Sounding ignorant – 1/12/2020

Don’t young people realize that their language usage is often one of the first ways that others judge them? While sitting in a local restaurant, a trio of college women were sitting in the adjacent booth. Two with their back to us, but the one sitting across the table from them was facing us, and she wasn’t speaking quietly. In two sentences, she used “like” half a dozen times.

Shortly after that, I was reading an interview with a young man who was identified as a journalist, and though he probably does not write the way he speaks, he also used “like” an inordinate number of times in just a few sentences.

Reading a news article this evening on student debt, an interviewer asked college students how much debt they had, what they thought about proposals to forgive debt, and whether they would be willing to help pay the debt for others. This comment again caught my eye. “Cause like, I have to make my own money, so like, if I make my money, like, I kind of want to keep my money that, like, I make, and not have to, like, give it to my friends.”

Does this young woman have any idea how that would sound in an interview? And when she isn’t hired, will she realize that her inability to put together a coherent sentence might have had an impact on her potential hiring?

“Ya know, like, you know, you like sound like ignorant, when you like speak this way.”

Leave a Reply