Please, like, like me.

How do you, like, like the way, like, that young folk, like, like to like say “like”, like all the time… me neither (or: yay! Go America! If you’re under 25)

One bonus of the ‘like’ phenomena is it makes conversations impossible to understand by non-likers, like me. It could quite possibly have military applications; sort of like World War 2, when the US Marines used Navajo Indians as radiomen. Their native language was so rare that the Japanese could not decipher a single word of it. Like, wow man.

I can personally attest to the strength of this unbreakable “like” code having listened to many conversations in coffee shops (or ‘the office’ as I like to call them) and have never been able to unravel the content. I get ‘like’ overload extremely quickly and confused remarkably easily. That would come as no surprise to my friends who may hypothesize that I spend a remarkable amount of my life confused. In any event, be that as it may, it is an excellent tool to confuse parents, I suppose.

My interest in this is not for the purpose of America knocking, which oddly seems quite popular at the moment; my interest is in the fact that this ‘like’ trend has swept the world. America seems to have an inexhaustible supply of fads that the rest of the world craves. It’s not just fast hamburgers and blue jeans the world craves; it’s language, as well. In Australia recently, I listened day after day to Aussie school kids over use of ‘like’ – just like their TV hero’s. This may just be another generation gap (try saying “hey, that’s cool man”, to a teenager, and they will look at you like you’re a 48 year old weirdo).

Hong Kong trends (and there are many of them) tend to stand out. That’s partly due to the closeness that we all live in and partly due to the eclectic nature of Hong Kong. Anything and everything goes here, like the fact you can wear fury boots and hats in November, even if it’s 30 degrees Celsius (86 F), as long as the calendar says it should be cold. Fads from all over the world can find a comfy home here; despite a population density of about 8 people per square metre of land, there is plenty of room for every imaginable craze.

So the “like” fad is not so bad I suppose, kids need to have their generation thing. My Dad thought Elton John was just another loud lair ruining a piano, not the Mozart of my time, tinkling classics that will outlive us all.

So should I be a bit more proactive and try to decipher the like code? Maybe, then I can talk to young people about that and many other fascinating topics… ummm, no, that would be seriously uncool, man.

But if you like, liked this post, or like understood like any of this, feel free to like, like it…like.

About Tim

I'm an expat dad, living in Hong Kong. Being a parent, especially a dad, is simply fraught with danger. Mums seem to have this built-in radar for trouble and danger - I do not. - all about my life, being dad. http://achipofftheoldblog - all about the funny and strange things I see. View all posts by Tim

3 responses to “Please, like, like me.

  • wanderinggenie

    From historical context I’m familiar with the phrase “a chip off the old block” but have never heard anyone use it. It’s a marvelous blog title. There’s a wonderful book entitled Chips Off the Old Benchley published in 1923 which I think was the beginning of blogging as we know it today. The author Robert Benchley wrote starting in 1915 and his works are timeless. I enjoyed your post and as someone who spends time in HK always love hearing about expats experiences in the city.
    Regarding the like issue, the word “Like” has – through modern social media – taken on a life and connotation, almost a definition, all anew and to its own. Gone are the days of like being relegated to California Valley Girl speak. It has gone VIRAL. I fear like has taken over the world (that said although I enjoyed your post I promise not to propagate the problem by liking your post).
    At any rate, I was trying to find your email address or “contact us” portion of your blog but couldn’t. I don’t want to be spammy (I’m really trying not to be “That guy”) but given that you are an expat (multiple times over) and as we are a small start up focused on expats and travelers I would love to talk to you about what we’re doing, what we can do for you, and get some of your feedback. If you could email us at or leave us your email address in a comment at we’ll send you an email. Thanks for your time it’s GREATLY APPRECIATED! Cheers

  • Dave

    Is it ironic that I “Liked” this post?

    I make a concerted effort to avoid using “like” in sentences. Just pausing and not saying anything for a second makes you seem so much more thoughtful.

    The worst is when true “likes” get mixed with rhetorical “likes”.

    For example, “She didn’t, like, like that movie.”

    Or the worst: “He, like, liked her, but he didn’t, you know, like… like-like her.”

  • Tim

    I am sure the irony slipped through somewhere, haha. But appreciate, like, the like. 😉

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