Re: USAGE: 'like' as a referent to quoting
|From:||Stephen Mulraney <ataltanie@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, November 11, 2004, 2:56|
James Worlton wrote:
> Some of you may be interested in the topic at the University of North Texas'
> Linguistics Colloquium (which I unfortunately can't attend). I don't think
> the usage is as frequent in US english, but it certainly exists--and I find
> myself (age 33) doing it sometimes as well *gasp*:
> [from the announcement]
> Since exploding onto the scene in the early 1980s, be like, as in the example
> below, is well on its way to becoming the preferred way that younger speakers
> quote themselves and others in conversation.
> (1) It took ten-minutes for the damn things to die
> and I’m like, “Can I put on the lid?”
> And she’s like, “No, it ruins it.”
> and I was like, “This is horrifying.”
> In fact, be like is so vigorous in Canadian English that it has risen from a
> mere 13% in 1995 (Tagliamonte & Hudson 1999) to 60% in 2002 (Tagliamonte &
> D’Arcy 2004). This telescoped development provides an unprecedented
> opportunity to investigate the ways in which linguistic change progresses. It
> also enables us to address the question of whether be like is strictly
> associated with teenagers and young adults, after which time its use
> decreases, or whether speakers continue to use it once it forms part of their
> day-to-day conversations. In order to address these issues, I will report on
> the frequency and distribution of forms used to quote speech and inner
> thought (e.g., I say, She goes, He’s like) among 189 speakers of Canadian
> English aged 10-87. These data suggest that not only do speakers continue to
> quote with be like across their lifetimes, but that they actually increase
> their frequency of use as they age.
> James W.
A similar strategy which is used in Ireland - The verb "go" :
So I went "can I put the lid on it?"
And she went "no, it'll ruin it"
And I went "that's crap"
Can be used in any tense, as far I can tell. It seems so natural and obvious to me
that I'm not sure if it *is* particular to Irish speech. Maybe all of youse say it too?