How good and correct is it to use "like" in spoken English in such a way?

I mean the ones like:

  • "I was like - hey, bring me a coffee - and she was like - you go get it yourself - and then James came in and it was like - wtf is going on in 'ere?"
  • 1
    It's informal and colloquial. You'd happily use it in a text, you wouldn't use it in a formal report.
    – user8543
    Nov 29, 2016 at 11:27
  • 1
    Sometimes this isn’t so much a matter of “good and correct” as it is a matter of overused to the point of being annoying. @user8543 - I wouldn’t encourage its use “happily" in a text; it seems more of a verbal construct than a written one.
    – J.R.
    Nov 29, 2016 at 11:35
  • @j.r. I have a lot of text conversations in various formats - like is used prodigiously and effectively (if, as you say, sometimes annoyingly).
    – user8543
    Nov 29, 2016 at 11:39
  • 2
    @user8543 - I just didn’t want a learner to read your initial comment, and conclude that, like, they should start sprinkling it all over their text messages. ;-)
    – J.R.
    Nov 29, 2016 at 11:40
  • @j.r. that's, like, just your opinion, man ;)
    – user8543
    Nov 29, 2016 at 11:42

1 Answer 1


That usage was once laughed at as being a caricature of a certain small southern-California subculture of shallow, dim, over-privileged teen-aged girls, the "Valley Girls". Then, as its use spread via television, it lost that particular subcultural connection.

The people who talk like that are generally not respected very much.

  • 1
    Can I use it written English in a conversation between two characters? Nov 29, 2016 at 12:06
  • 1
    Yes, you can. Make the characters young and socioeconomically low in the working class.
    – MMacD
    Nov 29, 2016 at 12:20
  • Typically this was an upper class thing in the early 90s, and it seems to have bled out into the tech sector. Quite bizarre. Even seeing it with guys.
    – sas08
    Jan 6, 2019 at 10:45

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .