“Like” has become one of the most popular words in spoken English. It was a marker I heard frequently this summer in the States, originating in teen-talk, but now firmly established in informal language. Just listen to My Brightest Diamond singer Shara Worden making small talk with fellow musicians Lisa Hannigan and Molloy Share (from 2:55).
She says, “I was at the Green Man Festival in Wales, and they had tons of kids there, and it was so muddy, it was muddy muddy muddy everywhere, and the kids were just having a great time in the, you know, playing in the mud, and the adults were, like, “Uh, uh, we hate the mud.” And the kids, like, really knew what to do with mud.”
Later, when she’s surprised to be hearing Radiohead in the background (10:15), she comments on her own surprise, in retrospect, saying, “And I’m, like, ‘Wait a second!’ ”
So she’s using “like” as a random spacer and as a comma before quoting someone. Other examples from the Urban Dictionary:
Spacer: “He was, like, about the same age as me, but, like, I wasn’t sure what he, like, wanted to do with me.”
Comma before a quote: “I’m, like, ‘Let’s do something together.’”
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