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Example: according to kotobank, one of the definitions of 滑る is

俗に、面白いことをしゃべろうとして失敗する。冗談・ギャグが受けない状態をいう。

I'm curious, are constructions like "冗談・ギャグ" used in speech? If they are, is it basically like taking a short pause while talking? And does it sound natural, formal or just plain weird?

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Yes this can be found in everyday speech. It can sometimes be expressed by using a pause or saying "なかぽつ" but this is generally used for quoting or reading off something exactly the way it is written. I would say it is much more common for a speaker to include とか or など to the same effect in colloquial speech. Saying なかぽつ can sound a bit tongue in cheek by being so precise with words.

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