I’m sitting next to a couple of twenty-somethings at a Starbucks on Eighth and 50-something, and I’ve been listening to them talk for last 40 or 45 minutes, and it never ceases to amaze how these guys, whom I almost regard as a separate species, all submit to the exact same mall-speak fascism in which there are no declarative sentences but constant questioning tones, as if the speaker is basically saying “is it okay if I say this? Because I don’t want to seem overly assertive…so is it, like, okay?”

And so instead of saying “I walked into that asshole’s office and told him if I didn’t get a raise I’d quit”, the GenYs say “so I, like, walked into his office? And said, uhhm, if I don’t, like, get a raise I’ll have to, you know, quit?” It’s pathetic. They’re all a bunch of Zeligs. If I was Absolute Dictator I would round them all up and put them in evening speech classes, and the first lesson would be that you really don’t need to feel uncertain or hesitant or in any way submissive when speaking a declarative sentence. Tens of millions of under-30s constantly speak with this questioning tone, as if they were all cloned by the same Mengele. It’s freaky.

And yet my two boys (21 and 20) don’t talk this way, and neither does Zoe Kazan. Wait, does Kristin Stewart speak like this? No, it couldn’t be.