Monday, June 18, 2007

The Ten Degrees of Like

“Like” as a word has become the “um” of this generation. Filipinos also use “kwan” but Baguio people use “qua.” Deciphering “like” is easier than the “kwan” because the latter sometimes replaces the lost word. You have to be immersed in the conversation to get a grip of what “kwan” or “qua” means this time. But “like” has been deciphered, more or less. I came upon Eric Utne’s Urban Almanac on “Use of the Term “Like.” Utne got it from The Evasion – English Dictionary by Maggie Balistreri. The examples are, like, mine.

1) The Undercutting Like
Translation: I’m not smart; I’m cool. I don’t know where I picked up that knowledge
“I meant it like, synecdoche.”
“I just predicted the jueteng result using the like, Fibonacci sequence.”

2) The Vague Like
Translation: Thereabouts
“It happened in like, 1992.”
“I was drunk then but it was like, nine of them.”

3) The Self-Effacing Like

Translation: Virtue is shameful
“I am not really strong but I like, carried Chona with my left hand when she was dead drunk.”
“I am like, nominated for Nobel Prize for Literature this year.”

4) The Cowardly Like
Translation: I disagree, That is, if it’s OK
“I don’t want to like, announce it for you, but it was like, our bet lost.”
“Are you sure? Didn’t you say you were gonna like, pay me now?”

5) The Betrayer Like
Translation: I lie
“When I heard that you lost, I cried for like, three days.”
“Yes, when we heard that she dumped you, we kind of like, stopped for a moment of silence.”

6) The Filler Like
Translation: I finished my sentence
“Well, she went on to take her bag and left. And she took the cab alone and we were left there hanging there but there are still six beers left and she got my wallet and I started calling people and stuff and it was like, how was your night?”

7) The Apology Like

Translation: Sorry, I’m inarticulate
“She was like, wow!”
“The feeling was so like, I can’t explain it talaga. You know that feeling.”

8) The Multimedia Like
Translation: Visual aid to follow
“He was so gorgeous. He was like…” (Make a circle on the side of head)
“I was so happy, I was like…” (Clap your hands and jump)

9) Staller Like, Part I
Translation: Think, brain, brain
“Polemics. It was like, Apolinario Mabini’s sickness?”
“You’re from Sudan. That is like, Mindanao?”

10) Staller Like, Part II
Translation: Uh, oh, math.
“It was like if you add it altogether, you get like, gazillion?”
“Calculated since 1992, that would come to like, a lot.”


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