Liek-Yuno Simplex was serendipitously identified in the late 1970’s by Drs. Forest Liek and Tumatso Yuno, researchers in the Department of Psychology at Malibu State University in California. During their research on the effects of various types of flatware on the pharyngeal reflex (Ref. Liek & Yuno, “Don’t Gag Me with Your Spoon,” Journal of Culinary Psychology, Sept. 1977) Drs. Liek and Yuno described to one another the unusual repeating word patterns that had been adopted by their teenage daughters, who, coincidentally, were simultaneously enrolled at San Fernando Valley High School.
Upon further investigation the pair were able to characterize the microdisorder that now bears their names: Liek-Yuno Simplex. The microdisorder presents as the repeating of words and/or phrases upon which verbal sentence structure is interlaced and is often misdiagnosed as Substance Abuse Impairment. Words and phrases that are commonly used are “just saying,” “okay,” “you know,” “I mean,” “and stuff,” “know what I’m saying,” “totally,” and in particular “like.” An ethnogrammatical example of resulting speech patterns is illustrated in a verse from Frank Zappa’s Valley Girl:
Like, oh my God!
Encino is like so bitchin’.
There’s like the Galleria.
And like all these like really great shoe stores.
I love going into like clothing stores and stuff.
I like buy the neatest mini-skirts and stuff.
It’s like so bitchin’ 'cause like everybody’s like super nice.
It’s like so totally bitchin’.
Liek-Yuno Simplex is particularly difficult to treat insofar as the people who exhibit the symptoms almost never listen to themselves speaking and therefore their scattering of misplaced vocalizations throughout their speech does not enter their attention.
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