This is, like, a word to avoid AND a word to defend

This is, like, a word to avoid AND a word to defend

Do you like the word like? I do when it’s used well, but I hate hearing it used badly.

“Go to a building that’s, like, the Water Tower.” (You want me to go to the Water Tower itself, I guess, but it sounds like you could mean a White Castle restaurant, which was built to resemble — look like — Chicago’s Water Tower.)

“It’s like three or four streets south of here.” (Is it three and a half streets south? Or is the distance just a likeness, so it’s three or four streets north?)

“It’s all, like, foggy out.” (So it’s smoky instead?)

I think many people could avoid using “like” badly if they simply took the time to think of the correct word before they spoke.

“It’s like a circle.” (It’s round, or if it’s 3-D, it’s spherical.)

“It’s like a blizzard out there!” (At this time of year, that could be snow, but it could be rain. “It’s pouring” or “It’s the most snow I’ve seen at this time of year” would be better.)

I’d really like it if more people used “like” that way — er, like that.

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  • Dude, it's like you don't like like! :)

  • In reply to Kathy Mathews:

    Hey, I like "like" like that!

  • Like I don't care for it. Not to mention the distinction between like and as.

  • In reply to jack:

    Well, thanks for stopping by even for something you don't care for.

  • Like you didn't have a reaction to my review of The Muppets episode 2?

  • In reply to jack:

    I reacted, Jack, but I'm sorry I had to react so slowly. My work schedule is very erratic, and that makes the rest of my life erratic, too -- including time with the computer. Trust that I will reply to comments, unless they're replies to someone else... maybe then, too. It simply takes longer sometimes.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    I don't expect anything of bloggers (so no apology necessary); it just like gave me chance to use like. Used it on AW today, too.

    Now maybe all of us can stop typing as though we were Valley Girls.

  • I never think I'm saying it, then I'll like listen to myself and by like oh my god, "like" is my new "um."

  • In reply to Teme Ring:

    My new "um" -- may I borrow that sometime as a headline?

  • Though some say to it "Take a hike!"
    There is this you can like about 'like'.
    It's handy and nice
    When you can't be precise,
    And so 'like' I would never dislike.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    When you put it that way, I never would dislike it, either!

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