Yesterday, while riding the bus up to school, I was forced to endure the innane prattling of two young women sitting in the seat behind me. One was somewhat tolerable - she was complaining about the test (I think she failed) to get a driver's license. Completely boring to me, yes, but at least it's not a completely useless conversation topic. Her companion, however, apparently needs brain-activation surgery.
Oh My God. Flat monotone, presented at every break in her not-a-good-driver companion's talk. No inflection, no variation in duration or volume with each repitition. You failed your test? Oh My God. The instructor was a jerk? Oh My God. Somebody else we know also failed? Oh My God. Her failure was very early in the test? Oh My God.
AAAAGH! SHUT THE FUCK UP, STUPID PERSON!!!! SAY SOMETHING ELSE! ACHEIVE VARIANCE IN YOUR SPEECH! ACTIVATE LANGUAGE OUTPUT CENTRE OF BRAIN!!! AAAAGH! INCOHERENT RAGE!!!!!!
This was merely the most recent, horrible, example of a common phenomenon - a total absence of functional vocabulary. People in the midst of learning the English language are of course excused - a rich vocabulary takes time to develop. It's the people who mindlessly repeat the same stock phrase over and over, who seem to have about as much active memory as a Commodore-64, who remain unaware of the existence of other things to say that need to be slapped, hard, preferably with something large and flat-fronted, like a refrigerator.