3

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 '16 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 '16 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 '16 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 '16 at 11:40
  • @j.r. that's, like, just your opinion, man ;) – user8543 Nov 29 '16 at 11:42
2

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.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Can I use it written English in a conversation between two characters? – SovereignSun Nov 29 '16 at 12:06
  • 1
    Yes, you can. Make the characters young and socioeconomically low in the working class. – MMacD Nov 29 '16 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 '19 at 10:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.