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Saying the word ‘like’ has long been seen as a sign of laziness and stupidity. But its use is actually richly nuanced, goes back to Shakespearean times, and is an indicator of, like, intelligence.
The word like helps with what we call focus. It can be for interpersonal connection, it's checking in that you and I are connecting. If it really were meaningless and had no purpose in a sentence, it would be much easier for us to leave it out.
In 2019, one primary school head in Bradford banned the word like because, "When children are giving you an answer and they say, 'Is it, like, when you're, like...' they haven't actually made a sentence at all."
Scores of recruitment specialists and public-speaking coaches have publicly bemoaned the rise of this word.
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