, like, totally so stupid.” “Whatever!”

Funny right? But not when you’re the one using it in real life in front of someone important. See, the more we use these filler words and valtalk in our everyday language, the easier it is to just keep on using it, even in formal situations, because it just becomes second nature. But how stupid would we sound if we kept overusing words like ‘y’know’ and ‘like’ and ‘totally’? Sounds as if you can’t even articulate a sentence.

The overuse of these words also makes the word pretty much meaningless, since we’ve used it too much.

Take these words for instance:

  • Like

This is like, the most overused word ever, like, am I right?

Enough said.

  • Literally, totally, actually, really

We use these words to emphasise something right? But it loses all effect when we use it to describe every. second. thing.

So now, they’re just a fancy way of saying ‘very’, but they’ve lost their intensity.

And when someone uses the word ‘literally’ most often they really mean it ‘figuratively’ instead.

Photo from The Oatmeal
  • Honestly, seriously

This dress honestly looks so good on you!

So you’re telling me every other time we’ve talked you haven’t been honest with me?

So save #digitalk for the screen and #corkthedigitalk in real life.