Favorite Word

During every conversation you have today, listen for the word like. As one of the few words in the English language that can be a preposition, conjunction, noun, adjective, adverb, or verb, it’s statistically bound to come up. In our generation, like has become a verbal stammer, a filler word synonymous with “um.” Like has a bad reputation. But I am here to defend like and restore it to its former glory.

Imagine a day without like. Such a day would feel like living behind a muzzle. We would use metaphors like tic-tacs, sending similes into exile. Let’s say you watch the presidential debate, and feeling strongly about a candidate, you call your friend, who shares like political sentiments, to discuss. The first rounds of debate may have been between like and like – Democrats and Republicans, respectively – but soon the competition narrows into a joust-like duel, politicians prepared to win at all costs. Maybe you like Hillary Clinton; maybe you like Donald Trump. Regardless, you would like for the next president to improve the economy, so that you can buy a shiny new car, post a picture on Facebook, and get hundreds of likes.

We often take for granted those things which we use every day. Our lives are a series of little stories, made up of little words. Like the nights spent at the diner, laughing to the point of tears between bites. Like a friendly smile in the hallway from a friend. Like the days so ordinary, we don’t notice them until they’re nothing but distant memories, like petals lost in the wind

– Abby Rubin, The Agnes Irwin School, Class of 2016