“It’s not like, you know like, what like…”
Like is an example of 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 Bellows 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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