This is specifically directed at everyone for whom English as a second language applies. I’m not talking about those who primarily communicate in Spanish, Arabic or Mandarin. I’m focusing on those who think they’re speaking English but actually use some derivative dialect that I will never comprehend.
Example: “So, like, I was, like, hanging out, you know, and this old dude goes, like, ‘What are you doing out here?’ And I’m like, ‘Who cares?’ You know? And he goes, ‘I do,’ you know. And I go, ‘Hey, it’s like, you know, a free country.’ ”
Where did that speech pattern originate? I’m sure it’s relatively recent. I don’t remember anyone I knew growing up who sprinkled the word “like” so liberally through every conversation and every sentence.
And when was the exact moment that “he said-she said-they told me” were all permanently replaced with everyone “going” somewhere? I have no idea when this phonetic phenomenon began, but one thing I do know is that “you know” has gotten completely out of control. It’s like, annoying … exactly like annoying.
I’m Pat McMahon.