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Valerie M. Fridland, Ph.D.

Sociolinguist, Professor, Author

Like, Literally, Dude

Arguing for the Good in Bad English


A lively exploration of the speech habits we love to hate—and why our “like”s and “literally”s actually make us better communicators

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Praise for Like, Literally, Dude:

“Valerie Fridland is your smart, funny friend who knows everything you ever wondered about
language.  With a parade of revelations in each chapter, she will have you texting your friends
with mind-blowing tidbits. I loved it!”


— Mignon Fogarty, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author and creator of Grammar Girl



“Did you know that it was women who started saying 'I've got to' more than 'must,' or that the '-in' in words like "singin'" isn't short for '-ing' but for something else in Old English now long gone? LIKE, LITERALLY, DUDE will give you the lowdown on that as well as the words in its title -- endless wisdom.”

— John McWhorter, author of Nine Nasty Words and host of the podcast Lexicon Valley

Like, Literally, Dude is that rare gem that combines authoritative scholarship with engaging
readability. Through a series of stories on the historical origins and social uses of an array of

‘annoying’ language features, Fridland shows us how even the newest features stem from long,
honorable traditions and actually serve to enrich the English language.”

— Natalie Schilling, Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University and creator of The
Great Course’s English in America: A Linguistic History

“A smart and detailed apologia for speech habits that ‘violate our sense of linguistic decorum’. . . . Scholarly yet accessible, and often very witty, this is a winning look at how language evolves.”


— Publishers Weekly


“A lively study of how and why our language is changing… With authority and wit, Fridland explains the evolution of language and embraces the dynamism it shows.”


— Kirkus

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