Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Language in the, Like, News

Linguists rarely make the news, so each occasion warrants notice, even if it falls into the category of "Offbeat News". Muffy Siegel, a linguist at Temple University, made a bit of a splash in the popular press when she published her research on the use of the word "like" amongst young speakers of English in America. Contrary to the prevailing opinion amongst linguists that "like" acts merely as a filler in conversation, like "um," Siegel discovered that it plays several roles, and can substantially change the meaning in sentences. Read about her unusual research methodologyand her scholarly report in article on Temple University's web site.

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