“It’s not like, you know like, what like…”
Like is an example of a “filler” words being used as props, to try to shore up a lame sentence.
People who can’t get along without “um” or “er” or “basically” (or, in England, “actually”) or “et cetera et cetera” are of two types: the chronically modest and inarticulate, such as Ms. Kennedy, and the mildly authoritarian who want to make themselves un-interruptible.
Saul Bellow’s character Ravelstein is a good example of the latter: in order to deny any opening to a rival, he says “the-uh, the-uh” while searching for the noun or concept that is eluding him. — Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair
I’m offering an alternative. It will eliminate the use of the word “like” and every other vocal filler.
Let’s just all stop talking.
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