There are some publications that are just indisposable...They feed me and in regard to them, Im insatiable, mainly because I feel so very enlightened by the all-round writing and coverage. Very few are those publications that will have you reading every page back-to-back without turning the pages and will surprise you as to how on earth the writers and editors managed to make every single subject so interesting. I have no doubt in mind that The New Yorker and Vanity Fair would be able to cover the most mundane of topics in a thoughtprovoking fashion. Adding to the list of indisposables is Gert Jonkers and Jop van Bennekom's Fantastic Man; although not as broad in subject, the reading is every bit as pleasurable. Now the name is quite frankly ridiculous, it does come off sounding like a comic book (no offense to comics, I will have you know I was an avid reader of X-men for quite some time) but it's obviously not. As far as I'm concerened surprisingly enough there exists no character in the world of comics called Fantastic Man (there are however always The Fantastic Four though...)

I found this enlightning little tidbit by Dr. Muffy E. Siegel who is an associate professor of English and linguistics on the usage of the word "like" in the autumn/winter issue of Fantastic Man (#10) "Like"- just another filler word? It seems not.

It's not unusual for older generations to say that whatever young people are doing, they're also runining our language. So it's not surprising that many adults think the word "like" is a bad thing. Some young people themselves dismiss "like" as  a filler word, just what they use when they don't know what they're going to say. But that doesn't mean it's an empty filler word. It actually comments on your attitude to what you're saying. When people use "like" it  means: "This is what I know, but please don't hold me to it." My favourite story came from a journalist who once interviewed me. As she left, I asked when it would be in the paper and she said, "It'll be, like, Tuesday." And then she understood why she said "like." She didn't want to promise for Tuesday because the editor might pull it, and she didn't want to say "around Tuesday" because that's approximate, but it's not approximate at all because it's scheduled for Tuesday. There really is no other English word for it. Another possible meaning it that I'm afraid to say what I know, as in: "I'm, like, pregnant." Sometimes teenagers use it to show uncertainty, or because they don't know the right wording and it is for the listener to fill in the details. "She's, like, a dentist" means that she could also be a orthodontist...

When linguists started noticing "like" in early 80's, they thought it would go away. Instead, "like" has spread and it's still here. Is there another word like "like"? The answer appears no.

Quite lovely, really.


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