"like that"

Peter Richardson prichard at LINFIELD.EDU
Mon Jan 15 19:13:47 UTC 2001

On Mon, 15 Jan 2001, Beverly Flanigan wrote:
> But isn't this just the pause marker "like"? (or focuser 'like' or
> intrusive 'like', to use variant terms for this syntactic
> interrupter).   In contrast, "like that" is a real conjunction, introducing
> an embedded (subordinate) clause.  "Like" has many functions: focuser,
> quotative ("And he's like 'I don't want to go'"), preposition, and
> conjunction--but in the last case, it's generally used alone; the double
> 'like that' as conj. is Southern, if I'm not mistaken.

Gosh, Beverly, I'd like to confirm your notion here, but I'm absolutely
sure this is a double conjunction. It's most often used after _feel_: "I
feel like that we ought to stop for groceries." It's all over the place
up/out here, and not used exclusively by Southern emigres. Most other
speakers would say either "like" or "that" after "feel"; perhaps the
double conjunction is used to underscore the speaker's opinion or feeling
about something, used in place of (or--horrors!--in addition to) "really":
"I really feel like that the entire city council should just resign."

_That_ is definitely not pronominal: "I feel like that sometimes."

Peter R.

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