It’s no new discovery that our generation says “like” an awful lot. Even though parents and teachers hammer it into our heads that using “like” makes us seem shallow and incompetent, we just can’t resist.
Here are a few examples, which I took directly from conversations I heard outside of my door:
“Like, that was like, SO funny.”
“I was like, hey, and then he was like, YA, and then we were just like, No way! But at the same time we both went, YA.”
“She didn’t even like, LIKE it!”
Although we interpret these likes in a multitude of ways when we’re participating in the conversation, when we’re observing the conversation, we tend to write them off as unnecessary fillers, unconscious placeholders for the words we can’t think of fast enough. They’re useless, meaningless, and just get in the way of speaking properly.
But — what if they’re not?
Any Speaking Fellow will tell you that using likes is more of a science than you might expect. But, it always helps to get that point across when the New York Times writes an article about it. You like, smarty-pants, you!