A Conversation for The Word 'Like'

"Like" and other words

Post 1

Researcher 196207

"Like": It is truly annoying, as is the word "cool". I hear it all the time now here in New York City, and it's creeping up the age ladder. The 30-year-olds are using it, probably because they used it 15 years ago when they were 15. I'm trying not to pick it up myself, but it's probably a losing battle. I just broke myself of the habit of using "basically" all the time. And "like" is usually teamed with "you know" and I'm in great danger of picking up that phrase, since I hear it everywhere.

"Cool" was an 80s word, revived from the late 60s, but I don't remember anyone in the late 60s using it, unless it was used sarcastically. Thank goodness I don't hear "cooo-oool" much any more.

One of the entries discussing "like" used the phrase "one of the only". It seems to me that this phrase has absolutely no meaning -- he probably means "one of the few". How can something be "one of the only"? It's like "totally unique" -- it's either unique or it isn't, not completely unique!

What about the horrible overuse of "brilliant" in Britain? The last 15 years, everything's been "brilliant". I even saw a TV commercial there a few years ago where the announcer said "It's so brilliant, it's brilliant!" and it wasn't supposed to be funny. I'll be over there again in a few months and I hope the use of "brilliant" has lessened.

I won't even discuss the misusage of apostrophes, especially on the internet. Suffice it to say that hardly anyone knows the proper use of the apostrophe and most writers on the 'net add them to simple plurals -- as in "plural's" or "writer's". Similarly, there is total confusion between "its" and "it's" as in "coffee at it's best", which means "coffee at it is best".

I'm like, you know, I gotta go now. Be coooo-oool, chill out, I'll basically be, like, one of the only monitor's who look's at this site from you know, time to time. Its one of the only site's I look at.

"Like" and other words

Post 2

Researcher 203817

Very interesting post. A friend who was working as a reference librarian once received a telephone call from a young lady who immediately asked whether "This is, like, the library." My friend, who is ever courteous but who also grew up using the word "like" almost exclusively either to introduce similes or to express affection, could not resist the temptation and replied that, indeed, the place where she was sitting was very much like the library, and in fact could hardly be distinguised from it. Having yielded to this urge, my friend then offered the young lady assistance with her request.

Pedants though we may be, I believe some one has to make a stand against sloppy use of language. Every time we give ground on the linguistic front, we lose just a bit more of the power and precision that language well-used is capable of.

Aux armes, citoyens, formez vos bataillons.

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