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Likeitis is a modern speech affliction where the speaker unknowingly overuses the word 'like' to fill pauses or punctuate sentences when speaking. It uniquely appears in speech and not in written format (unless satirical). Modern "like" usage stems from what's known as "Valleyspeak," an American sociolect that began in the 1970s in California's San Fernando Valley. Frank Zappa parodied it with his daughter Moon Unit in the 1982 song Valley Girl, incidentally Zappa's only American top 40 hit.

The Likeitis stricken individual in most cases has temporarily lost the ability to hear themselves say 'like' and their brain only recognizes 'like' as a silent pause. The is especially apparent when two individuals with Likeitis are speaking with one another; neither can hear the other say "like" and the brain simply registers it as a pause in speech that gives rhythm to the sentence. Likeitis is highly contagious and requires mindful awareness to eradicate. At the present time there is no current medical cure. Direct social intervention from genuinely concerned individuals remains the best recommended course of treatment.
Like, I’ve been listening to Slate podcasts for like, several years now, but there’s like one language peeve that's on like, every podcast, and that's when the speaker, like, has Likeitis and says "like" around 3 times per sentence, and it's like, so annoying. Like, they're really intelligent but like, do they have to say like, "like" so much? Like, I don't like know.
by jg12345 August 11, 2018
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