Monday, October 13, 2014


So. This is like, basically a short, fun Columbus Day post about trendy talk.  You know dude, the words kids pepper their conversation with ad nauseum. Years ago, it was basically, then about ten or so years ago it was actually.  What's fun is literally, watching the terms used by adults.  I'm no exception. One of my twenty-something year old colleagues once schooled me on the proper way to enunciate dude. Apparently, I was stretching the syllable out far too long when it should have been a quick burst. I received a manicure once from a lovely fifty plus year old lady who concluded every sentence with "Cool. " On any playground on any given day you can hear the phrases "awesome," "you're the bomb," or "you rock"  escaping from the lips of the cool moms.  In the car one day I decided to have some fun (yes, at my kids' expense) and announced that I was in fact jiggy with dat!   My children both exclaimed that I was never permitted to say that again!! Of course, I do whenever I want to be immature :)

I've noticed also that the overuse of these terms is common in our students with language impairments and social language difficulties. I worked with a Down Syndrome student who began every sentence with actually.  I have students with word finding difficulties who are using yeah as substitutions for elusive words.  In fact, recently one of my students used yeah four times in one sentence. Students with social pragmatic difficulties who call everyone dude are often the brunt of jokes from their classmates. That being said, in order to help facilitate more appropriate word choices I encourage my kiddos to record by tally each time the word in question is uttered. We are then able to use the total as a baseline and then brainstorm other word choices to create a more robust vocabulary. We establish a maximum number of uses per session and compare the numbers over time thus evaluating the fidelity of our technique, right.  Okay, look,  I suppose we in education are not free from the eduspeak lingo.  I do, however, try really, really hard not to use the jargon du jour. I want to stand out!  I want to be different. So, at the end of the day, I can rest assured that I have done my utmost to express myself in as clearly and succinctly a fashion as possible.  We SLPs really are the!!
And now for some poetic dessert: a wonderful poem extolling the overuse of the word LIKE.

Sestina: Like

With a nod to Jonah Winter
Now we’re all “friends,” there is no love but Like,
A semi-demi goddess, something like
A reality-TV star look-alike,
Named Simile or Me Two. So we like
In order to be liked. It isn’t like
There’s Love or Hate now. Even plain “dislike”

Is frowned on: there’s no button for it. Like
Is something you can quantify: each “like”
You gather’s almost something money-like,
Token of virtual support. “Please like
This page to stamp out hunger.” And you’d like
To end hunger and climate change alike,

But it’s unlikely Like does diddly. Like
Just twiddles its unopposing thumbs-ups, like-
Wise props up scarecrow silences. “I’m like,
So OVER him,” I overhear. “But, like,
He doesn’t get it. Like, you know? He’s like
It’s all OK. Like I don’t even LIKE

Him anymore. Whatever. I’m all like ... ”
Take “like” out of our chat, we’d all alike
Flounder, agape, gesticulating like
A foreign film sans subtitles, fall like
Dumb phones to mooted desuetude. Unlike
With other crutches, um, when we use “like,”

We’re not just buying time on credit: Like
Displaces other words; crowds, cuckoo-like,
Endangered hatchlings from the nest. (Click “like”
If you’re against extinction!) Like is like
Invasive zebra mussels, or it’s like
Those nutria-things, or kudzu, or belike

Redundant fast food franchises, each like
(More like) the next. Those poets who dislike
Inversions, archaisms, who just like
Plain English as she’s spoke — why isn’t “like”
Their (literally) every other word? I’d like
Us just to admit that’s what real speech is like.

But as you like, my friend. Yes, we’re alike,
How we pronounce, say, lichen, and dislike
Cancer and war. So like this page. Click Like.
Source: Poetry (May 2013).


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, ScarlettšŸ˜„ It made me laugh to write it!

  2. Guilty! Actually is my go to word...I'm totally into awesome, used to use fabulous, and oh my goodness slips out a lot! In college everything was a little guy!

  3. I do awesome also and dude, too!!