Wick Communications

Like, such as the Iraq

In Writing on 1 Oct 2010 at 8:23 am

Poor Caitlin Upton. Like, English is hard, such as when you are asked a question, like, about maps and things such as that.

Do you remember South Carolina’s contestant in the Miss Teen USA contest? She stumbled on this question and became a momentary Internet star. (By the way, apparently the question-and-answer portion of the contest is not a deal breaker … she finished as the third runner-up.)

In fairness to the talented Miss Upton, part of her verbal warfare is due to trouble many of us have with the words “like” and “such as.” These days, “like” has all but supplanted “such as” when we make comparisons while we are speaking. But for purposes of our writing, I think the distinction is important…

“Like” denotes a single noun for use in comparison; “such as” is generally speaking about a class. Here’s what I mean, (and this is taken from the Web site writersblock.ca)

When a team has a goalie like Dominik Hasek, it might continue to win despite having slightly weaker defensive players.


When hockey commentators such as Roy MacGregor or Don Cherry make controversial remarks, the buzz at the water cooler the next morning is louder than usual.

I looked up poor Miss Upton on the Internet this week. If Wikipedia is to be believed, she has dropped out of Appalachian State and now models in Los Angeles. I would say she chose her career wisely.



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