What Did You Say?

Dear Young Women Outside My House Who Are Overusing the Word Like,

I do not believe you “had like 5 drinks.”  I imagine you had approximately 5 drinks.  And maybe you should slow down if you are standing outside of my house discussing how many drinks you have had.  I am glad, however, that you are not driving a vehicle.

Ring-tailed lemur on a tree stump. Image by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay, https://pixabay.com/en/ring-tailed-lemur-rare-wild-exotic-216231/
Ring-tailed lemur on a tree stump. Image by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay, https://pixabay.com/en/ring-tailed-lemur-rare-wild-exotic-216231/

Additionally, when you use phrases such as “he was like…,” I become both intrigued and frustrated.  I know my emotions matter not to you, but you are standing in front of my house speaking loudly enough for me to hear your conversation from inside of my house.  Piquing my interest is inevitable.  I want to know how you intend to complete the comparison, but I will never find out.  What was he like?  A ring-tailed lemur?

Or perhaps you filled the void with a facial expression or a gesture.  But can he really be like a facial expression or a gesture?  Maybe an actual word will better convey your meaning.  Perhaps he was sad or infuriated or flabbergasted or incredulous or seductive.  You could satisfy my curiosity if only you used more words.

Lastly, the word “like” is not a substitute for speech fluency.  Saying, “Well, like, I had like 5 drinks, and he was like…, and then I was like…, like really.  You know?” really doesn’t help me understand what you are trying to say.  It actually distracts me from your message.  Strategies exist to improve speech fluency, and I would appreciate your investigating some of them, because if you plan to stand outside of my house again, having a conversation that clearly doesn’t concern me, I would like to be able to completely follow your line of thinking.

Thank you in advance for working to become clearer communicators,

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