Want to make my skin crawl? Then carry on misusing words!


Even though, like so many others who inhabit the internet, I make use of the ‘Like’ function, whether here in the blogosphere or on social media sites such as Facebook, there is a fundamental problem with doing so. What is it? See if you can guess before reaching the end of this post.


The Oxford English Dictionary has several definitions of the word Like. Here are just four:-

1. Having the same characteristics or qualities as; similar to

2. In the manner of; in the same way or to the same degree as

3. Used with reference to a person or thing of the same kind as another: the quotations could be arranged to put like with like | I know himβ€”him and his like. (the like) a thing or things of the same kind (often used to express surprise or for emphasis): did you ever hear the like? | a church interior the like of which he had never seen before.

4. Find agreeable, enjoyable, or satisfactory: all his classmates liked him | [with present participle] people who don’t like reading books | [with infinitive] I like to be the centre of attention.


Quite obviously the last is the definition predominently in use anywhere on the internet. But once again, what’s the point of using it? How many times have you clicked on the ‘Like’ icon purely out of habit, without bothering to read the post it is attached to? How many times have you ‘Liked’ something like a promotional post about a new book, then never followed through by buying a copy of the book to support the author? None of these actions make any kind of sense to me or any other sane person.

Then there is the way the word is misused these days by the young. What do I mean? Starting a sentence with the word ‘Like’. Or far worse, peppering each sentence they utter with the word. Thank goodness that most internet sites haven’t adopted another of my current pet hates, the equally misused word ‘So’. It’s bad enough that it is now used in conjuction with, or as an alternative for the word Like, to begin a sentence by kids and teenagers. I blame their teachers and parents for allowing them to get away with it.

When people who quite frankly should know better (adults) do the same thing, it positively makes my skin crawl. I’m talking about some well known academics, leading business people, politicians, and most celebrities, all of them in the public eye, along with anyone else you care to name who believes it is acceptable practice. Often these people show their lack of understanding of the specific usage of certain words while being interviewed about something or other concerning their specialist subject. Maybe they think they’re being cool or trendy, appealing to the young. Sorry ladies and gentlemen, all you are doing is showing your ignorance by misusing a word, not to mention proving to the public at large that you are foolish in the extreme.

Now, getting back to using the ‘Like’ option for any post, why can’t you also be allowed to make use of a ‘dislike’ option as well, should you wish to? The idea of giving you only one option is extremely unsatisfactory don’t you think? At least when I ‘Like’ a post, I have the decency to read it first. The same goes for promotional posts about books. In that specific case if I ‘Like’ it, it is an indication to whoever posted it that I purchased a copy. How about the rest of you? Does any of this also apply to the way you use ‘Like’? More to the point, do you even care?

Rant over…




24 thoughts on “Want to make my skin crawl? Then carry on misusing words!

  1. I’ve always read the posts I ‘like’, Jack, but I have to say I don’t always buy the books when I click that link. Yes, I might want to buy it, but finances prevent the purchase of every book that appeals and lack of time means it would take forever for it to get to the top of my TBR pile.

    My pet word bugbear is ‘cool’. I hate it. Such and such a thing’s ‘cool’, man’, for instance. Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, like, you’re saying this is like a pet peeve of yours? πŸ˜‰

    Sorry, I know how bad it can be to have these kinds of things that drive you crazy. One of mine is people’s failure to use the word “of” or using “on” or “about” in its place incorrectly.

    You definitely could not have stood being aroud me in the 80’s back when I was a valley girl. “Like” came out of my mouth every other word. I cringe just thinking about it now. My poor parents did everything they could think of to try to stop me, but it was no use. I thought I was being cool nad it seemed like everyone was doing it and it was all over TV and in the movies. It took me years to break myself from the habit, and I still do it now when I don’t think about it.

    We really are doing a disservice to young people by letting them et away with misusing words every day the way we do. Eventually it will be them trying to break themselves from the habits they’re forming now. I wonder if they’ll have stick with it and change or if they’ll stick with it and cause what is acceptable in general to change instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Too true. Worse are the folks that rant about something from a Facebook or other post — when it is obvious they didn’t even follow the link to read the article. Now, where’s the “like” button for this blog post?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I Like the idea of a Dislike button, and if there was one I would probably use it – to my detriment. I’ll like a post advertising a book I’ve already bought, and sometimes just to acknowledge that I feel something for a post – whether it’s laughter, sadness, or just wanting to show that I care. Some things I could never bring myself to like, or can’t find the words to commiserate. although then I worry that the blogger thinks I don’t care. So I think there should be multiple buttons other than Like. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Like you I don’t always ‘Like’ something. There are a hell of a lot of pretty nasty posts on Facebook, usually about animal or child cruelty, as well as women being treated abominably. They’re the ones I’d use a Dislike button on.


  5. I like things that somehow agree with my view points and/or to show the person I care about them, what they have to say and show my appreciation for their efforts and generosity of sharing that information. I always read all before I click like, including the comments below (provided it is less than give or take fifty) To me clicking a like is giving a stamp of approval, so I want to know what I am going to approve of.
    As a blogger, writing in my adopted language of English, I feel it is appropriate to point out to the critics of misuse of language in blog posts, that there is a large number of people like me, reaching out in a language understood by the majority of the world, without fully understanding the fundamentals. A lot of our language skills come from personal interactions and media, rather than proper education. I would like people to be a little more forgiving and understanding towards multilingual bloggers and look at the message, rather than the spelling errors.
    In response to the reply about nasty Face Book Posts, I have found the “Ignore” button on my page, see http://happypollyesther.com/2014/06/16/the-hidden-powers-of-the-glad-game/ for the reason why.


    • Happypollyesther, Don’t forget, I was talking about the misuse of the words ‘like’ and ‘so’ in modern speech, as well as ‘liking’ something on any social media site. πŸ™‚


  6. Thank you for following my blog! Yes, I think I did understand your point. I guess I meant to say “misuse of words” and “used spelling error”…oops…but feel both are considered annoying by literary experts. My aim is to create a less judgmental world, because it appears to cause a lot of misery on personal and global levels.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jack,
      You picked good timing for a subtle personal reminder about the existence of my blog. πŸ˜‰ I so needed to read this again after having been uninspired to write and preoccupied with additional, important distractions that have forced me to keep my muse gagged for a while now. Hope to release her again soon! 🀞 Much appreciated!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Unfortunately, certain words are habit forming as we hear them misused so much. What amuses me is when people, or youngsters make up words. My mum used to do this all the time! And we used to say shotties (in Scotland,) as a code word for the teachers coming when we were kids up to mischief!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks Jack,
    You picked a good time for a subtle personal reminder about the existence of my blog. πŸ˜‰ I so needed to read this again after having been uninspired to write and preoccupied with additional, important distractions that have forced me to keep my muse gagged for a while now. Hope to release her again soon! 🀞 Much appreciated!


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