"Like" has now become a word fraught with implication, so much so that I almost feel using it is a cliche.  Thanks, facebook.  [Not, I should admit, that I've ever been a purist about my "like" usage---in speech I use it far more often than an educated person should as, like, filler (and hear Mr. Boren's voice in my head every time: "Do you mean similar to but not the same as, Ms. Nelson?").]

Nevertheless, some things I like (or not):

I've made peace with writers addressing me as "dear reader"---it may be a bit overdone (yeah yeah, you're being "ironic") but it has a fine history and makes me think of Dickens or one of the Brontës.  Like.

Strangers averring, in writing, that they "miss me already", however?  Affected, condescending, and almost certainly untrue.  A firm "don't like" from me.

Talking about the weather has a reputation as being the antithesis of authenticity; conversation people only turn to when they're shallow or uncomfortable.  I think that's unfair.  Weather talk brings us together; the Great Unifier.  I can respond to five different strangers' "Can-you-believe-this-rain?!" talk with sincere and heartfelt agreement each time.  Likewise with "Isn't it beautiful outside?"  The weather's on my mind every day and I'm always happy to discuss it.

I don't like the saying "Stick a fork in me, I'm done."  First of all, yuck.  But more importantly, you don't stick a fork in something when it's done.  You stick a fork (or more likely, a knife or toothpick) in something TO FIND OUT IF it's done.  So, if we must use this metaphor, we ought to say, "I'm not sure if I'm done or not.  Stick a fork in me and we'll see."  Think it will catch on?

All my children sing and sing around the house.  I love Malachi's wrong lyrics but I also love the ones he makes up completely (one, which runs through my head constantly, goes: "Oh-lee sephola, bi-vee bi-vee bi-vee").  The "Winnie-the-Pooh" in this video (below; song starts at about 1:10) sounds eerily like he's singing one of Malachi's songs.  His voice is also not unlike Malachi's.  Like, like, like!


  1. You know - I miss you already. No - really - why would strangers say that? Especially the "already" part. Wait. Have I said it? But I'm not a stranger. Not entirely. Just like a stranger. And the stick-a-fork-in-me thing? I've never heard that. And it puzzles me that anyone would invite such a thing, even as a throw away phrase. Especially with boy children around.

    Cam used to make up songs like that. Wait - so did Ginna. Her best one was "Joel Lincoln - stop it. Stop breaking our beautiful plates - in the siiiiiight of naaaaaaarow bees." I'm not sure what it meant, but you know who it was about. Cam's was more simple = we were riding in the car and he was singing thoughtfully to himself, "I went awaaaaaay. I came baaack." But when we heard him (my mom was visiting and she heard it, too), it was cute, we laughed with delight. Which humiliated him. And he never did it again.

  2. K: I remember feeling the same way as Cam when my brother overheard me singing a song I made up, about how I was in an orphanage and I'd just gotten a letter saying I was adopted (it was perhaps more of a whole Musical than just a song). He jumped out laughing and I vowed to never sing again. Of course, my brother was laughing with more than just "delight" . . . And I was obviously melodramatic at that age (see orphanage song, above) :)

  3. I "like" you. And I love this post--you have given me much food for thought. I agree wholeheartedly about the weather--I have always felt somewhat ashamed for bringing it up, but it is such a safe, pleasant topic to discuss with perfect strangers; I will never be ashamed again.

    And my kids and I have spent the last hour watching Winnie the Pooh in . . . Russian? I laughed so hard! "Piglet, do you accidentally have a baloon?"

  4. I also think the weather is a great topic of conversation. I care quite a bit about the weather, and it has given me lots of common ground with people I've just met. But I also talk about the weather almost daily with my husband as well.

    I love the story of you and your brother and the orphanage song.

  5. Thank you for loving to talk about the weather. I do too. I have never heard the fork in it line either. I've heard "put a plug in it" and other nasty and mean-sounding phrases though. I hope you have never seen the picture online of the boy who did "put a fork in it"--his nose. It's AWFUL.


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