Usage and Grammar

Q. Hi. I used the following sentence in an e-mail: “Without apologies, I’m sending this Voice article on in case you got depressed (like I did) by the Reading at Risk report or various articles about it.” Someone responded and told me that using “like I did” is grammatically incorrect. Is it really? And if it is NOT incorrect, can you tell me what I can reference to support my wording? (I.e., can I find info on this in the Chicago Manual of Style, and if so, under what topic?) Thanks so much for any help you can offer!

A. I’m afraid your correspondent is right (if not tactful). The correct wording is “as I did.” CMOS, in its “Glossary of Troublesome Words and Phrases” (5.220), has this to say: “like; as. The use of like as a conjunction (as in the old jingle ‘like a cigarette should’) has long been a contentious issue. Purists insist that as must introduce a clause and like must always be a preposition coupled with a noun {cool like springwater}. The fall of that old rule has been predicted for five decades, but today like as a conjunction is still not standard.” For even more on this, see 5.181.