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Subject:  Re: My pet peeve of the year Date:  11/19/2003  8:49 PM
Author:  Daddyswish Number:  3092 of 14437

"I was like," is one of those phrases that grate on me like fingernails on a slate blackboard. I even hear people older than 18 - who should know better - using it.

"He went" for "he said", is just as bad.

While I love engaging in nitpicking on this board and consider it quite fruitful, here is a situation in which I must come to the defense of the many informal constructs commonly applied in spoken dialogue. In fact, with no disrespect to any of my fellow logophiles here, I would go as far as to say that intolerance of various forms of appropriately applied slang is one of my bigger language-related pet peeves.

A phrase such as, "I was like 'Oh my God!'" in an informal conversation conveys the emotion and surprise of the described situation, particularly when combined with an excited tone of voice and other non-verbal cues, far more effectively and succinctly than a more formal construct. It also subtly implies that "Oh my God" is not necessarily what was literally said. That might merely be what the speaker was thinking, or it might be a very abbreviated version of what was actually said, depending on the context. In many cases, a more formal version of the sentence will come across as awkward or flat.

The truth is, young people are by far the most important and active linguistic innovators in society. What older generations see as corruption and impurity in usage are often trends that actually help the language better reflect the contemporary world. This is, in fact, the case with the examples in thi