1483: "Quotative Like"

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1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Envelope Generator » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:05 am UTC

Image
God was like, "Let there be light", and there was light.

Is there also a quotative unlike?
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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Eternal Density » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:16 am UTC

No, but if you say something like, "Everything is, like, awesome!" I like to call that an 'improper simile'.
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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:14 am UTC

So is there a citation for this article?
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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Envelope Generator » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:24 am UTC

Hang on, I'm going to do an Enhance on the magazine she's holding.
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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby peterbjornx » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:35 am UTC


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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby addams » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:40 am UTC

The Alt Text made me laugh.
Laugh, like, a lot.
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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Qaanol » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:50 am UTC

Most people are, frankly, quite abysmal at quoting accurately from memory. Hence it is usually more correct to say “She was like” than “She said”, because most of the time she didn’t actually say precisely what is claimed, but only something broadly similar.
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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby sfmans » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:56 am UTC

For those of you who haven't discovered Armstrong & Miller's RAF Pilots yet ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CwfCBa6PSM

Isn't it! Isn't it though.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Andries » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:28 am UTC

Here's a good article from one who does not like it

http://www.mindingthecampus.com/2012/11/vaguetalkingandthelossofenglish/

The writer seems to think it is a passing phenomenon.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Andries » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:31 am UTC

peterbjornx wrote:http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~kroch/courses/lx556/Cukor-Avila2002.pdf


That article does not appear to contain the sentence in question.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Andries » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:33 am UTC

The quote is here: it is an except from an interview, not a citation from journal article

http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2015/01/25/linguists-are-like-get-used/ruUQoV0XUTLDjx72JojnBI/story.html

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby The Moomin » Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:21 am UTC

Won't all the people who use like also eventually be dead too?

Unless the insertion of the word 'like' in strategic locations transforms the sentence into an incantation for immortality?
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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Andries » Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:31 am UTC

But both the like sayers and those who can speak English properly will presumably procreate.

The question is which meme will survive in the speech of their children. The assumption is that the children of both groups will be 'like-sayers.'

So the immortality is in the meme, not its carrier.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby origimbo » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:59 am UTC

Andries wrote:So the immortality is in the meme, not its carrier.


And Lamarck gets to beat up Darwin with a big stick.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Andries » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:40 pm UTC

I wonder what Lamarck would have thunk of memes.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Andries » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:40 pm UTC

An observation: it is one of the few times when xkcd has actually featured a real, living, person who is not a media figure or celebrity by name. There's Summer Glau, of course, but I can't off-hand think of other examples.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:45 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:Most people are, frankly, quite abysmal at quoting accurately from memory. Hence it is usually more correct to say “She was like” than “She said”, because most of the time she didn’t actually say precisely what is claimed, but only something broadly similar.


Thank you! I've been trying to tell people this for years now.

Another part of my theory is that replacing "says" with "goes" has its own semantic justification. Some of us are old enough to recall the old "Speak-n-Say" that taught pre-schoolers the noises made by animals: "the cow goes moo" and "the duck goes quack" and all that. When a teenage girl (it's always teenage girls at the forefront of these linguistic revolutions) tells her friend "my mom goes 'you are not leaving the house dressed like that!'", she's not claiming that this is an exact quotation of her mother's words, but rather that "mom-noises" were made that had roughly that meaning.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Znirk » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:24 pm UTC

Andries wrote:There's Summer Glau, of course,

Huh, turns out there's an actual person. How is she relevant to Internet pedantry? (http://xkcd.com/406/)

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby jc » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:33 pm UTC

Andries wrote:Here's a good article from one who does not like it

http://www.mindingthecampus.com/2012/11/vaguetalkingandthelossofenglish/

The writer seems to think it is a passing phenomenon.


And the point of the cartoon is that the writer is, like, a passing phenomenon. ;-)

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby orthogon » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:54 pm UTC


Yeah, I read that, and I'm like, whatever?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Great Justice » Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:27 pm UTC

But people also grow out of stuttering with these ticks (eg. after hearing themselves sound like morons in a video; besides being a mark of air-heads, it's an effeminate trait).
They can become sensitized and correct their children.
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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby mathmannix » Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:53 pm UTC

what about the quotative all?
(She was all, "I don't think so...")
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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby 80-watt Hamster » Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:56 pm UTC

There are also people like ... er, such as myself who grew up during the ascendancy of "like" as conversational filler, caught themselves using it and other stopgaps such as "um" (Yes, I realize they're not exactly the same thing, and that I used the equivalent at the beginning of this sentence. Shut up), and made a concerted effort to exorcise such linguistic chaff from their own sentences.

Or, I presume that it's not just me.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby dp2 » Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:59 pm UTC

I notice that very few of the "like"s in this thread are quotative. Quotative likes come before a quote, something being said. They are not, like, random.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby orthogon » Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:17 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:
Qaanol wrote:Most people are, frankly, quite abysmal at quoting accurately from memory. Hence it is usually more correct to say “She was like” than “She said”, because most of the time she didn’t actually say precisely what is claimed, but only something broadly similar.


Thank you! I've been trying to tell people this for years now.

Another part of my theory is that replacing "says" with "goes" has its own semantic justification. Some of us are old enough to recall the old "Speak-n-Say" that taught pre-schoolers the noises made by animals: "the cow goes moo" and "the duck goes quack" and all that. When a teenage girl (it's always teenage girls at the forefront of these linguistic revolutions) tells her friend "my mom goes 'you are not leaving the house dressed like that!'", she's not claiming that this is an exact quotation of her mother's words, but rather that "mom-noises" were made that had roughly that meaning.

:-) Nicely put: I'd never made the connection before with the literal meaning of "like". Part of what Clark Whelton is complaining about in that article, though he only mentions it in passing, appears to be the failure of people to use reported speech in this case. He would apparently prefer "My mom said that I couldn't leave the house dressed as I was"; as with "like", the statement in the subordinate clause is understood not to be verbatim (it can't be, after all, because at the very least the verb tenses and pronouns need to be adjusted, and demonstratives rephrased), but rather to express the concept that the hapless mother was trying to convey. I have no idea why reported speech would be felt intrinsically superior to a direct quote, but perhaps it's for this very reason.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby moody7277 » Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:18 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:
Qaanol wrote:Most people are, frankly, quite abysmal at quoting accurately from memory. Hence it is usually more correct to say “She was like” than “She said”, because most of the time she didn’t actually say precisely what is claimed, but only something broadly similar.


Thank you! I've been trying to tell people this for years now.

Another part of my theory is that replacing "says" with "goes" has its own semantic justification. Some of us are old enough to recall the old "Speak-n-Say" that taught pre-schoolers the noises made by animals: "the cow goes moo" and "the duck goes quack" and all that. When a teenage girl (it's always teenage girls at the forefront of these linguistic revolutions) tells her friend "my mom goes 'you are not leaving the house dressed like that!'", she's not claiming that this is an exact quotation of her mother's words, but rather that "mom-noises" were made that had roughly that meaning.


The adult goes "wawWAWwawwawwawWAW."
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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Klear » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:07 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:Most people are, frankly, quite abysmal at quoting accurately from memory. Hence it is usually more correct to say “She was like” than “She said”, because most of the time she didn’t actually say precisely what is claimed, but only something broadly similar.


So it's basically a shorter version of "...she said something like..."?

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Apeiron » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:11 pm UTC

This use of "like" makes the statement less clear. My wife says this CONSTANTLY so i never know if she's telling the truth when she says it.

"And I was like, 'what the hell?'."

Did she say "what the hell?", or did she just think it?

This is a problem with a simple solution: SAY WHAT YOU MEAN.

"And I asked, 'what the hell?'."

"And I thought, 'what the hell?'."

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby orthogon » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:33 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
Qaanol wrote:Most people are, frankly, quite abysmal at quoting accurately from memory. Hence it is usually more correct to say “She was like” than “She said”, because most of the time she didn’t actually say precisely what is claimed, but only something broadly similar.


So it's basically a shorter version of "...she said something like..."?

In the sixth form (between high school and university in the UK) I had a Physics lecturer who first used to explain each concept freely, and then dictate a brief passage for us to write down verbatim in our notes. He explained in the first lesson that we would know when he started the dictation phase because he would say "I'm going to say something like this: " followed by the text itself. Leaving aside the slightly meta-meta-meta nature of all this (me explaining him explaining how he would explain what he was going to explain), I wonder whether he said this in order to encourage us to write down what he meant to say rather than faithfully recording any hesitations, backtracking and other paralinguistic elements that might have ensued.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby CharlieBing » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:33 pm UTC

It's interesting how the the "quotative like" has come to prominence lately... and yet "like" has been used as a discourse marker in northern England for years, and is clearly part of the Geordie dialect. A sentence like (!): "I can't meet you until seven because I have to go to the doctor, like," is perfectly clear with or without the "like" at the end... and apparently that is more or less the definition of a discourse marker..

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Dave Rogers » Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:50 pm UTC

origimbo wrote:
Andries wrote:So the immortality is in the meme, not its carrier.


And Lamarck gets to beat up Darwin with a big stick.


And Darwin's like Dude, I was only talking physical attributes, and Lamarck's like Your mom's only talking physical attributes.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Envelope Generator » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:25 pm UTC

Apeiron wrote:This use of "like" makes the statement less clear. My wife says this CONSTANTLY so i never know if she's telling the truth when she says it.


I'm like, that sounds more like a marriage problem than a grammar problem.

Apeiron wrote:This is a problem with a simple solution: SAY WHAT YOU MEAN.

"And I asked, 'what the hell?'."

"And I thought, 'what the hell?'."


IMO you're misrepresenting the situation. A lot of the time such precision is simply not needed. Whether "what the hell?" was asked or thought may be completely evident from the context.
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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby TheAbstractor » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:54 pm UTC

God was like, "Let there be light", and there was light.


This is actually not too far off from how Hebrew works. The word את ("ath") (in e.g. Genesis 1:1 בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ׃) marks the beginning of the objective noun or clause. "In the beginning/ formed/ God/ *ath* /the heavens/ and *ath* /the earth. It's used very similarly to the way we use "like" in causal English.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby jgh » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:45 pm UTC

We could do with a bit of quotative easing.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Kit. » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:35 pm UTC

Apeiron wrote:"And I was like, 'what the hell?'."

Did she say "what the hell?", or did she just think it?

She might not remember whether she actually said that.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:37 pm UTC

jgh wrote:We could do with a bit of quotative easing.


Am I allowed to "like" this? :P

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:35 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
jgh wrote:We could do with a bit of quotative easing.


Am I allowed to "like" this? :P


You can, like, like it, but you can't, like, "like it" like it.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:12 pm UTC

I like it, and I like, like like it, but I don't like like like like it.
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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Khaim » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:22 pm UTC

TheAbstractor wrote:
God was like, "Let there be light", and there was light.


This is actually not too far off from how Hebrew works. The word את ("ath") (in e.g. Genesis 1:1 בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ׃) marks the beginning of the objective noun or clause. "In the beginning/ formed/ God/ *ath* /the heavens/ and *ath* /the earth. It's used very similarly to the way we use "like" in causal English.


I would have transliterated את as "et". Clearly that's just dialect, and I'm so bad at language I can't even remember which is which[1]. The more interesting question is, what would a contemporary speaker have said?

[1] Except that mine is correct and yours is wrong, obviously.

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Re: 1483: "Quotative Like"

Postby Klear » Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:18 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
jgh wrote:We could do with a bit of quotative easing.


Am I allowed to "like" this? :P


You can, like, like it, but you can't, like, "like it" like it.


I love this comment.


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