I HATE hearing the colloquial verb ''to be (all) like''.

Christian S.   Sunday, December 28, 2003, 14:34 GMT
I'm referring to a deplorable trend in American slang whereby the verb "to say" becomes supplanted by the verb "to be like" - unfortunately, this patois lingo is frequently accompanied with the equally inane "to be all". In the worst scenario, both monstrosities are fused into the egregious "to be all like".

Witness the asininity of a conversation peppered with such phrases:

"I'm like, 'Woot woot!', and you were all like, 'Can I get a PWNZ YOU?'"

"And then Mr. Cumming's like, 'In the year 1337, four-fingered archers flipped the birds.' Connie was all, 'EW! MUTANTS!'"

As you can see, the verb "to be like" has no semblance whatsoever of its intended meaning. In effect, the speaker has failed to carry out his purpose, i.e. quoting someone, be it himself or another. He has instead compared himself (or others, should he use the second or third person) to the words he utters.

He invokes simile when he uses "to be like" (I was like, "That's soooo stupid.", in which he denigrates his mental abilities), and metaphor when he employs "to be all" (he's all, "I need a hug!", in which he characterises someone whose sole purpose is to be embraced).

These verbal constructs are devoid of sense, logic, and purpose; they would be completely incomprehensible to a non-English speaker, who would best understand foreign words literally, not figuratively. As such, it is vital, for the sake of those who wish to learn the true English language, that this linguistic abomination be exterminated with extreme prejudice.

I thus propose as a solution the establishment of an Academy of the English Language. Its sole goal would be to root out any and all idioms such as that exemplified in this post. The motive for this is quite simple: idioms and idiocy have a connection that goes beyond pronunciation.

In conclusion, I wish to clarify the relevance of the topic title. Britons, Irish(wo)men, Aussies, Kiwis, Canucks, and all other non-Americans, I ask, "Has the "verb" "to be like" invaded your town, city, region, and/or country?"
Alice   Sunday, December 28, 2003, 16:41 GMT
Idioms develop in every language. This one may seem particularly heinous to you, but luckily, it's generally restricted to the youth. No academy is needed; as young people enter the working world, they begin to discover that such phrases do not help them to sound their best, and may keep them from being taken seriously, and they stop using them. The use of such idioms is simply a way for teenagers to establish their own identity by speaking differently than their parents. Excise "was all like", and some other, equally nonsensical expression will appear. Inanne though it may be, try not to let it bother you so much!
mjd   Sunday, December 28, 2003, 23:25 GMT
I don't care for that expression either, but an Academy isn't going to stop idioms from forming/spreading (as annoying as they may be). Language finds a way to evolve and "happen" on its own.
A.S.C.M.   Monday, December 29, 2003, 00:27 GMT
Oh, yes, "like...like...etc" invaded London and Southampton several years ago so I was rather prepared for the speech habits of Californians.

By the way, it seems to me that girls say "like" more than boys do.
Jamie On   Monday, December 29, 2003, 13:49 GMT
"to be like" and "to say" are not the same thing, so what exactly do you have against new expressions coming into English?


This is an incident being reported:
He slapped me and I was all like "why did you do that?".

This is what actually happened:
He slapped me and I said "What the hell did you slap me for?!"...

The "all like" just shows the gist of what was said not the ACTUAL words. What is inane or nonsensical about it? And yes, I am in Britain and people are all the time like "I was all like, then he was all like..."! So I'm always like "great!", and now you're going to be like "shut up". It's more common to say "go" anyway instead of "say"...

She goes = she said.
Jay   Wednesday, December 31, 2003, 17:42 GMT
You can't stop language change. Besides, spoken language is a much different creature than written language. As an English teacher, I wouldn't allow such language use in a written paper (unless it was used in dialogue) but nothing is going to stop usage of the above terms in casual, spoken American English.