Like it or not, the word ‘like’ has become the most frequently used word in a young person’s vocabulary according to a new study led by teenage etymologist Victoria Cunningham. Overtaking the previous favourite teenagers’ word, ‘whatever’, Victoria’s research found that ‘like’ is now being deployed by youngsters in a huge variety of ways in addition to the old-fashioned traditional use – a lazy one-click response to anything posted on Facebook.
“It has so many applications. It can even be used in place of the verb to say,” she said. “I was like, “Alright?” and he was like, “Yeah, I’m well good” is perfectly acceptable nowadays,” Victoria explained.
The study revealed that ‘like’ can be liberally sprinkled into almost any teenage utterance, and frequently is. “Can I like, have a mate like, to stay?” and “I’m like bored, I need a new like X-Box game” are now considered examples of good English according to Ms Cunningham. She added that parents who ask helpfully, “Would a PS3 game be like an X-Box game?” simply don’t understand that ‘like’ is not to be used in a comparative sense. “They should be told to not like take the piss.”