Posted by: Jack Henry | March 14, 2019

Editor’s Corner: I Feel Like

I know this is not a new phenomenon, but I notice a lot more people these days saying, “I feel like” rather than “I think” or “I believe,” so I decided to do a little research to see what’s going on.

Turns out it is not my imagination, and most of the articles that popped up in my research stand firmly against “I feel like.”

A New York Times article titled “Stop saying ‘I feel like’” had this to say: “This reflex to hedge every statement as a feeling or a hunch is most common among millennials. But I hear it almost as often among Generation Xers and my own colleagues in academia. As in so many things, the young are early carriers of a broad cultural contagion.”

Wow, a “contagion.” I think we know exactly how that author feels.

The article goes on to point out that the phrase became common in the ‘90s. And it states that it is used because it gives users an out. They are not stating a fact, they are merely giving an opinion. When people are just stating their feelings, you can’t really fight back with logic. You can’t really disagree with feelings.

And it turns out that the New York Times is not alone in their dislike of the phrase.

Entrepreneur published an article called “’I Feel Like’ Is the Newest Controversial Phrase You Should Avoid.” The article states, “Saying ‘I feel like’ is a nonassertive, fearful way to introduce an idea…In protecting the person who says it from being judged or offending anyone, it also ‘halts argument,’ because it suggests to others that they cannot understand or challenge the speaker’s subjective feelings and experiences.”

Other articles I looked at (but not every single one) had similar opinions. Most condemn the phrase as wishy-washy and non-committal.

But many people simply use this term as a matter of habit. We all tend to use popular phrases that we hear, and this one is pretty prevalent in U.S. society.

So, whether you fall in the “stop using it” camp or the “it’s just another fad” camp, it’s good to be aware of the conversation that is taking place around this phrase. And it’s always a good idea to be cognizant of what you’re saying and how it could be perceived by others.

I feel like I’ve said my piece here. I hope you feel like it was worth your time.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Extension: 765432

Symitar Documentation Services

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