Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Like - The Word of the Future

I like this. You like that. He likes nothing. She likes everything.

Like is everywhere and we can't escape it! Facebook's eponymous term is now being taken up by other web 2.0 services. LinkedIn (one of the original social networks, although it is mainly used by professionals to build contacts and network) is now allowing users to 'like' things. And recently, Facebook made it much easier for webmasters and bloggers to allow people to 'like' their content. Indeed, I set up 'liking' on this blog a short while ago.

But LinkedIn's adoption is a very interesting development (it's not liking things on LinkedIn for Facebook, it's liking things on LinkedIn). What will this mean for the web as a whole? I often think that we'll eventually be saying we like things to everything.

In English, at least in the UK, we have become very relaxed to people's speech. One of the things that some foreign language learners find strange is that we say love a lot. It might be true that we do love something genuinely, but often what we mean is we really, really like it. In some languages, love means romantic love and you can't apply it to other things. I think some people are shocked by how often English speakers use it. Perhaps even some English speakers are shocked by how often it is used.

So I wonder if, in the future, we have succumed to Facebook Speak and we will eventually say: 'oh I like that' to mean that we love it (confused much?). What do you think?

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