Can you please stop saying “like”?

Definition of LIKE

transitive verb

1chiefly dialect: to be suitable or agreeable to <I like onions but they don’t like me>

2a: to feel attraction toward or take pleasure in :enjoy <likes baseball>

b: to feel toward :regard <how would you like a change>

3: to wish to have :want <would like a drink>

4: to do well in <this plant likes dry soil> <my car does not like cold weather>

intransitive verb


2: to feel inclined :choose, prefer <leave any time you like>

I work in downtown Montreal and therefore find myself surrounded by university students on a regular basis. In stores, cafes and bars these young people bring a freshness and vibrancy to the city and are an integral part of the society.

There is just one problem: the constant overuse of the word “like”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not eavesdropping on private conversations. But sometimes it is impossible not to overhear someone talking to a friend or conversing on a mobile phone.

These young adults use the word “like” in two particularly annoying ways. First as a filler-word much the same as the couplet “you know” is often used to punctuate conversations and give the speaker time to think – this is also very tiresome. This leads to sentences such as “Could we, like, maybe tone down, like,  the use of the word like?” – if only!

The second, and in my opinion more irksome use , is when the word is used to indicate  that an action, reaction or something else took place. This would once have been stated verbally, but now is played out in a little skit.

As an example here is a retelling of an experience as it once was, or should I say as it should be:

Fred opened the bedroom door and was shocked to see an elephant sitting at his desk and using his computer. I told him he need not worry, as the elephant had saved Fred’s work before starting his own. Fred was very relieved to hear this.

This relating of a conversation now becomes somewhat of a screenplay, complete with gesticulations and dialogue:

Fred opened the bedroom door and was like (here the speaker displays  utter surprise  on his/her face) ‘Oh my God!’ when he like saw the elephant sitting at his desk using his computer. I was like (here the speaker makes calming actions with his/her hands) Easy Fred, it’s OK, he saved your stuff before he started and Fred was like (here the speaker makes a great show of relief) Phew, I thought it was gone!

So you can imagine what a lengthy conversation among several people all speaking, or I should say, acting out, at the same time.

If the word Like had a Facebook page, I would be hard pressed to “like” it!

Basically it is just a small thing that gets to me, but don’t even get me started on “basically”; because basically I’m like really peeved that like people seem unable to start a sentence with any word other than basically!

Here’s another take on the “like” problem

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Published by DCMontreal

DCMontreal - Deegan Charles Stubbs - is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

One thought on “Can you please stop saying “like”?

  1. HAHAHA very good point. Everyone seems to be using the word (me included) when they retell stories and dialogue, and I don’t even know why! YOLO is another annoying and overused word in my opinion.

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