Saturday, March 7, 2009

Oh, Facebook, you kill me...

The other night, one of my Facebook friends posted this cute Obama-HOPE-poster-esque picture on my Facebook page. I liked it, so I clicked the little "I like this" link by this posted item.

Later, when I was viewing my profile, I nearly fell out of my seat when I saw that Facebook gives you the option, once you have liked something, to unlike it.

Hold up for a second. Unlike is most definitely a word, yes. Unlike is perfectly acceptable in contexts such as (but not limited to) the following:

It's unlike Sawyer to call someone by his real name and not by a smart-ass nickname.

Hurley gave unlike sums of money to his friends and family after he won the lottery.

But unlike is not a verb. Except, apparently, on Facebook.


Thanks to BRAD for making the picture that led to my discovery of the unlike (shudder) function on Facebook!


Persnickety Ticker said...

Wow, and here I thought Facebook was shining example of perfection.

Oh well.

::Puts up Wet Floor sign to warn against slipping on the puddle of dripped sarcasm::


If you're talking about perfection in the realm of grammar retardedness, then you are absolutely right. ;)

Otherwise, I'll just take care to avoid slipping in the sarcasm! LOL.

ChicagoLady said...

*quietly slips a pillow onto your desk*

If you keep banging your head that way, you won't be able to share all these wonderful grammar FAILs with us.

Bridgete said...

I know, that drives me crazy too. I can see why "dislike" is inappropriate, because you're just undoing your selection of "liking" the item...but really.

In other news, I laughed so hard at your reaction to the "unlike" option I hit my head on the back of the futon.

b13 said...

I could see "dislike" (I hope that's right so I don't look foolish) being used.


Thanks, ChicagoLady! :)

(My head hurts so much today--partially from dealing with atrocious grammar--that I've had to take a full dose of Tylenol PM...)


@ Bridgete: Haha! Hopefully it's a soft futon and your head doesn't hurt too much! :)


@ b13: "Dislike" would probably be more appropriate than "unlike," but I don't think "dislike" is exactly what they were going for here. If they had, perhaps, hyphenated it--"un-like" instead of "unlike"--I think that might be the best choice.

EVula said...

Well... here's the thing. You can only "unlike" something if you've clicked the "like" link. As a result, the "un" prefix is being used to denote the fact that you're undoing an action, and "like" is then a verb. Given that, this is actually fair game (similar to "check" and "uncheck", etc).

Also because of this, "dislike" wouldn't work; you can't state that you dislike something, you can only state that you like something, and then rescind that declaration.

So, to be fair, Facebook is just selectively evolving the language. :)

(I wrote all this and then actually read the comments. Late to the party, but dammit, I took the time to write all that, so I'm still posting anyway. I do agree that "un-like" would be the better term, though.)


EVula! You're alive! I was missing your snarky comments around here and wondering where the heck you were. :)

While your explanation makes sense and I agree with you that "un-like" is the best choice here, I beg to differ regarding the comparison to "uncheck." See, when you talk about the word "uncheck" or unchecking something, there's really only one meaning to that, right? But when you mention "unlike"...there are several meanings, and most of them are not about *not* liking something anymore. I think you absolutely need the hyphen there in "un-like" in this instance for clarity, and I don't think that an unhyphenated "unlike" can cut it in this case.

I definitely agree with you that Facebook is selectively evolving the language, though. I think they really need to hire one of us grammatically-savvy types to help them evolve the language in a more grammatically harmonious way... :)

EVula said...

I think they should hire one of us, who will then turn around and suggest they hire an additional person...

(and, ironically, Facebook is the best way to check on my living/dead/undead status)


Great idea, EVula! How awesome would it be if grammarians started taking over Facebook? Muahahaha... :)

(I am always grateful for your Facebook statuses, whether they are living/dead/undead, because they tend to be more grammatically sound than most of the other statuses I see, and I never want to scream when I read them. ...By the way, "statuses" is a totally weird-sounding plural form. Is that even the right word to be using here? Ughhh...need sleep...)