Like, you know what I mean?

Posted by Sergio Hernandez

We've all heard it before. We all secretly dislike people using it. We even want to smack them, shake them up a bit and say, "Get it together, girl, you're in college and a hot mess — not the good kind." Why is it that we are so persistent on using "like" after every word? Is it a Skidmore fad? An effect of the location you come from? Why do people keep using like over and over again? I don't dislike "like"; I can't hate a word for being a word.

A word is what we give it to mean, what we ourselves define; in a sense, we are the label makers. I don't hate the people who use "like" but it does lessen my respect for them. Maybe hate is strong but it irritates me to hear someone blasting "like" 20 times as it were his or her only job in life.

In one of my classes, I won't mention what class but I will say it was an English class, some girl, whether she is mildly intelligent or not I don't know, kept saying "like" after every word she said.

For example, and pay careful attention, when the professor asked, "What does everyone think the word in relation to the themes in the story signify?," she answered, "Well…I don't know, but like I like think it was like presenting that like it wasn't like very cordial to like say like that like things weren't like, you know? fantastic." She kept blabbering on and on.

I just kept thinking, "When will this end?....should I ask Skidmore for my money back? Is that dirt under my nails?" Not only was her comment annoying and time consuming, her entire sentence did not make any sense.

"Like" compares two different subjects, objects, ideas and so on, to help people understand an unknown concept or meaning. Perfect example, "Love is like a rose." Immediately, we get a sense, an understanding, of love's texture and, possibly, smell and we come close to a mutual understanding of the emotion love means.

Maybe I should just ignore everyone who uses "like" after every sentence, and then I'd ignore three-quarters of Skidmore's population.

What can we do? First, check yourself as if you were checking yourself for an STD: Make sure you don't say "like" unless it is to compare two things. If you say, "I like think like that like Skidmore isn't like so like bad," you are saying you're not sure what you are talking about because you are not making a definite statement about your opinions — it's an incomplete thought. Check that your thoughts are consistent with your mouth.

Like is like a disease — I used it correctly! Yay! — you just never know how exactly to cure it because it slowly conflagrates, creeping inside your mind until it gobbles it.

Next time, think about what you say because it does impact how someone thinks about you: if you're someone who says "like" as it were your only goal in life, people most likely look down upon you. Remember, everyone is judging you.

Sergio Hernandez is a math and English double-major and occassional observer.

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