Getting rid of the "like"

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by barbk, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    Messages:
    5,953
    D's off in college, and I've noticed when we talk on the phone (or during spring break) that she's upped her use of "like" about 200%. It makes me a little crazy, and I'm worried that it is going to make it difficult for her to get professional jobs because it sounds so bad.

    Any suggestions? Anyone who has managed to get rid of the likes or you-knows?

    I can cope with all the weird abbreviations and slang in text messaging, but the rapid-fire likes drive me nuts.
  2. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    21,977
    You have to make her aware of it. My dad did this with me when I went through my "like" phase, and while it still appears every now and then, I also catch myself doing it and cut it out.

    Good luck!
  3. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    11,857
    When I was 12 I cured myself of the "ummm"s by simply pausing when I felt the ummm urge coming. As soon as the urge passed I continued in my speaking.
  4. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,735
    This is sort of the same, but different, but a few years ago I realized that my constant "lol"ing during posts was getting out of hand. I was on a forum that automatically converted "lol" into a laughing smiley face, and one day I realized that I was perhaps veering into the chatspeak too much when I made a post and it was dotted with a dozen little laughing faces. ;)

    I agree that you can't cure someone of anything unless they're even aware they have a problem. Maybe tape one of her conversations that's peppered with "likes", and play it back to her and count how many times she says it.
  5. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    9,814
    Try speaking to her in the same way and see if she'll be annoyed by it.

    "Like.. how are you doing? Like... what are you doing now? Like... do you need me to pick you up? Like... when will you be home? Like ..that's nice. Like see you later. Like... I love you to. Like ...ok" :lol:
  6. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    21,977
    What I like (it's proper there!) to do with my students is stuff such as this:

    "Ms PL, I have, like, a headache."

    "Oh, it's not really a headache, then?"

    "What?"

    "You said you have like a headache, so not an actual headache then?"

    Usually, they still don't get it and I have to explain it to them, but they seem to be more careful after that.
    Karina1974 and (deleted member) like this.
  7. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Messages:
    20,739
    I have been trying to get my bf to stop using "you know" after the end of every sentence.

    It is one of my biggest pet peeves and it drives me insane. I feel like it is a personal attack on me. So every time he does it I get really defensive and ask if he thinks I'm stupid and feels the need to constantly make sure I am following him. That usually stops him for a little while.
  8. Nan

    Nan Just me

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,766
    Mine is, "Really?" (the word, not the poster here)

    Someone asks me a question and after I answer it, they say, "Really?" I've started answering back, "No, I lied."
  9. grimey

    grimey bird is the word

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2002
    Messages:
    1,287
    The "like" phrase is most annoying when used in this fashion:

    "Then he was like 'lets go to the mall!' and I was like 'Sure!' and he was like 'O.K'"

    Also when the kids talk in questions when the statement is NOT a question is very annoying.
  10. Autumm_wind

    Autumm_wind New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    210
    I do this. :slinkaway
    Even I am bothered by it.
  11. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    13,165
    My mother was all over me the minute "like" or "you know" came out of my mouth so I never really got started down that path.

    The typical teenage sass word I really hate is "whatever...." - my husband says it sometimes and I go through the roof.

    In law school, they drummed "um" out of us - just pause and think, don't make noise.

    On my own, I worked on eliminating "stuff" and "stuff like that" from my business meeting vocabulary. It just isn't a precise or sophisticated term.
  12. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    13,165

    Another thing I am not fond of is using "shut-up!" instead of "no way!" or "really?" The first time I heard that, I thought the person was really telling me to shut up.
  13. Veronika

    Veronika gold dust woman

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    4,072
    I used to say "whatever" to my dad a lot when I was a teen. Most of the time, it was code for "Feck off." :p
  14. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    13,165
    That is how I interpret it too.
  15. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2001
    Messages:
    15,964
    To do that, you have to use "like" appropriately, re: grammar. "Like" has a meaning that's sort of like "um" and "approximately", in this sense, so correcting the above:

    "Like, how are you, like, doing? I mean, like, what are you doing, like, now? Do you need me to, like, pick you up? When will you, like, be home? That's, like, nice. See ya, like, later..." ;) :lol:

    My MBA program did that for me. It was probably the best thing I learned there.
  16. bobalina77

    bobalina77 Duck Hunter

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    7,061
    I'm totally guilty of this :shuffle::slinkaway
  17. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2001
    Messages:
    15,964
    And it's *fine* in colloquial speech, when used with your peer group/friends/in a casual environment, especially if that's how your listeners and you both naturally speak. The issue, IMO, isn't that such slang shouldn't be used - it's that the speaker needs to be aware of, and in control of, such things, and only use them where appropriate - or at least be able to *not* use them when aren't appropriate. I mean, if I were speaking to my boss, I'd leave out the "likes". But if I were, like, talking to, like, my sister? No biggie.
  18. Bev Johnston

    Bev Johnston New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,168
    For me it was student teaching. My evaluator tallied my "ums" the first time he came to see me teach. That was quite the eye opener.

    I used to have a Spanish teacher that said "ah" all the time. We counted them when we were bored, and the number in an hour was ridiculous; something close to 100.
  19. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Messages:
    30,765
    It bothers me a lot. And people don't realize that they are doing it. DH started using "like" intensely 2 or 3 years ago. I've decided that there are bigger things to worry about.
  20. jamesy

    jamesy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Messages:
    9,964
    my name is jamesy and I also abuse "like" :slinkaway
    Rex and (deleted member) like this.
  21. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Messages:
    9,174
    My name is manhn and I abuse "no problem" instead of saying "you're welcome."
  22. Flatfoote

    Flatfoote New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    Messages:
    680
    I remember during the 08 Olympics, just about every USA woman's gymnast they interviewed started off the answer to every question with, "ummm, you know....." It drove me nuts!
  23. Nan

    Nan Just me

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,766
    Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward overcoming it. ;) :lol:
  24. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,554
    Tara Lipinski used to have a habit during interviews where she would use the word "you" when she was really answering a question that was about her. I used to want to reach through my TV screen and just slap her every time she did that.

    I hope she's gotten rid of that, seeing as how she is now a commentator.
  25. susan6

    susan6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,692
    But, CAN you actually control it? Most people who use "like" every other word when talking to their friends also use it in all their conversations, with everyone. They've gotten subconsciously trained to use this word over and over again, and need serious practice to stop using it. Can you turn the fountain of "like" on and off? (If so....why would you ever turn it on? Have you LISTENED to yourself when you talk like this?)

    To answer the original question....your daughter probably doesn't realize how many times she is using the word "like". You might recommend that she actually think about it or record her and count the "likes". It is pandemic in colleges, and they do "grow out of it" eventually, but the sooner she is made aware of it, the better.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  26. LisaS

    LisaS New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Messages:
    97
    I can turn swearing on and off. While I don't swear a lot, I definitely don't with my Parents or in certain situations at work but with my friends if I feel the need I let it go.
  27. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2006
    Messages:
    9,251
    I blame it all on the song "Valley Girl" by Frank Zappa. 1982. It started us all off on the "like" thing; drove our dad nuts!!
  28. jamesy

    jamesy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Messages:
    9,964
    It's, like, an addiction. :slinkaway
    Rob and (deleted member) like this.
  29. Autumm_wind

    Autumm_wind New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    210
    Really?
    Nan and (deleted member) like this.
  30. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    13,165
    Whatever....

    My brother says "but, uh" or "but, er" instead of "um" and the first few times I hear it, I think he is asking for butter. He lives in Tahoe so I don't see him that often.
  31. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    Messages:
    5,953
    Back in the day, our car license plate was UMM 577, and whenever one of us said "um" within my dad's hearing, he'd shoot back "577", which was disruptive and annoying, but rather thoroughly cured me of that particular habit.

    I guess that I'll try the recording method to let her hear, and then the tally method to track. I am, like, really annoyed that this problem has, like, you know, gotten, like, so bad, this like first year away from home. I don't think I could do that in speech even if I practiced.

    And in my MBA program they videotaped you in an interview and in a presentation. One of my teammates had a habit of twirling her finger in her hair. On the order of 24 times in a fifteen minute interview. One showing of that videotape cured that particular problem -- she later told me her mom was ready to bake the professor a cake, and that this habit had driven her mom nuts since my friend was in high school.
  32. bobalina77

    bobalina77 Duck Hunter

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    7,061
    I play with my hair too.. usually more when I'm tired or bored though. I've done it since I was a baby.
  33. LuckyCharm

    LuckyCharm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Messages:
    3,878

    Shut up!
  34. MOIJTO

    MOIJTO Banned Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,173
    I say Ummm often, its a hard habit to break. Really taking time to think what you want to say rather than babble on and on and on tends to help, but when you are excited its hard.
  35. Aimless

    Aimless New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Messages:
    467
    In Toastmasters, the public speaking club, we call these crutch words "audible pauses." That's a helpful term in and of itself. Silence is *ever* so much more powerful than these completely meaningless fill-in-the-gap utterances. Silence attracts the listener's attention and allows both the speaker and the listener to momentarily regroup and focus. The words that follow a silence, even a brief one, have much more importance and emphasis. Good speakers use silence to their considerable advantage.

    I'd suggest (as did an earlier poster) that you count the number of these "likes" "ums" and/or "you know" phrases within a five minute period, and then tell the person how many there were. Do this a couple of times and see how it works. Or, make an unannounced brief recording of the person's speech and replay it for him or her. For most people, these crutch words are almost unconscious and so, almost inaudible and actually hard to control. But awareness is the first step.
  36. Rock2

    Rock2 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,855
    I'm not about using words/discussion to address a non-verbal issue

    I'd just keep a spray bottle nearby and squirt the bugger on every offense.
  37. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,857
    My dad made me aware of it when I was going through the 'like' phase and I started to notice it when I was doing it. He also told me that 'unless you are using a simile, or are stating that you are fond of something, you are using the word wrong.'

    Ever since watching a particular episode of How I Met Your Mother recently, I've noticed that I say 'but, umm...' a lot. Still trying to work on that one.
  38. bobalina77

    bobalina77 Duck Hunter

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    7,061
    I've noticed that I also say "Soooo, yeah.." a lot.
  39. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    3,379
    Another irritant: the use of "Anyways".
  40. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    9,814
    How about the use of "whatever"? It drives me nuts when I say something to someone and his/her response to me is "Whatever." I find it extremely rude.