Like it or not

Fumbling for words
Some decades ago the replacement of and synonym for ummhhh and aaahhh was “you know,” a phrase introduced by “Valley Girls” and voiced by speakers not because you did know, but because the speakers did not, and were fumbling for words. While aahhh and “you know” both survive, the most prominent contribution from the Valley to the cultural plains is “like.” It’s become, like, an all-purpose, like, word. It is both a filler word and a substitute for “said,” as in, “My mother is like, ‘You’re showing too much midriff.’” Listen to radio, call-in shows and even a pulpit now and then and you will be “liked” almost to death.

 

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