Cell Phone Rudeness

RECEIVED Sun., Sept. 23, 2007

Dear Editor,
    I would like to point out immediately that this letter has nothing to do with anything. But I feel impelled to get something out in the open that has me aggravated, stymied, and baffled.
    Here's the story: I am standing in line at the checkout at a local store, and the young woman in front of me is not only loading her purchases on the conveyor but also speaking on her cell phone. The cell phone business is rude at best, but I'm used to it. This is, after all, America, and free speech and rudeness often coincide. She is, however, speaking loudly enough for me and the checker to hear her conversation. She said, "And like I told him that she didn't like say that, and I was like really pissed off that he would like hear something that was like not said," etc.
    Albeit, I don't get out often, but I am horribly unnerved at the misuse of the word "like" in the last 20 years. I know it started out in the Valley girl days to point out the silliness of a certain kind of young woman. But now, it seems, it's in every conversation one has with anyone. Does this young woman in line in front of me mean that something was said and that she was only relaying the gist of the narrative? Does she mean that the words spoken were near but not the actual words spoken? Is the word "like" now just a modern-day adverbial phrase signifying that, although, words were spoken, they have no import as to how the report of the conversation was received? I am baffled.
    I am like not going to take it anymore. Does this mean that I am similar to not taking it anymore; just a misty vapor of not taking it anymore? Don't know.
    But I am going to strive very hard to change this. I will now insert the word "peace" every time the word "like" is favored to be the next malapropos out of my mouth. If we can all try this, maybe we can not only change our national dialogue with the winsome feeling that "peace" connotes but also ban forever the need to live in a symbolic narrative.
Thank you,
Marcy Prince
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