Friday, January 07, 2011

Like . . . .

I know fully well that the younger generation drives the older generation crazy.

When I was nineteen, my David Cassidy-esque hair probably bugged some of my older relatives. That wasn't so bad. Later, during the height of the New Wave era, I bleached my hair the color of a paper napkin.
At 6' 3" and 155 pounds, I looked like a Q-tip with big brown eyes.

I realize that I'm now fully implanted in the "older generation".

For one thing, I just don't understand these kids nowadays, especially their proclivity toward getting tattoos. I mean, bleached hair grows out and in a few months there's no evidence left of one's youthful, foolish impulses.

But tattoos are so permanent; a perpetual, emblematic, blazing memoir of one's youthful, foolish lack of self-control. I mean, really!

Sure, that red dragon on your neck may look cool when you're 21, stupid and attractive. But someday -- you never know -- you may be considered as a vice presidential running mate and that idiotic red dragon will still be there.  And there you will be with your red-necked dragon, looking more foolish than previous vice presidential running mates.

I'm not so much concerned with the tattoo craze.  Again, yes, I was a once-obsessed idiot at that age but there's a big difference.  I've no permanent, marked-up change to my body evidencing the fact that I saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show thirty-five nights in a row on the campus theater in 1978!

Twenty years from now, tattoo-removal will be a multi-billion dollar industry. (I should invest right now.)

What I absolutely cannot stand are these kids and their inability to speak without using the word, "like."

Two twenty-somethings are, like, talking to each other:
"I was, like, telling him, like, 'whatever', like, and he was, like, 'whatever'. . . ."

It's a form of "hedging" during a conversation, similar to using 'um' during a sentence. Grammatically, the modern-day use of the word, "like," is classified as a 'discourse article' -- same as the use of 'um'.

What caused this?? (I love studying linguistics.) My thoughts are that it began in the 1980s in California with "like" meaning "same as" or "what I mean is". Then as the popularity of popular California girls caught on, it evolved into a discourse article.

After that, the obsession with texting, as opposed to actual speaking, further rendered our youth to rely upon the word, "like". It was a quick process, from the Californian 'discourse article'' (where it meant "what I mean is") to what I'd like to grammatically classify as a "pausitive article:" One than has even less meaning than that of "um" or "uh".

Gramatically, the word, "like" now has less meaning than, "uh".

I really wonder what this effect is going to have on human evolution. We'll probably evolve into a sub-species, the discovery of which will be featured on The Science Channel in the year 356785.

If I were a college professor, I would begin each course with the requirement that no one would be allowed to speak the word "like" incorrectly. If any student used the word "like" as a discourse article, or worse, as a pausitive article (see? I really know my grammatical terms) they'd get an automatic 'zero' for that day's participation grade.

Modern Philosophy student: "If Derrida had actually incorporated Heidegger's ontological concept of 'Dasein', wouldn't he have, like, re-evaluated his concept of deconstruction by assimilating a quasi-phenomenological influence?"

Me: "You get a zero for the day. Now get out of my class. Oh and don't forget your Hello Kitty backpack."

God, I would love that!

Here's a recent quote from an interview with Justin Bieber -- that kid that looks like the love-child of Donny Osmond and Monica Lewinski:

“People are always like, ‘So, your hair is your trademark’ and stuff,” he says. “I’m like, no. My voice is my trademark, you know?”
“I see myself being, like, thirty, like married, like probably. I don’t know. It seems far away for me,” he admits.

That last sentence makes me worry about the future of humanity.

Remember my previous conclusion:

Gramatically, the word, "like" now has less meaning than, "uh". 

 I'm sure my parents thought the same thing when I showed up looking like a Q-Tip.

But the future of humanity?

Five hundred years from now . . . .

It's, like,    uh . . .

It's, like,    uh . . .

It's, like,    uh . . . 

 .  .  .  .   poof!    .  .  .  .  

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At 9:30 AM , Blogger Bob said...

As the owner of six, discreetly placed, tattoos, that will not impede my run for public office [I've a feeling my homosexuality would be more cause for alarm] I will say that I love a good tattoo. But one needs to really think of what is, and where it will be placed before getting the ink needle on the skin.
As for "like" I want to bitchslap the likers.

At 11:47 AM , Blogger Br. Jonathan said...

Thank you, Bob, my dear friend. I can wholly support six discreet tatts. My Hag wants a little Eiffel Tower on her hip. Fine. I told her it will be a Leaning Tower of Pisa in forty years.
Yes, let us bitch-slap the likers. . . Hard!

At 1:28 PM , Blogger Mom said...

You are, like, sounding like a crotchety old man. Like, well lighten up on the ,like, poor kids who have, like, a limited vocabulary.

At 10:44 PM , Blogger Journey Man said...

Okay, I want a course not in dissertations and the like, but on linguistics and the like. The predilection that I have with the English language goes so far as to say that I enjoy the many words that sound the same, yet are spelled completely different and while we are at it we have at least 10 different ways to say I am "going". Our language is psychologically insane.

At 11:45 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

Ha ha! You are such an old fart. LOL! :)

I probably say "like" a lot when I'm talking to I'm going to be self-conscious about it. *grin*

Hey, did you ever see the movie "Idiocracy"? I have a feeling that you'd like predicts the future of humanity (if it keeps getting stupider) 500 years from now. :)


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