M. Dowd wrote a positive piece on Caroline Kennedy this week. She opened her piece with:
"Ask not, you know, what your country can, like, do for you. Ask what you, um, can, you know, do for your country."
Kennedy has received much criticism over the ubiquity of 'you know-s' in her speech.
I find 'crutch' words and phrases like: 'like', 'you know' 'you know what I mean', 'and um,' very difficult to tolerate some of the time. However, I also see why they are necessary, as well. But like salt, a pinch of it can help the dish. Too much makes it tough to swallow.
We all need time to think when constructing our verbal answers, after all. The many roles of language allow for covering and support of all sorts, after all.
So, while the excessive 'you know's' are vexing, a more careful focus on content could perhaps be more helpful. Granted it's tough to focus on content when faced with a deluge of 'you know-s', but, you know, we can try.