I listen to the game theory podcast often and at least once a show Sam says “if I’m being totally honest”. It’s generally an unnecessary qualifier and it had me thinking about the evolution of our vocabulary and speaking style. We all know about “um” and “like”. Another one I see that often doesn’t fit is “I’m sorry but”. Have humans always favored these dialog fillers? I understand they are often used to place some sort of emotional emphasis on a thought. What did the old timey folks use in place of these words or phrases?