The trend of social media means that more and more often we are asked to Like things. There’s a brilliant poster floating around the web that I once left up in a too-short-to-remove-it colleague’s classroom that Likens the breadth of Like to George Orwell’s newspeak.
To be fair, I don’t disLike the trend, especially in that I often posture myself to accumulate them, be that with jokes or either of my ungainful employments.
What I don’t Like is the effect it seems to have already had on language. UnLike has ceased to mean dissimilar to in common parlance, and instead becomes a revoking of approval, a cognitive unfriending. Likewise, the accepted status of a Like means that we now have a cache of things we’ve Liked and it’s the past tense that worries me. No longer can we Like things, instead we must have Liked them.