As has been chronicled here before, there are native speakers (and second-language learners as well) whose habitual use of language includes the (near-pathological) repetition of certain words. This was the situation Y-H-B encountered last night at a restaurant in Manchester Center, Vermont, when the co-owner who served him at the bar––an American lady in her fifties––kept repeating the word “awesome” at every turn, no matter what utterance was directed at her by her guests. Every response consisted of or necessarily included this word, whatever the content of speech.

This is clearly an extreme case of repetition, but speakers are all aware in different degree to what they are saying. Control of one’s speech varies greatly, and there are speakers (like the restaurant lady) who seem to have next to none when it comes to certain locutions uttered for emphasis and seem to be oblivious to the impression this creates on one’s interlocutors.