Yeah, I think the conclusion people should take away from this thread is:
A) If you think they're horrible and we should get rid of them all, you need to accept that you have a narrow, minority view of how they can be used, and should exercise caution when cleaning them up. That doesn't mean don't
clean them up; it just means try to stick to cleaning the worst examples, since you may not have the proper perspective to judge them all. Try to learn/remember that they are used for a dramatic pause
, and since TVT is informal and conversational, dramatic pauses are considered acceptable.
B) On the other hand, if they don't particularly bother you, you may be undersensitive
, and should probably start trying to avoid using them unless they really, really
seem to fit, and if you spot them, you might want to try to take a moment to consider if they're really necessary. Keep in mind that they annoy the heck out of some people, and see if you can find another way.
"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.