"Tell It Like It Is"

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Feb 19 01:12:09 UTC 2008

"Like" has been an alternative for "as" in various contexts for a
long time, I think.

This is one pattern, I guess:

"Like you said, ..." = "As you said, ..."

"Leave it like it is" = "Leave it as it is"

"Tell it like it is" = "Tell it as it is"

"It tastes good, like it should" = "It tastes good, as it should"


Offhand I suppose that these forms with "like" (and the ones with
"as") have been used routinely in mainstream speech for well over 100
years. But the versions with "like" will be scarce in the published
record (until recently) because they are/were considered 'informal'
or 'incorrect'. This is just my casual notion; perhaps some of the
savants can correct me.

Plenty of old instances of "Tell it as it is" with seems-to-me
appropriate meaning.

-- Doug Wilson

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