Conversation’s “Like” Problem

AGW
4 min readJul 2, 2023

Oh dear, it's been a long time since I wrote anything, but here we go with a rant similar to what I wrote about on the word, “Assume”, in my post Assume — Ass= Me / Them.

So here we go, when having a conversation these days, there will come a time when a filler word has to be used whilst the person you’re talking to or you need a second to process your thoughts. This tends to be one or a combination of the following: um, ahh, well, or, like, bro and you know etc. Not that there is anything wrong with using the occasional filler word, but they can be overused, and this has become popularised no thanks to reality TV, Hollywood and, most notably, the Kardashians.

One of those filler words I have listed has become the most popular of all of them, that being the word “Like”. Now “like” is a great word and can be used in at least six different ways, all these can be found by searching for the word in a dictionary/thesaurus, and they are the following; like can be used as a verb, a preposition, a noun, an adjective, a conjunction and an adverb. For the most part, when used in conversation, “like” is typically used as an adverb, especially in our modern times, and this quote comes directly from the dictionary on my Mac, which perfectly compliments the aim of the blog post…I do love it when the dictionary agrees with you. Anyway, here is the aforementioned quote “used in speech as a meaningless filler or to signify the speaker’s uncertainty about an expression just used: there was this funny smell — sort of dusty like | I was, like, so hyped up I couldn’t go to sleep.” I am not going to give the full definition of the word “like” but there you have it, and I encourage you to look up the word for yourself in both the thesaurus and the dictionary to better your understanding of the English language.

The reality is that using this word every five seconds doesn’t show anything good, it doesn’t show intelligence, it doesn’t have a “cool factor”, and it doesn’t tell anyone anything other than you might have a relatively limited vocabulary especially if you’re using meaningless filler words. But for the most part, it shows people that you’re lazy because you want to speak and you want to be heard; however, it also shows the world that you haven’t taken the time to get your thoughts in order before opening your mouth.

Conversation is an art form, and as with many art forms, there are practitioners who are highly skilled such as Stephan Fry, Vivek Ramaswamy, J.K. Rowling, Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, John Cleese, Celine Dion etc the list goes on. Then it has the major offenders, these are mostly, reality TV stars and those who popularised what I am calling the “like movement”, that being the Kardashians and every other popular reality TV show to come out of America and the UK: Love Island, the Hills, Big Brother etc. These shows I think it can be argued they thought it sounded cool and easy to use the word “like” every five seconds in conversation when it's really not.

I started writing this as a reactionary piece to the current state of conversation, to encourage debate and hopefully to open up a few eyes and ears as to where we are as a people. The English language is a beautiful thing after all, when it's written, spoken or performed to a high level, it is a thing of beauty that we can be proud of and admire. It can move people and bring them to tears of joy or sorrow as they feel all that the artist wants them to, this can cause their souls to take flight and soar through a world of imagination. I feel that conversation, which is the very cornerstone of language, should be protected and treasured. It shouldn’t be overly saturated with meaningless filler words as conversation should have meaning unless of course, you’re under the influence, then your conversation likely won’t have any meaning at all.

I hope you have enjoyed this little rant of mine, and I would love it if this little post of mine starts up a conversation of its own. I would be the first to admit being guilty of overusing the word “like” in conversation, and as with all bad habits, be it smoking or biting my nails, I am trying to cut down on it. As we all should anyway, till next time take care and keep on reading.

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AGW

A Gentleman Writer by name A Gentleman who Writes by nature so come and explore the world through my eyes and words. Blogger with a unique view on the world.