‘I go, like, whatever!’

Lingua Franca is often a fun show and tomorrow they have someone talking about “the new quotatives”

The words like and go when classed as ‘new quotatives’ have linguistic functions way beyond their traditional meanings. And this phenomenon is not confined to English; it can be found in many other languages.

I love listening to this kind of thing. It’s like getting inside the operating system of our life – our language and watching it change. I also like I like listening to accents and trying to figure out what they’re trying to ‘get across’ – what kind of character they’re suggesting – because most of them do and that’s the engine behind their slow and subtle changes.

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15 years ago

I have a love/hate feeling about some of the nouns that are ‘rebadging’ as verbs. The Olympics saw the re-emergence of ‘to medal’ ‘medalled’ and contemporary nightlife has seen the emergence of ‘to glass’ ‘glassed’ . I still have a sense of amazement at the use of ‘but’ as a conversational statement ender or replacement of ‘um’ or ‘eh’ …never sure which or should that end ‘whatever’.

15 years ago

The Olympics saw the re-emergence of to medal medalled

Clearly, these meddling medallers are medalling with forces they don’t understand!

15 years ago

Verbing totally weirds language.

No, it’s good that you enjoy listening to some descriptivist linguistics such as Lingua Franca. Another quotative besides these two that is becoming very prevalent is the periphrastic ‘be all’, as in “So I was like “whatever” and he was all “I know”, so now I’m all “meh”.”

Such excellent juvenile innovators we have in our speech community.

15 years ago

the words ‘Kylie’ and ‘cringe’ are synonymous in my experience.