Thursday, December 07, 2006


I'm Like

Anatoly Liberman, the Oxford Etymologist, discusses misuse of the word like. But he doesn't touch on the most annoying misuse, one that makes me gag whenever I hear it, "I'm like" for "I said". Of course, I'm just a linguistic troglodyte. Laxicographers have probably already enshrined this solecism in their dictionaries.

I looked around for a discussion of "I'm like" for "I said", and happened on Isabelle Buchstaller's article He goes and I'm like: the new Quotatives re-visited. But I couldn't get past the first two sentences:
The new quotatives, like and go, have assumed quite a number of functions outside the quotative frame. So far, all models proposed to explain their polyfunctionality rely on the postulate of unidirectionality in grammaticalization.

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