Dear Sasha, I’ve been seeing this man for a month. I like him a lot but the problem is he say’s “like” all the time — it makes me nuts! Do I say something, or hope it’s just a passing bad grammar phase?
The word “Like” is a turnoff!
Dear Vocab’ Vulture-
That is, like, so totally, um, yeah, annoying!!!
This year, one of my new year’s resolutions was actually to use “Like” and “Ummm” less. I am with you one hundred percent in terms of finding those vernacular fillers the verbal equivalent of nails on a chalkboard, but, sadly, they aren’t going anywhere.
When I was ten, my family and I took a one-year trip around the world in between moving from New York City to Oakland, California. When I showed up for my first day of fifth grade, it was total culture shock. I had no idea why everyone was wearing down Starter jackets in eighty degree weather, I didn’t know why my classmates were so excited about something called New Kids on the Block or this lady Debbie Gibson and I couldn’t begin to understand what “hella” was or why everyone said “like” when they meant, “and then I said—.”
Horrifyingly, my pre-pubescent brain went into acclimation survival mode and I soon adopted all of these social norms; wearing Electric Youth perfume, overalls with one strap down and, of course, inserting “like” everywhere I could.
You know how your mom used to tell you not to make faces because it would freeze that way? That’s what our nation’s vocabulary did. No matter how we try to escape it, “like” has permeated the American lexicon and it’s a habit as hard to shake as a junkie trying to kick smack. You can tell your guy it drives you up the wall and he can do his best to be aware of it, but I’m afraid it’s a pandemic that can’t be escaped.
*Feel free to email us with any dating, relationship, love and sex questions you may have for Sasha.