Valley girl "upspeak" is a global phenomenon


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I always thought this was an Australian thing?


I remember when this song came out and thinking that everyone saying “Omigosh” and “Gag me with a spoon,” was going to be like, so a trend. But then, weirdly, everyone still says “totally” and “like” and a LOT of the stuff she was mocking.

Also, can you imagine some teen making a one hit wonder today and dressing like that with the long sleeves and below knee skirt for her tv performance?


Certainly in the UK where it became noticeable in the late 1980s after the cultural (broadest sense) onslaught of Neighbours and Home and Away on national television.

Anyway, so I’m all like… whatever!*

* And we totally talked this rad when I was in middle school in the early mid-80s in Silicon Valley. And… erm… kinda… still do…


I’m still trying to make ‘fetch’ happen.


I grew up on Long Island, and most of my childhood friends still can’t get through a sentence without at least one “Like” thrown in randomly


I gave you a “like” for that.


This is? A really horrible? Thing to have? Caught on? Even some? Insecure guys? Are doing it?

Female fans of the trend were labeled narcissistic and vapid, a perception that Amanda Ritchart and Amalia Arvaniti, two linguists behind a 2013 University of San Diego study of uptalk, set out to debunk.

I’m afraid that they’re not debunking the perception, only the idea that the perception is based on fact. I’m not sure I will ever be able to hear people speak like this without getting the impression that they are a little stupid, even if I know that is irrational. Mark, this wouldn’t be a terrible age for your daughters to try acting classes, maybe get a little speech training. The older they get, the harder it will be to unlearn this habit.


Some of us are happy to see the blame redirected, however unfairly.

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Journalism notwithstanding, it’s not a California thing. Southern women were “uptalking” long before the 80’s. It’s been suggested that in a culture where women can only have the most covert forms of power, even a declarative sentence can seem confrontational and even masculine. The solution? Turning every sentence into a question? Like you’re all set to be contradicted?

If that’s so, it’s not a function of stupidity, it’s a function of power.


Last time I heard this song was when it came out.

And, man… I forgot how excruciatingly crappy it was. Couldn’t even get through 25% of it.

Seems like the roots of this go back to the 60s at least. Like So Cal beatnik/surfer speak.

Like is just a filler word. It’s used in the same way that um, uh, and er are. To indicate that there’s more to your sentence but you haven’t quite organized the words in your mind yet or you’re blanking on something.


Yeah, I never pictured Valley Girls shopping at Laura Ashley.


If you want real information on the topic, search for “high rise terminals.”
The Wikipedia article is interesting.

The original source interviewees’ paper:


Hey, it’s a monster bass jam by Scott Thunes. Rarely do you hear the bass out front like this for the entire song.


Well, then maybe with all vocals removed it would be passable. The lead and the chorus are fingernails on a chalkboard.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High was also part of this wave.

And amazingly enough, all of that “dude,” “bro,” “bogus,” “awesome” buffoonery has stuck. People still unironically say “awesome.” I’ve been waiting for over three decades for that shite to wear off and if anything it’s stronger than ever.

Whenever I hear someone say “awesome” I silently curse Spicoli.


In NY, “like” is replaced by “fuggin.”