Lighter side: It’s, like, not a problem to say “like” all the time

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The overuse of the word “like” is a pet peeve of many people, and it’s more often associated with ditzy teenagers than effective communicators.
Daily Muse writer Sara McCord said she was called out on her use of the word, and claimed it “detracts from your message and overall professionalism.”
However, the results of a recent study published in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology show that saying “like” could be a sign of conscientiousness.
“When having conversations with listeners, conscientious people use discourse markers, such as ‘I mean’ and ‘you know,’ to imply their desire to share or rephrase opinions to recipients,” the researchers said. “Thus it is expected that the use of discourse markers may be used to measure the degree to which people have thoughts to express.”
The word is used as filler, but unlike “um” it indicates interest in what other people think, and a willingness to be flexible in their opinions.
That could be a good thing for HR, especially if you’re looking for adaptable team players who aren’t going to be a cause of conflict in the workplace.
What would your reaction be to a candidate using “like” as filler? How much is too much?
  • Al on 6/13/2014 9:51:16 AM

    Taken in the context of the speaker, the word "like" interchanged in the conversation could either denote lack of intelligence (as we have seen on various TV and movie themes) or it could show that the speaker is trying to elicit engagement from the person he/she is speaking to. It all depends upon the demeanor of the speaker.

  • Dana Myers on 6/13/2014 9:48:21 AM

    This is good news for nearly 100% of the generation entering the work force today! Unfortunately, in my opinion, it is still as distracting as other fillers people use in conversation. The fact that it has become the norm in "youth speak", does not make it sound any more professional.
    I recently sat in on a presentation by one of my team members that was void of ANY fillers; her delivery was so smooth and flowed so well, that I had to compliment her presentation skills. She commented that she works at it. I believe this is what young people must do; don't let the English language deteriorate into short, clipped phrases, linked together with the same word repeatedly, which totally detracts from the message you are trying to deliver! Work on eliminating it from your vocabulary, as you would with any bad habit.

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