Tag Archives: like

Are you like “I don’t, like, LIKE like ‘like’”?

My latest article for The Week is about a word almost everyone loves to hate – and yet we all still seem to like using it:

What’s not to like about ‘like’?

She’s like all that you know

I think it’s time to feature another poem from my book Songs of Love and Grammar, saucy verse about romantic and morphosyntactic difficulties. This one revels in the rich depth and frank economy of lexis of a certain adolescent idiom. I have done you the favour of reading it in a video. You’re welcome.

Here’s the text:

She’s like all that you know

by James Harbeck

I know this girl, and she’s all that –
she’s like, you know, she’s got it all,
and she’s all “Guys are all like that,
but you’re, like, not like that at all.”

So I’m like, you know, “What’s all that?
So did you dis me? Do you like me?”
And she’s “You know it’s not, like, that.
You know I know you don’t dislike me.”

So I’m “Like that’s just all I know!
I know you know I know, you know?
So no, it’s not a dis, I know.”
And she’s “I know. I’m just, you know.”

But no, you know, it’s not like that.
That’s just, like, all. It’s just, you know?
Cuz that’s just her and I’m not that.
I like her, like you know, you know?

But now, you know, it’s all “That’s all,”
but, like, no, that’s not all at all,
cuz she’s a girl who has it all,
and, like, I’m just like that, is all.

When an “error” isn’t

This is the text of a presentation I made to the Toronto branch of the Editors’ Association of Canada, Sept. 24, 2007. Certain parts were sung; you can guess which.

It ain’t necessarily so, no,
it ain’t necessarily so,
the things Strunk and White
want to tell you are right,
it just ain’t necessarily so.

Getting pissed off about grammatical errors is a favourite activity of a surprisingly large portion of English speakers. Continue reading