Posts Tagged ‘Language’

As You Like It

Friday, December 11th, 2009

“To be or, like you know, not to be. Like, you know that is totally the question.”

Poor William Shakespeare. He must be spinning in his grave. Just listen to those around you and you’ll understand why.

I was in a local coffee shop the other day and this couple next to me was having a fairly animated conversation. I couldn’t help overhearing what was going on. Now I did come in at the middle of the conversation but it sounded something like this:

She:          “So you know he goes, ‘Joan, you can’t like do that.’ And I’m saying like why not? And for some reason you know he just goes ‘don’t do that ‘cause like it will be like awful.’”

He:            “You must have been like, you know, totally PO’d.”

She:            “Totally… whatever.”

Needless to say I was intrigued… but not by the content of the conversation: the number of annoying words these people used amazed me. At that very moment I remembered reading about a survey that was conducted last October by Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

They surveyed a group of people and came up with what they determined to be the world’s most annoying words. Whatever easily beat out you know, yet the words totally, like, it is what it is and at the end of the day were also characterized as some of the most annoying words used today.

And here are some other words that just bug the vowels out of me: cool, awesome, check it out, that said and give it up.

Here’s a fun activity idea, if you can stand it: count how many times people use these annoying words in the course of their conversation. After about ten minutes I’m sure you’ll realize that at the rate our language seems to be deteriorating this is indeed “The winter of our discontent.” Or whatever.