Sunday, April 27, 2008

"Like" and "As."

Words Frequently Confused

Levels of distractibility: Who cares? = *. Some people will be distracted from your meaning = **. Many people will be distracted from your meaning = ***.

Question: When should I use "like" and when should I use "as"?

A clause has a subject and verb. "As" should precede a clause, a subject and verb--" he said." "He" is the subject; "said" is the verb.

"Like" is a preposition. A preposition should be followed by its object, the object of a preposition''--"...spoken like a trooper." "Like" is the preposition, "trooper" is its object.

Of course, Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football destroyed forever the distinction between "like" and "as" when he repeatedly said, "Tell it like it is." The careful speaker or writer will maintain the distinction.

Rating of Distractibility: ***.

And then there is the problem of teenagers who interject the word "like" between every other word. Teachers should make teens aware of a habit that is most annoying to anyone who tries to understand what they are saying. Who can concentrate on meaning when every other word is "like"? All I hear is the "like."


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