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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||Uses of 'I feel like' - same as ever or recent mass diffusion of a marked form?|
|Question:||Hello -- I've recently begun to notice the use of a phrase that could be quite old, but strikes me as relatively new - at least in its penetration in the American English that I hear in person here in Washington, DC, as well as on television among people from many regions of the country (and I believe Canada, too). Though perhaps in error, I take the following uses of the phrase ''I feel like'' as standard: -- ''I feel like [verb]-ing'' (E.g., ''I feel like swimming.'' ''I feel like seeing a movie.'') -- ''I feel like a/n/the [noun]'' (E.g., ''I feel like an idiot.'' ''I feel like the guy in that movie.'') Uses of the following form, however, have become marked to my ear: * ''I feel like there are a number of 'elephants in the room''' http://linguistlist.org/ask-ling/message-details2.cfm? asklingid=200441365 * ''I feel like the auxiliary is affecting the choice, but I can't explain how it is doing this'' http://linguistlist.org/ask- ling/message-details2.cfm?asklingid=200461385 I don't exactly know how to label the latter form. A more accessible synonym for the lawyerly throat-clearing, or hedging, ''my sense is'' preceding a claim? Something else? And as mentioned earlier, it strikes me as a usage not heard to nearly the same degree even 5 years ago - but this could easily be availability bias. (Have also tried to audit my own speech, but unsurprisingly haven't caught myself uttering this, though for all I know I use it regularly.) Thoughts folks might have would be appreciated. JDP|
|Reply:||All the above example sound fine to me and I don't recall noticing any changes in the use of "I feel like" over time. I'm from Baltimore, so maybe this usage of "I feel like" to mean "it seems to me" is native to the Mid Atlantic dialect. I would say that it's more found in colloquial English and would not use the construction in a formal paper.|
|Reply From:||Elizabeth J Pyatt click here to access email|