1. Humour Whiffet
    Offline

    Humour Whiffet Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    United Kingdom

    For anyone from the U.S.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Humour Whiffet, Feb 20, 2010.

    Does American English make a distinction between “like” and “such as”? Whenever I read books from the U.S they always seem to use “like,” even when “such as” would seem more appropriate.
     
  2. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    it's merely a matter of style/choice... i've seen both used by american writers... and either can be grammatically correct, depending on context... however, some unseasoned writers do use 'like' incorrectly... as unseasoned writers anywhere do with many words...
     
  3. Unit7
    Offline

    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    59
    I think it comes down to preference to the writer.

    But if there is some distinction I don't know about it.
     
  4. Humour Whiffet
    Offline

    Humour Whiffet Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Great. Thought that must be the case. Thanks
     
  5. Neoaptt
    Offline

    Neoaptt Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Utah
    The difference is the age of writing itself. Like is more recently used and has more than one meaning.

    Such as has one meaning. It is also an older style or more polite style of writing.
     
  6. Danno
    Offline

    Danno New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1
    Like or as

    In American English we are supposed to adhere to the same rules on this point, as most people do in British English. But with the informality of spoken language, the word "like" creeps in with perfect anonymity and general acceptance. Like is "supposed to be" a preposition rather than a subordinating conjunction. But in general usage, it is accepted, particularly in conversation.

    Diana Hacker (A Writer's Reference) says to use "as" in all formal writing and "like" only in casual speech. But Bryan Garner, who is the American version of Fowler, offers more than just this "proper" interpretation. He says, "Frequently… like needs to be replaced by the proper conjunction, as (or as if) … [but] this relatively simple precept … has been increasingly flouted in American speech. Examples of like used conjunctively can be found throughout the Middle English period; but the usage was widely considered nonstandard from the 17th through the mid-20th centuries. Then defenders came along, raising it to the level of a standard casualism. …Although this use of like can no longer be considered an outright solecism, as it once was, it hasn't moved far from the borderline of acceptability. It is acceptable casual English; it isn't yet in the category of unimpeachable English."

    I apologize for this, but this site apparently does not allow for italicized text, nor for the html code to accomplish it. The words "like" and "as" etc, were supposed to be italicized in this quoted passage.
     
  7. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    This site does allow italicised text and other formatting effects, but doesn't use HTML to do it, it uses BBCode. Try those buttons at the top of the editing pane.
     
  8. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    The site's FAQ can be accessed from the Important Links frame on the WF home page, and that also explains the BB codes.
     

Share This Page