‘Like’: End Times or self-expression?

From The Millions: “Where some traditionalists see the use of ‘like’ as a dialog tag as portent of cultural End Times, linguist Alexandra D’Arcy views it as an important tool for self-expression, allowing speakers to narrate their interior thought processes in dramatic and easily accessible ways. Some commentators, she concedes, view the new use of ‘like’ as a window onto ‘the lionization of self’ among the post-baby-boom generation. But whatever the verbal tic reveals about its speakers, D’Arcy sees its advent as a net positive for the language.”

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