In speech pathology, there's a term for a specific word/phrase that someone has the habit of using repeatedly in conversation without knowing it. I'm looking for that term.
A couple of things I've eliminated are:
- Hesitation device
- Filler word
- Crutch word
This term is more specific than both hesitation devices and filler words. And crutch words aren't an exact match either, per this definition (source):
They're called crutch words -- a collection of words we fall back on when we've lost our footing while speaking.
These words aren't really used when people have lost their footing; they're just repeated idiosyncrasies people have in their speech.
An example would be: "It's just interesting." I have a friend who rants a lot, and he interjects this phrase all the time. He frequently rants about things which are borderline conspiracy theories, things that his listeners often disregard. I believe he uses the phrase "It's just interesting" to relate more to the people he's talking to by making it seem like he cares less about a certain topic than he'd like to let on.
Another example is "Anyway." I know someone who gossips a lot, and whenever she finishes telling a story, she'll end that topic with "Anyway...." in a similar way to "It's just interesting", as though she's dismissing the story's importance, either because she knows it's gossip and she shouldn't be sharing it or because she knows her audience doesn't really care.
The people in those examples usually use their respective (insert_speech_pathology_term_here) toward the end of phrases or thoughts, but another example which doesn't follow this pattern is "It's funny."
The person who uses this phrase usually starts a new phrase or topic with "It's funny" (always for things that nobody would find funny or interesting). For example, let's call this subject Bob. A sample conversation would be:
Bob: You know, it's funny, two weeks ago I suggested that John do XYZ, and he disagreed... but today, ABC happened, and he immediately did XYZ like I told him two weeks ago.
Me: Hmm... cool.
Bob also uses "it's funny" a lot when he brings up politicians he doesn't like. Ex:
Bob: It's funny, Politican_I_Disagree_With said X, and then did Y. I knew he would.
Me: That's nice.
What's the term for this kind of repetitively used word or phrase?