Man, like, you know?

I left Doha knowing that Hurricane Sandy was on her way to New York. Like many people I had friends who were either there, or within the general vicinity, so I was keen to hear or read a news report when I landed in Australia.

After picking up the hire car at the airport, I turned on the radio to a leading breakfast program. The hourly news break was followed by a discussion between the three hosts of the show.

“Man, like, you know, it’s just so, man, well, it’s intense”

There was an upwards inflection on the intense. Almost like a question. I was bewildered. How you can work on radio and not have a vocabulary extensive enough to describe the effects of a storm?

I know, I sound like I’m 105 years old.

Am I crazy though? Has anyone else noticed a change in how we speak?

Earlier this year we were lucky enough to see slam poet Taylor Mali. A man who has no problem with either vocabulary or using it effectively. I loved this:

“I challenge you to speak with conviction. To say what you believe in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it.”

We went through a phase with the little travellers where everyone had to bring a new idea to the dinner table each week. It was fantastic while it lasted, we had discussions about anything that had sparked an interest with the travellers. We stopped doing it awhile ago and I really don’t know why, but, I’m bringing it back.

I also want to add an extra component, we’re going to bring a new word to the table (I know, this could be fraught with danger). Each child, one idea and one word for the week – that’s not hard.

I’ll be interested in the little travellers response to the new rule. You know, like, it’ll probably be, you know, intense.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18254275544017629129 bigwords is…

    Like woah man

  • Anonymous

    Thankyou for introducing me to Taylor Mali, he rocks, you know?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03623997911568143459 MsCaroline

    As a teacher and a linguist, I have only one thing to say about Taylor Mali: Why have I never heard of him before this?

    Thank you. You’ve made my day.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08939805218711968317 Mark Fendrick

    Are we back in the 60’s now? (But it WAS like, awesome man!)

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08939805218711968317 Mark Fendrick

      (and not in a good way) :-(

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08938791116446859160 Lynda Halliger-Otvos

    What a good idea you have put forth. A wide-ranging command of the language means a lot.

  • http://www.centralcoastseachange.com/ Tracey

    It’s like so irritating when like people speak like this all the time. It is such an epic fail and random to not speak eloquently.

    Hope you are getting better.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02554185913419299026 hisqueen

    Like, that was totally awesome Dude, you know? I usually look at my children with irritation and ask WTH are you saying. Actually, It’s more in the way of “Excuse You”..We speak English with full sentences here. Try it sometime, you know!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12345281191884731723 Darcie

    I’ve noticed a lot of up turned, question-y sounding sentences here in AU. Is it just me, or do you notice this too? Maybe it’s just the accent I’m noticing more than anything. Not sure.

  • http://expatlogue.wordpress.com/ expatlogue

    You don’t sound 105 at all – you’re totally on point. I wrote a post about this just the other week. You can even see the lists of words and their meanings that I used to try and learn each week to broaden my vocabulary – Man! Like, those notebooks must be over twenty years old!
    http://wp.me/p1J9Lk-1B4

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04540781569211539898 Sara, Transplanted

    An added challenge for the little travelers (and everyone else, starting with me): Ban the use of “like” for anything other than a Facebook button. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03127111575563904349 JO

    A new idea to the table – or a new word! What a great idea! And thanks for the Taylor Mali – what an inspiration.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15200789884126385453 Amoola

    Like, Am so like, gonna like rob that idea, like!

    :) I’ve been thinking of new things to do with the kids. So thanks for that.

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