When you choose to “eat out” on a Sunday or any other day, you become vulnerable to “CONVERSATIONAL ASSAULTS” especially if the seating in the restaurant or dining room makes you sit too near other diners.
I had that happen today. On both sides of where I sat there were two conversations going on ….one between two men, obviously a father and son duo.
The other was between 2 females who appeared to be late teens or early 20-somethings. Both parties talked loudly so it was inevitable that their conversations were heard by those sitting nearby.
The two young women talked rapidly and loudly about things I did not pay attention to— because I was so distracted by their constant use of “like” about every 3-5 words. I felt like screaming….I am personally affronted by such butchery of our beautiful English language.
It reminded me of the days back in the late 1970s when a fresh college grad became a part of our life and he peppered his conversations with “yuh know” about every 5 words. It seems that “like” has replaced “yuh know” in today’s lexicon if it can be called that..lexicon sounds too intelligent and sophisticated and that conversation between the 2 women was anything but that!!!
I have also just freshly read an article by Richard Lederer (a linguistics expert and analyst) titled “LIKE WHAT’S HAPPENING TO OUR LANGUAGE?” I have read Lederer before and he makes his points in an educated but humorous fashion.
Quoting from his essay:
“In one of the mega-chain bookstores,a woman asked a clerk for the author of “Like Water For Chocolate”. After the salesperson had spent five minutes searching and still could not locate the the famous title, the person realized that the young man was asking for a book titled “Water For Chocolate”
It’s like—–you know.”
Nowadays according to Lederer, “two speech patterns of the younger generation squeak like chalk across a blackboard of adult sensibilities—the sprinkling of “like” throughout sentences, like, you know what I’m saying and the use of another species of “like” as a replacement of the verb, say ‘I’m like, Yeah, it’s totally, like, awesome.’ ”
“Like” has aslo replaced my generations use of “uh” or “er” when you needed to collect you racing thoughts that were way ahead of your spoken words.
Lederer quotes another linguistics professor named Hale who says that increasing numbers of speakers press into service “like” as a badge of identification that proclaims, “I am a member of a certain generation and speech community.”
One of Lederer’s final thoughts on the usage of “like” in ways it was not meant to be used— is this:
“I believe it is not a coincidence that the quotative “like” as introductions to quoted speech has accompanied the metastasizing of “like” as a rhetorical qualifier. I sense a fear of committment both to direct thought and to the act of communicating….whenever I hear a young person…or increasinly an older person— declare, “She’s like ‘I’m like a supporter of human rights’ ” I ask ‘Is she really committed? Did she mean what she said?”
If you, like me are, like, confused and like wondering what you just read, like join the crowd which includes, like, me!
The conversation by the father and son was equally assaultive to me. The older man used profanity in place of “like” about every 3-4 words and it was profane in the 10 Commandments sense of “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain”…… It was G– D— this and G– D— that til I was ready to visit that table and tell the old man that he was offending me to the point where I was ready to commit my own assault, with his soda drink over his head! But then he began to “hawk” his throat from eating too fast and swearing so much and that that sound made me get up and literally run out the door.
It had become to destructive to my Sunday eating out… way too much— and I had to, LIKE leave before I did something to get LIKE arrested.
Like you know, how bad it can,like, get in such situations?