I heard about a study this morning conducted in England that says that about 10 percent of all the words we say each day are meaningless filler, such as "you know," "like," "uhmn," etc. I suspect from listening to my students talk that it might be more than that here in the States.
I began to wonder if writers do this less than other folks, in speech that is, and as I'm mentally going through my list of writers I know I'm leaning toward thinking that we do do less of this. If so, and I have no proof, I'd guess it would have to do with language discipline. We train ourselves as writers to be careful with words, to use the right word in the right place, and to "cut the fat," or the filler. It seems possible that this kind of discipline could spill over into our spoken language.
On the other hand, speech is a much lazier form of communication than writing, and we writers can certainly be lazy. Maybe when we're not "on task" but just yammering we are just as filler prone as anyone else.
What say the masses? As writers, are we less filler, greater taste? Or are we just like anyone else? Or is there a job/career that lends itself to less filler in speech? To more filler? I wonder.