When in the company of some, I can put together string after string of coherent words without breaking a sweat.
When in the company of others, I’m a Bulgarian refugee in New York, lost in the subway and stabbing my finger at a map. “I here, yes?” Verbs hightail it down the road and my hands alternately swat flies or shape elaborate castles in the sky.
To be fair to myself, in most situations I fall somewhere between Winston Churchill and a mime in a paisley suit.
My best guess is, one’s degree of verbal dexterity is partly education, but mostly the proper application of gas to the brain, and the flooding thereof. And the latter welcomes us to the wonderful world of interjections, the conversational equivalent of the Maybelline zit concealer. The well-uh’s, but-um’s, okay-then’s, and you-know’s. Or my own personal favorites, the friends that have carried me seamlessly through many an awkward lapse: So-so-so-so and Doncha-see.
What’s weird (and this is not an interjection, I mean it is strange, odd), one of the most memorable things about a person is how they fill the conversational spaces between constructed thoughts. Long after someone is gone, you may not remember a hundred quotable things he or she said; instead, what sticks in the craw is the annoying way he would clear his throat and say “That begs the question…” Or years later, you may agonize over the fact you slept with someone who would buy some time with, "Be that as it may..."
I wonder if Shakespeare, in between his qualities of mercy and roses by any other names, would scratch his chin and say, "The thing about it is..." At least for a special someone, those may have been his last syllables of recorded time.