like = 'It goes without saying that...not'

Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Thu Jan 24 16:47:40 UTC 2013

"As if" can function in the same way, I believe.


From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Jonathan Lighter [wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:39 AM

OED doesn't cover this ironic sentence-header, which one now hears
frequently. (I can't even guess as to when I first notice it, though I'll
SWAG it, tentatively, to the late '70s or so.)

A splendid example occurs in the current TV commercial when Progressive Flo
magically appears on a stormy roadside to assist a hapless insuree:

HE: I knew you'd come.

SHE (reprovingly, with a hint of interrogation):  Like I could stay away?

Watch it here:

Thirty-seventh century researchers may have a hard time explaining such a


The American Dialect Society -

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