Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It was, like, an awesome speech, actually

This morning on CBC Radio 2, I heard about the commencement address given by Pulitzer Prize winning author David McCullough to graduates at Boston College. He said, “Please, please do what you can to cure the verbal virus that seems increasingly rampant among your generation.” He cited the “relentless, wearisome use of words,” such as “like,” “awesome” and “actually.”

As an example, McCullough said, “Just imagine if in his inaugural address John F. Kennedy had said, ‘Ask not what your country can, you know, do for you, but what you can, like, do for your country actually.’”

2 comments:

It's, like, totally Barbara said...

That is so wonderful. It is indeed a virus that sneaks its way into your home a little too easily. We are always reminding our girls to watch how they speak because of the rather unfortunately influencial neighbours around here. But even I have fallen to this virus, I am fully aware, particularly when it comes to using "like" in place of "said"....it is disgusting really. Now I am so watchful of over-using "like" that I even avoid, or cautiously use, metaphors and similies because my "like" censor gives me a false warning. Perhaps I'll need to get an accountability partner on this one. That and my misuse of the semi-colon.

Jessica said...

It IS crazy to see just how much our language is deteriorating. Teaching in Asia and hearing ESL kids speaking with all of our "likes, um, ya knows".. it's all kinds of tragic. However, they can't always be blamed because quite often they are just imitating their bad teacher. Must be more careful with my words!