Like, What’s the Deal with Saying Like so Much?

debaird™ / / CC BY-SA

As a college student, I hear the word “like” more than any other word. I hear it in every class and used in every way. Whether it’s the smart student who can’t seem to get out whatever eloquent comment without saying “like” every five words or it’s someone who uses “like” as one of the five words they know, the word “like” is definitely a staple in the undergraduate experience.

Although saying like, in like, every sentence can be the most obnoxious display of lacking a good vocabulary, the post “Every language needs its, like, filler words,” written by Esther Inglis-Arkell, attempts to explain the importance of using words such as like, um and uh. Inglis-Arkell makes some great points, however she hardly makes a case for why and when like should not be used.

If you were wondering, there may be positives to using the word like. According to Inglis-Arkell, like can be used effectively when beginning to talk about what something or a situation was like. Also, she says that if we pay too much attention to not saying like, that it would hinder our ability to speak.

Even though like can be used appropriately, the WikiHow post “How to Stop Saying the Word Like,” makes it clear that the word is almost never necessary. Additionally, using the word like too much makes the speaker sound less credible and unsure of what they are saying. I know I am not the only one that finds it incredibly irritating.

If you want to sound more credible and sure of yourself when speaking, it might be best to discontinue using the word like altogether. This way, you won’t have to worry about using the word inappropriately.

WikiHows 9 Ways to Stop Using “Like” Inapropriately

    1) Know how the word “like” is supposed to be used.
    2) Pause when you typically insert “like.”
    3) Record yourself to see how often you use the word “like” incorrectly.
    4) Stop using “like” when quoting someone.
    5) Don’t use “like” to approximate.
    6) Stop using “like” before adjectives and adverbs.
    7) Improve your vocabulary.
    8) Quit using the word “like” altogether.
    9) Make sure to see how long you can go without saying the word “like” in an improper way.

If you’re like me, you could imagine catching yourself using like inappropriately here and there. But what if someone recorded you speaking? How much do you think you would say like?

Here’s to, like, using the word like less.


2 thoughts on “Like, What’s the Deal with Saying Like so Much?

  1. I enjoyed this post a lot. It really is a problem that our generation uses “like” a lot. It makes us sound so unintelligent, but you’re right and so is Esther Inglis-Arkell by saying that every language needs their filler words. I will try the WikiHow tips, because it is so annoying to even hear myself use the word “like” in the wrong form!

    • I agree. The part where Inglis-Arkell explains that if you pay to much attention to using the word “like”, that it won’t help, was good advice too. I have notice myself saying “like” inappropriately right after I was annoyed by someone else using it. I could just imagine myself saying “like” in an interview and not getting the job for that reason alone. I know if I was the person interviewing me I wouldn’t hire me because it annoys me that much. Additionally, in professional settings, I almost never hear the word used.

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