Can we declare a moratorium on the use of the words "um" or "uh" in mid-sentence to denote irony, sarcasm or the writer's supposed delicate search for the correct word?
It was cute when it started, lo those many years past. I'm sure I've used it myself, and I probably thought it was cute at the time, too. But now it is just another over-used cliche, devoid of meaning, carrying no humour or any element of surprise.
To those of you who enjoy using said "uh" and "um" in this manner: a suggestion. Consider writing those words as you always do, then going back and editing the sentence to more accurately reflect your meaning without that qualifier. Example:
I would offer my opinion, but Laura might, uh, object.
I would offer my opinion, but Laura would bite my head off.
Why not just say what you mean? What would you have written before "um" and "uh" were used this way? Write that!
If this post irritates you, you should see what I've got saved in drafts! Should I unleash the wmtc grammar and spelling class? (I think not. That's why it's in drafts.)
Previous expressions I have begged for retirement are found here.
Now cue all the comments using "uh" and "um" this way, all you readers who are so, um, clever!