Colorado Avalanche players attempted to talk about a very mundane topic — toothpaste — while not saying “umm.”
The Colorado Avalanche social media team always get the players to do fun activities to show us their lighter sides. They often play these videos during the game breaks at Pepsi Center and then post them later.
One of the funnier spots they got players to do this season was the “No Umm” challenge. Players had to talk about mundane topics without using the conversation filler “um” or the shortened “uh.”
Believe it or not, every language has its own version of “um,” so not even foreign players would be exempt from this challenge. French-speakers say “euh” (which doesn’t seem easy), while Russian-speakers sound Canadian with their “eh.”
The conversation filler is actually just that — a way of filling time right before a pause. Speakers pause because they want to find the right word or remember something they’ve temporarily forgotten.
With the Avalanche players, they often used it when they were searching for the next thing they wanted to say about their topic. In this video’s case, the topic was toothpaste.
We all use toothpaste (I hope so anyway). You’d think you’d have a lot to say about an item you reach for so regularly. However, if you stop to think about what you’d want to say for 20 seconds on this topic, you’d probably struggle. Try it.
I just did, and I managed to pause without saying “um” or “uh.” However, I’ve taught speech for a living, so I’m conscious of how I speak. (I also didn’t have a camera on me.)
Here’s the video:
In this video, we learn that Compher likes Crest toothpaste, which he gets at CVS. (He must shop more in Chicago — we don’t have a lot of CVSs here in Colorado.) He did mention Target, though. And three “ums” peppered his speech.
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Cole was very game at this challenge. He used a different conversation filler — well — and used his hands to explain his preferences. In this case, he likes the “really foamy” Aquafresh. (I wasn’t aware it was particularly foamy.) His “um” actually stopped his whole speech.
And then some bad words came out of his mouth. Those are not conversation fillers.
Nikita Zadorov also used a different conversation filler, ok. He then explained the rudiments of toothpaste, that you use it to brush your teeth. As an ESL teacher, I’m so proud. The Russian “eh” crept in, though, and they counted it as an “uh.”
I don’t think it should come as any surprise that our captain crushed the challenge. He is someone who, as a teenager, studied hard to eradicate his Swedish accent. He’s very well-spoken. He proselytized about the wonders of toothpaste with nary a conversation filler.
Really, I think I learned something about toothpaste.
Which of the Colorado Avalanche’s fun video series are your favorites? Personally, I loved the mouthguard challenges, but these new ones are fun, too.