Core Decorum

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Dear Decorum,

My classmate has a terrible habit of using the word ‘like’ all of the time – “I was like,” or “It’s, like, so busy, like, you know?” How can I tell her that she sounds like a Valley Girl? Am I just a word snob?

– Liked Out

Dear Out,

You may just, like, want to let it go and tolerate her as she is. Unfortunately, terms such as ‘like,’ ‘um,’ ‘er’ and ‘you know’ are becoming common fillers in the English language. Don’t exclude yourself: Everyone has a filler. However, if you wish to speak up, approach your friend in order to help. Don’t be that word snob and attack her. Maybe she doesn’t realize it, and maybe you need to be that person who brings light to the matter. It can be a gentle remark, such as “Hey, you just said ‘like’ three times in one sentence. Did you even notice?” Be polite and caring, and after you both discuss it, don’t think that the ‘like’ problem will immediately go away. Only your friend can break the habit, but the biggest part of the problem may be recognizing it.

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