Monday, September 1, 2008

Like, ya know?

In the early 80's I had a wonderful social studies teacher named Ms. Douglass.
She was quite the character. One of her 'teaching tools' was a "Like-jar". Any time a student was caught using the word 'like' incorrectly they owed her a nickel. We did something fun with the money at the end of the year but I don't recall what. This is the same teacher that made us rub her back during class and would have students push her down the hall in a rolling chair while she whacked students with a pointer to get out of of her way (never hurting anyone). She was a fabulous teacher but....unique. I digress.
The new 'like' is 'ya know'. It has become punctuation and a pause filler. It drives me NUTS! Michael P*h*e*l*p*s said it constantly in his interviews. I decided to count how many times. So next interview I started counting and timing. M.P. said 'ya know' 38 times in 3 minutes.
You can barely speak to anyone under 25 without hearing 'ya know' at the end of every 3rd or 4th sentence or in extreme cases, EVERY sentence. I don't believe most people who do it even realize they are saying "ya know" so often. I hope that is the excuse at least.
So, like ya know, that is my opinion, ya know, on the sorry state of English grammar, ya know, in the US today, ya know.


Kevin said...

I agree - many Americans need some help with basic English grammar. I was just complaining to B. about how people constantly use the word "good" in places where it should be "well." Like, M.P. swims so good, ya know.

The other thing I'm laughing about is that "ya know" is not new. It was around in the 70's but was eventually supplanted by "like." I remember my Grandma complaining about athletes on TV who insisted upon using "ya know" every few words or so.

Liesl said...

By the way, those last two comments were not from Kevin. They were from me. I'm on Kevin's computer until mine comes back from the shop. Its motherboard died to the tune of &450. Ouch