With the passage of time, Man’s lexical arsenal lost much of its potency. New-age WMDs (Words of Mass Destruction) were born.
Wallowing in the characterless netherworld, the WMDs gradually, like parasites, gnawed away at the healthy body of English Words. Impressively camouflaged and true to their characterless character, these Immortals successfully consummated a coup d’etat, toppling the ruling Lexicon.
The takeover complete, conversational vocabulary was reduced to a handful of words; which in turn, were degenerate derivatives of a once-beautiful wor(l)d. Word processors running Word counts in this new-age world seemed to have developed a particularly close relationship with two of these WMDs – Like and Whatever.
Rabidly misused and liberally misplaced, verbally challenged folks discovered in these gladiators a cure-all to their social troubles. Like, how they were loved! Users discovered to their immense relief that Like and Whatever served as great fillers when lines of thought ended abruptly, as they did often. Apart from their filler attributes, they became constant companions in social interactions. Anything that terminated emptiness was extended a warm welcome. On this measure, Like and Whatever enjoyed unrivalled attention.
Like, which was initially used to carry out comparisons, soon gained independence. It was mostly seen in the company of ‘you know’; like, ‘you know like?’ A question, invariably unnecessary, often unleashed to emphasize the obviousness of an idea, with a secondary objective of conveying the speaker’s erudition and a tertiary objective of reminding the listener of their stupidity.
Due to its sheer utility in standing in for incoherent thoughts and as a tool that accentuated one’s social standing, Whatever was particularly favoured. While Like was demography-neutral, Whatever was in vogue among the teenage universe. Cool Quotient and peer acceptance were directly linked to the (over)usage of Whatever. Whatever soon obliterated Period as the universally accepted indicator of terminated sentences. Over time, this virtue found believers in the community of the Seasoned, who, like, quite liked the idea of replacing Like with Whatever. Those that Liked poking fun at this recent development were Whatevered into oblivion.
However, beneath the countenance of peaceful coexistence, faint rumblings were heard by a few. Not all seemed well.
Like, due solely to his longer existence in lexical history, never liked being likened to Whatever. Whatever could be done to trump Whatever had to be done, like, urgently, Like thought. Digging deep into his vast warehouse of parasitic skills, Like concluded that the surest way to gain supremacy lay in fully decimating half-decimated thought processes.
As vices were most easily planted in formative years, Like began his assault on the teenage community. Like was overjoyed when he encountered little resistance in carrying out his intended objective. Initial victories came easily as Like discovered the torch-bearers of tomorrow drowning in an overdose of profoundly meaningless TV. Smartphones lent Like a helping hand, by carrying out an admirable job of eliminating smarts. The assault was so successful that Like found his way into swear-lexicon. ‘Crap! I’m Liked!’, soon replaced the aboriginal F-man. Simultaneously, Like tied up with Facebook and WordPress to trademark a button bearing his name. The move proved to be a stroke of genius.
While this was under-way, Whatever remained in his state of rest, furiously repeating his name, when well-wishers warned him of Like’s assault. Whatever’s well-wishers brought to his notice that his most lucrative Top 3 markets globally – cities in USA – were also cities where Like was most prominent. They encouraged worldwide geographic diversification. Whatever responded with a yawn-y,
Like’s assault led to Whatever being marginalised into the Appendix. A highly methodical chap, Like rubbed salt into Whatever’s wounds by presenting a Google Trends chart, tracing their relative progress over time.
Whatever only managed a whimper, ‘Like, Whatever.‘