Do you hedge when you speak, even if you are sure what you are saying is true? Does your daughter say “like” all the time? Do your students pepper their statements with “kinda”, or, “I guess”? Why?
Lakoff (1975) explored the concepts of locution and female discourse, specifically how women’s choice of language differs from men’s. Lakoff refers to many women’s perlocutionary communication patterns (Austin, 1962) as Women’s Language. Lakoff describes ten elements of Women’s Language, the 1st of ten elements is Hedging.
Hedging provides a way out; it is less declarative, and safer should the statement be contested. It is non-absolute phrasings, such as sort of, I guess, and, like.
Well, I sort of went for the podium first, and then he kind of, like, hesitated. I guess he wanted me to go first or something.