As if the austerity cuts, frequent storms, seasonal stress factors and the crisis in A&E have not produced enough of a strain on the populace of Britain… a government spokesman has identified the rise of an insidious epidemic among the young that threatens to spread unchecked to other defining social groups and demographics.
The so-called Like virus has the power to hinder intelligent conversation in its victims and spreads rapidly in situations of even the most mundane social interaction. Independent observers recall an associated collective state that has hitherto only existed in its extreme manifestation among sheep herds and at One Direction concerts.
A victim – who wishes to remain anonymous – said she had no idea of how or when she was infected… “I was talking normally to friends when suddenly I was like this; then I was like that… only to end up like duh… oh-my-god like help me – like p-l-e-a-s-e!” Unfortunately the rest of her testimony is too distressing to recount here…
At a press conference today the government’s Chief Medical Officer emphasised that this is as serious a situation as the country has ever faced linguistically: “Ladies and gentlemen we are headed toward the ultimate dead end – a cul-de-sac of taste and verbal expression.” When asked to describe symptoms he was equally sober: “The symptoms are usually a ridiculous hysteria accompanied by eye-rolling – the more colourful characterise this expressive state as charades on crack cocaine: a point is reached at which every dull aspect of life is accentuated and hyped.”
A leading social scientist also in attendance expressed that this is particularly true of those who live inside the boundaries of the M25 – in that they seem to innately believe that every encounter and bodily function is quite unlike the same occurrence elsewhere in the UK and thus automatically achieves urban myth status. “It’s as if every time they (Londoners) break wind it is evidence of some wider truth!”
She continued by offering a devastating warning for language in the future: “We find ourselves in the mid-late stages of serious adjectival decline. It’s a painful process that is accompanied by empty-headed braying that gets exponentially louder – particularly on trains and at parties… in fact anywhere that an audience can be guaranteed.”
It is a distressing thought that linguistic Armageddon is lurking just around the corner for the UK. Those afflicted by the advanced stage of the disease move onto a depressing new level of obsession whereby Literally is the prop to any further conversational gambit – the dreaded twin terrors of ‘I was literally like’ is the unfortunate outcome and is one of the few examples of the syndrome that can be repeated in polite society. Those at this terminal stage tend to seek comfort in fellow sufferers. Social suicide soon follows…
The lack of clear advice outlined today reflects governmental inaction and their inability to come to terms with the virus – as well as reinforcing opponent’s claims that they have little or no interest in the socio-economic status of those who constitute the worst hit victims. This accusation was somewhat reinforced when the Chief Medical Officer – in response to a heavily choreographed question and answer session offered limited succour to those affected other than a brief parting sound bite to assembled journalists; those in attendance noting the glint in his eye matching the spoken emphasis: “You may not like this ladies and gentlemen but you literally have been warned…”