Friday, January 09, 2009

It like drives me mad!

Why have people suddenly started abusing the word 'like'?

I don't think I'm a fuddy-duddy old fart, not just yet, and I accept that language evolves, if it didn't we would still all be grunting like cavemen or speaking some form of Saxon or Norman French. But occasionally evolution becomes corruption. The abuse of 'like' is as maddening as that annoying upward inflection at the end of sentences that makes the user sound like he is asking a question with every sentence, I think it came over here with Aussie soap operas, I suspect the abuse of 'like' came from the United States.

Now, when I was at school 'like' was verb, a 'doing' word: I like, you like, he/she/it likes and so on. It was also a preposition as in "the EU is like 1984 come true". There is also the combination form such as "there was a blood-like substance on the carving knife".

But suddenly we get: "I was like driving this like BMW last week". STOP NOW!

Were you driving or doing something similar? Was it a BMW or a similar car? The person was actually driving a BMW so what was the point of the completely redundant 'likes'?



Mark Wadsworth said...

They've been doing it for years. Interestingly, "to be like" is now a new verb for "to say", along with "to give it" and the one I've forgotten.

Mark Wadsworth said...

"to go", that's the other one, as in...

"He's like 'Are you coming out tonight?' and I go 'I'm too skint' and he gives it 'Serve you right'."

A Brief Encounter said...