If you care about the English language and the preservation of quality conversation, then do everyone a favor and erase the world “like” from your vocabulary. It’s almost impossible to go a day without hearing the word being used and it’s truly the bane of my existence when hearing it. If you listen to any greater orator, public speaker, or pundit, rarely will you ever hear the word “like” come out mid-sentence, if at all. Why? Because unless they are trying to compare something, the word “like” has no use in their statement. The only time you should ever use “like” is when you are making a comparison.
Instead, “like” has become a tool for just about anything from punctuation, “He said he wouldn’t give me my stuff and I was all like!” to describing dialogue, “He was all like… Then I was like…” and my personal favorite, “like literally.”
If you’re going to use a word, please understand what it means and the context that’s most applicable for its usage. It doesn’t take an English major to understand that words mean something, but it does take common sense to know that if you want to portray your ideas well, then you better start expanding your vocabulary.
You don’t have to be grandiloquent either, but at the very least, give yourself a change of pace by using synonyms such as similar, related, alike, close, near, or relating. If you can’t think of what to say next, just pause for a second while your brain flips through your mental file cabinet rather than blurting out “like” or “um” as a way to keep your train of thought going. The variety words you can use stretches long and far, so don’t box yourself self in or you might, like, go crazy…
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