Monday, May 21, 2012

"SO" Is, Well, The New "Like," You Know?

So..........................................................................................................
back in 2006, I bemoaned the phenomenon of the overuse of the word "Like". It seemed at the time that everyone below the age of 21, and at least a third of those above, were using the word "like" two, three, even four times in a sentence. Make that in EVERY sentence. Here is an example I provided at the time:
You know LIKE I feel LIKE students LIKE have trouble LIKE selecting LIKE career awareness LIKE experiences.
Happily, this bad habit has faded, although the "Likers" are still out there, but that isn't the end of the story.

My daughter, Dolly, has graced us with her presence this week, coming home from Medical School for the express purpose of studying for her Step I exams. Mrs. Dalai and I are of course glad to provide a peaceful and quiet atmosphere. Dolly does come up for air every so often, but when we actually get the chance to talk to her, we notice a disturbing trend: Every thought is prefaced by "So......" with a long pause. Apparently, "so" is the new "like".  As my quote in the old post mentioned, there seems to be a trend among the young to fill gaps in their speech with nonsense filler words. Or, to give themselves a bit of time to think before actually saying something intelligent, they begin with a place-holder word. Now, President Reagan used the word "well..." for this purpose, but he did it with perhaps a little more skill than our talkers do today.

So...........................................................................
I felt it my duty to break Dolly of the "like" habit, and I did this with some aversion therapy. Every time she said "like" in my presence, I would loudly erupt with the nonsense syllable "ACK!" rather like (sorry) one would do with a dog about to do a nasty on the rug. After about 50 "ACK's", Dolly's "like" addiction was gone.

I find myself having to do the same thing with "So....." But, well, like, it's my duty as a parent to raise her properly, you know?

So.............. somehow, Dolly is staying mostly in her room this trip.

3 comments:

23 Skidoo said...

I have heard entire sentences that were devoid of content..
So, uhm, like you know, like that's it.

Celticpiping said...

ahh grammatical pet peeves..
mine is 'which'
er
which, maybe I could have picked another...

The RadiNator said...

...issues with our Honors/Brilliant/Confident young engineering son, are problems associated with Boomer parents reared in the 60's. "Dude" and "Maaan" in every major discussion or diatribe. Dalai, you may remember that many of our past conversations, albeit years ago, usually included "maaan" from my end on numerous occasions;--[ So much for a classic education that included 3 years of high school Latin. Hahaha...

The proper response to your concerns above would be sprinkled with little items like, "...agreed Dalai, Mrs. Wingnut and I are DOWN with your methodology..."

I wonder if ole Dr. Spok, the infamous Pediatrician who moved South of the Border, would be Groovy with your approach.