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The word ‘like’ Essay

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Updated: Mar 29th, 2019

Introduction

Patricia O’Conner through her article proved that grammar is simple and entertaining. In an article she wrote, she comes out clearly explaining the use of the word ‘like’ and proves that it is actually not grammatically wrong as perceived by many people. This essay is a short summary of that article she wrote. In this essay the main points concerning the use of the word ‘like’ is highlighted with different views concerning the word examined

Summary

The word like is used in a range of uses. As a verb, it is used to express feelings of fondness between two or among many people. It is also used as preposition to compare two similar ideas. The word can also be used as a quotative.

It is used by young people to quote or paraphrase speeches of other people but often with sarcasm or irony. The word is also used to describe thoughts running within ones mind without necessarily speaking them out, for instance, ‘I am like, this is not fair at all!’

When like is used to describe thoughts as above, it does not serve in the same capacity as an adverb. The article by Patricia also aired some opinions about the use of the word OK claiming that it is grammatically correct.

The word like has been included in some dictionaries at the capacity of being used as an informal word in informal speeches and there is a feeling that it is a good innovative addition to English.

Though the word ‘like’ seems to face some opposition, the author of the article is optimistic about the role that the word plays. She calls the word innovative and argues that it serves better as a quotative compared to other words. To many people, the use of the word has been associated with kids.

Ironically, some old people have been observed to use the word unknowingly with a good example being the author’s mother who was still using the word in her fifties. Another example given in the article is that of an aunt of Jessica; the aunt used the word probably unknowingly.

Geoffrey Pullum who wrote The Cambridge grammar of English Language also supports the usage of the word like as he says that it is quite logical and reasonable. According to professor Arnold Zwicky, people associate this word with teenagers and anything that is associated with young people tends to be disdained. This explains why this word is highly criticized.

Another reason forwarded to explain the resistance of the word like is the perception that it is used by people with less education. According to Zwicky, using this word to many people is a sign of been uneducated and on the contrary, everyone wants to sound educated.

O’Conner is of the opinion that young people are aware that the word is not always formal and so they only use it in informal speeches. Zwicky experiences this with his students who are quite fond of the word and uses it informally. O’Conner challenges parents who criticize the use of the word like to stop as there is nothing wrong with using that word and furthermore parents often use it unknowingly.

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"The word 'like'." IvyPanda, 29 Mar. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/the-word-like/.

1. IvyPanda. "The word 'like'." March 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-word-like/.


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IvyPanda. "The word 'like'." March 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-word-like/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "The word 'like'." March 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-word-like/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The word 'like''. 29 March.

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