By the way, she identified herself as a senior in college. Does she talk that way in class? Do her professors, consumed with the need to be liked (No pun intended, really, but it was a good one, eh?), not correct her?
The problem is that this mannerism reflects a lack of proper thinking. If one is thinking properly, one speaks properly. Conversely, when one is not speaking properly, one’s brain is not working properly. And be assured, it is possible, as this tale illustrates, for the brain of an intelligent person to not work properly.
Every generation develops its rituals and badges of membership. Mine did, for sure, and to fit in, I most definitely acquired them. But all I had to do to appear normal to potential employers was cut my hair and stop wearing sunglasses indoors. Looking like Peter Fonda in “Easy Rider” was not a bad habit I had to struggle to break.
I know that the repetitive misuse of “like,” starting in pre-adolescence, is going to be an extremely bad habit to break because it quickly develops into an involuntary vocal tic. I see that potential in my grandson. I want him to enter adulthood with every possible advantage and as few liabilities as possible.
Which is why I won’t tolerate it. Every loving parent, grandparent and teacher should be so intolerant.
Family psychologist John Rosemond answers parents’ questions at www.rosemond.com.