American teenagers have taken the word "like" and slaughtered it into something all their own.
If you are a teenager, you might be saying, "This lady is, like, so ridiculous."
Well, there you go.
WikiHow.com suggests you stop using "like" before adjectives and adverbs or to approximate. For example, never say, "She is, like, only 4 feet tall." Just say, "She is 4 feet tall."
There are only two correct usages of the word, according to wikiHow:
- Similarity (This tastes just like my mom's cake).
- Enjoyment (I like this cake).
Q: How can we get our kids to break this bad habit and stop saying "like"?
Read what the Canton-Sixes Patch Moms Council had to say, then add your own suggestions in the comment field below this article.
A: Honestly, until my 14-year-old daughter entered this year, I didn't hear the word "like" coming out of her mouth all that much. Now, I don't know what has happened to her speech. It is so annoying that I have even started counting how many times she will say "like" while talking to me. Unfortunately, it irritates her, and she storms off. I am truly at my wits' end with her. I must admit that I had the bad habit of saying "ya know" when I was her age. Lucky for me, my father put a stop to it. Every time I said "ya know," he offered this reply: "No, I don't know!"
Leslie Olejnik, mother of two
A: I can remember using "like" and I even think I knew it was annoying. That is not the go-to word for my kids right now, but I'm sure it will be soon. I think "like" is an easy word to inject into sentences when you're trying to create dramatic effect or find a way to convey a conversation between two people. Plus, I think in the mind of the teenager, they think they are being clever in comparing two things, as in, "She was, like, fast as a cheetah." I think it's the make-up of the sentence. I don't know that we'd find anything odd if a teenager said, "She ran like a cheetah." When my daughter starts with "like," I'm sure I will resort to throwing the word right back at her until it's just not cool for her to use it anymore. I just hope it doesn't then become my habit.
Melissa Holder, mother of two