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It’s Like, The Total F*cking Destruction Of The English Language

I was at a dinner with a group of well-educated younger people a few weeks ago (most of them were from their late 20’s to early 40’s), and the conversation went something like this:

“So, I went to see the show, cause I was, like, really interested in their music, but when I got there it was, like, bedlam.  There were, like, people standing in the aisles, and, like, nobody seemed to know what was going on, it was, like, a disaster, and I thought, like, what am I doing here?”

In other words, it was, like, a total butchering of the language.

I’m not quite sure when “like” was elevated from Valley Girl patois to an acceptable insertion into almost every spoken sentence, but I think it needs to stop.  It adds words and weight to a language that requires no modification, and worst of all it makes the speaker sounds a bit dim witted.  The other problem is that the word is a bit contagious. By the end of the evening I found myself, like, starting to use like a lot.  Like, really a lot.

Unfortunately I already have my own problems with the English language.  When stressed or excited I tend to get a bit of a potty mouth, with a particular affection for the F bomb.  In my own defense, f*ck and its derivatives are really wonderfully versatile words.  Noun, verb, adjective, adverb, the uses are almost endless; that was f*cking beautiful, I don’t give a f*ck, who the f*ck cares, he’s f*cking crazy, what has two thumbs and likes to f*ck, this is one big cluster f*ck……  I could go on and on.

Yes, it just f*cking rolls off my tongue.  But I know it also makes me sound like a cast member of Jerseylicious, which is probably not a good thing for a guy that primarily makes his living communicating.  I can still hear echos of the nuns at Holy Rosary School – “swearing just shows your ignorance and lack of vocabulary”.  The nuns were wrong about a lot of things, but this isn’t one of them. I appreciate someone who uses language elegantly. So I’m going to be more careful.  Perhaps I can find a f*ck alert to remind me to speak like a gentleman.

Wouldn’t that, like, be f*cking wonderful?

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9 Responses to It’s Like, The Total F*cking Destruction Of The English Language

  1. Danette Dickerman says:

    This was very funny. Good lesson for me too!

  2. Sally Dickson says:

    As a frequent F bomber, I can relate. As someone who also bristles at inappropriate uses of words and phrases, here’s my latest peeve:
    “Thank you!” Response: “No problem.” Aaarrgghh!

  3. Mark Simon says:

    Ums and You Knows can be problems too.

  4. And don’t forget the ever popular WTF…
    Here’s a hilarious example of many fine uses of the word:

  5. Scott Ward says:

    I understand as I have to remind both of my kids to actually think before they start talking. Sometimes I make them stop what they are saying, think about it and then they have permission to express themselves. It’s amazing what they can say if they stop being lazy.

  6. Pat Herr says:

    Just want to clarify for you that people speak eloquently, not elegantly.

  7. Pat Herr says:

    Just want to remind the writer that he means “eloquently” not elegantly as he states in his closing lines.

  8. Bizzy Life Author Avatar Tim O'Leary says:

    Pat – in this case while both could be correct – I did mean elegantly. I appreciate it when people take an elegant approach towards language.

  9. Jane says:

    I’ve had the terrific realization that, what with texting, the abandoning of cursive writing, etc., etc., that we will soon be a culture of people who can only grunt and point.

    I have the utmost respect for “F” used judiciously, however; it is clear and concise and understood by people who have no language skills – no matter what level of society.

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