Definition of LIKE
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>
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