Social Question

blueberry_kid's avatar

Is it bad that I say "like" too much?

Asked by blueberry_kid (5952points) August 3rd, 2011

The only reason I haven’t flaunted saying “like” on Fluther, is because it’s not really proper or lady-like to say “like” too much. And, I think I have a problem.

And when I say I have a problem, I mean in this entire year and a half I have been one Fluther, I might have said it, maybe a thousand times. And in this details section, probably 20–30 times.

Do I have a problem?

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38 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

You’re just a product of your generation and environment lol.

FutureMemory's avatar

Don’t feel too bad. I say it frequently, but I blame it on being from California. Is that where you live?

Facade's avatar

Only if you’re over 25

Aethelflaed's avatar

If you think you have a problem, then you do, not because of the number of times you say it, but because you’re agitated over the number of times you do it.

rOs's avatar

I used to have the same habit and worse – I would add a nervous “heh” to the end of almost every sentence. You can work on it, over time it will go away.

snowberry's avatar

Saying the same word over and over in conversation can be distracting, and some people will disregard what you say because of how you speak.

In writing it can be confusing. If you said it too much here, you might find yourself modded.

FutureMemory's avatar

@blueberry_kid Well, try to say it less frequently. I think we can all agree that saying it less will have nothing but positive results…just don’t expect it to be an overnight change.

Cruiser's avatar

Only if you use it in a sentence referring to our Government.

incendiary_dan's avatar

It’s certainly not the best word usage, but other than perhaps limiting the effectiveness of speech, it’s not too bad.

FutureMemory's avatar

@worriedguy Tohhhtally, bro ;)

Jellie's avatar

It’s like completely normal. I mean like all the people aged like 9 to like 20 do it. So like it may like bother some people but it’s completely normal. Like.

tranquilsea's avatar

I have to say that peppering your speech with “like” is one of my pet peeves. I went through a brief spell of using it when I was 12 but my mother stopped me from using it.

I realize that it is becoming more entrenched in our language but I think we should still try to combat it. For me, if someone talks to me as an adult and “like” is used every second or third word I tend to make a lot of judgments (rightly or wrongly) about that person’s intelligence.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@tranquilsea A great way to really confuse the crap out of someone is to use “like” a lot while talking about something really brainy and academic, like debating if Foucault is a structuralist or a post-structuralist.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@tranquilsea Just something fun to do to pass the time.

wundayatta's avatar

It can be very annoying and distracting. People use it the same way they use “um.” It is a space filler that allows you to hold the floor space while thinking of what you want to say next.

I’m not going to judge you for it. It’s not good; it’s not bad. It just is. I think it is worth learning to speak more smoothly, though. That way people will understand you better and take you more seriously. Most likely you will grow out of the habit as your brain works better and your conversation becomes more smooth.

You might retain the habit as a kind of signifier of the culture you want to belong to—say cute girls who chew bubblegum and wear cheerleader outfits and grace the arm of the captain of the football team. But you will be take less seriously as long as you use it often in conversation.

I would try to become aware of it and curb the temptation in my speech patterns. I would try to learn how to talk with fewer pauses. Unfortunately for me, I’ve gone past the age when I can think fast enough to keep up with my mouth. I am having longer and longer pauses as my brain seems to freeze. It’s something my father does that annoys a lot of people. I don’t want to do it, but it’s hard not to. Maybe you only have a short period of time in which you can sound smart, so I’d learn to dump the “likes” ASAP.

Hibernate's avatar

Everyone has verbal tics so it’s normal.

ucme's avatar

Up in my neck of the woods we say it at the end of a sentence e.g. “Wats tha tarkin aboot like?”
I think the example you give is said sporadically throughout any given conversation e,g. “Yeah & I was like totally (insert adjective) & she was like completely” (repeat over & over again.)
Is it bad? Open to interpretation surely.

JLeslie's avatar

I do it too. And, I am 43. Some parts of the US say it more than others. When really overdone it can sound ignorant or ditzy. Try to limit the use of the word where possible.

gasman's avatar

The current use of “like” in spoken English is what I think linguists call “epistemic hedging.” The phenomenon is very old, preceded in previous generations with phrases like “you know” or “if you will.” You won’t see it much in written language. I wouldn’t, like, worry about it.

gailcalled's avatar

I am acutely aware of the repetitive words or expressions when I am listening to people speak on the radio.

NPR has really interesting interviews, but I notice that after a few “likes” or “you knows,” I become too distracted to listen to the contents.

It’s a nervous tic that allows you to pause and think about what you really want to say, but it is sloppy and immature when writing.

Using “like” inappropriately is neither improper nor unladylike.

JLeslie's avatar

Like is not always hedging, it can be weak vocabuary. Like instead of using similar to, appreciate, prefer, etc

Like (hahaha) using got instead of _received, earned, and so on.

Like tends to be less descriptive.

tranquilsea's avatar

The goal of communication should always be to be as clear as possible using as few words as possible.

wundayatta's avatar

@gailcalled; @tranquilsea Unless you’re a politician.

tranquilsea's avatar

@wundayatta lol that goes without saying.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes, especially if you’re in your mid 20’s and older still, like, you know, saying that.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Eh. I think Ohio and California have similar speaking styles. Maybe that’s all it is. ;)

gailcalled's avatar

The goal of most politicans isn’t communication but obfuscation.

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s the same thing as saying “um” or other time wasting word designed to gather your thoughts. As long as you don’t, like, say it in your, like, writing, like, you are, like, probably OK.

laineybug's avatar

It’s okay for people my age, which is also your age, but as you get older you should try to kill the habit. If you interview for a job and you use a lot of “like“s and “you know“s you won’t be taken as seriously as someone that doesn’t.

tranquilsea's avatar

@laineybug you’re very wise for one so young :-)

martianspringtime's avatar

It doesn’t make for great communication skills, but a lot of people have the same problem whether it’s with “like” or “um” or even just starting idle chatter to fill silence. I think we use space fillers like that because we’re either afraid that if we pause to gather our thoughts someone is going to cut in, or because we’re nervous in general, and then it becomes a habit and we do it all the time without even having a reason like that.
When you say it, just try to think “what purpose did that serve?”
I’m working on not saying things just to say them, but it’s really hard to cut down on my “umm“s sometimes.

tranquilsea's avatar

I think the “like” phenomenon is different than “um”. I picked it up in school and so did my daughter not as a filler but as a thoughtless modifier.

JLeslie's avatar

@tranquilsea Yeah, that is what I was getting at above. I never use fillers like um, or even when I Speak Spanish I don’t use common fillers like este, I rarely pause, or need to fill when speaking. Plus, I use like too much in my wiriting also, because I write as I would speak, but no one write um into a sentence. I use like as habit, it is dead wood in the sentence or a lazy substitute for finding a better word.

But, I gues some people, especially younger people say like, like, like as a pause or as they collect their thoughts.

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