December 31, 2015

So...

... stop beginning your answer to any question with "So..."...

43 comments:

The Bergall said...

"Well" says the..........

Alex said...

I know people who do this, irritates the hell of me. Also when people use "umm", or stutter instead of SLOWING DOWN.

David Begley said...

Look. I'm tired of Lake Superior State taking advantage of this every year. When does the University of Wisconsin - Dodgeville supplant this stunt?

Michael K said...

I like Well, better.

cellec said...

Can't think of too many individual words that bother me, but certain words are "married" together in particular phrases.

For instance: "Disgruntled ex-employee". People who get fired and then end up shooting ex-coworkers are never "angry", "un-balanced", "psychotic", "depressed", or "un-hinged". They are always disgruntled (they've lost their gruntles).

Indeed, that's the only situation where that word is ever used.

Sebastian said...

OK, well, if you promise not end anymore answers with "Sigh."

jimbino said...

These are the people who say "Awesome!!!"when they mean to say "yes."

dhagood said...

so why should i do this?

Jack Richardson said...

"So, if a son that is by his father sent about merchandise do sinfully miscarry upon the sea, ..." Shakespeare, Wm; Henry V, Act IV, Scene 1

Michael said...

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell, blue skies from pain.

FullMoon said...



Kudos, Sebastian. Spot on! That's a realldog-whistle for me.Look, many people deserve a kick in the arse for using annoying words.

Fernandinande said...

So, what? I am like so sick of Lake Superior State University's problematic manspreading their price points on conversations in which they're not stakeholders. Sigh.

Char Char Binks said...

Say, you got a point there!

Jake said...

Every academic on Econtalk starts every sentence with "So". I thought it was a requirement to sound credentialed.

American Liberal Elite said...

So, this has been bothering me for a while. Glad to know I'm not alone.

Howard said...

Utilize is just a faux technocratic way of saying use.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Fernandinande said...Fernandinande said...
So, what? I am like so sick of Lake Superior State University's problematic manspreading their price points on conversations in which they're not stakeholders. Sigh.


Your strong rebuttal gives me life, Fernandinande, I hope they issue a presser and walk back this junk.

Snark said...

My drill-in-the-ear phrase is so and so 'breaks silence' on such and such. Ugh! Break this, trite journalist.

Freeman Hunt said...

To affect a down-to-earth quality, you should come up with answers that begin with "sew" or "sow."

Danno said...

So there is nothing better to do up in the cold Upper Peninsula in Sault St. Marie.

The Godfather said...

Beginning a sentence with "So" in informal or extemporaneous speech doesn't bother me EXCEPT when it is used to begin an answer to a question. In that context, it makes the response sound canned, and so makes it less credible. You should avoid it for that reason. Even "That's a good question, George" is better.

D. B. Light said...

"So?" is pretty much my response to everything. The "what" is silent.

Curious George said...

No kidding.

dreams said...

I mean, you know.

Unknown said...

So, just another reason not to pay to send my grandkids to this cesspool. Pending their parental approval (given) it'll be Hillsdale or Ashland (clones acceptable).

Marcus said...

I thought I was the only one who noticed that. It's made so many NPR interviews unlistenable. I've also noticed "right" being used often as a the beginning to the answer to a question, alone or in conjuncture with "so".

rastajenk said...

"I like Well, better."

"I mean, you know."

These two are inexorably linked, especially by communicators on TV who are supposed to be professional communicators. I can overlook an athlete or any common citizen thrust into a public situation, but not by govt spokespersons or paid commentators: "Well, I mean, you know..."

Lilly Paynter said...

So, does the list include the redundat double possessive: "a friend of John's"?

Can you say: "Push the button of the handle's of the door's of the car's"?

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Howard @6:13 Utilize is just a faux technocratic way of saying use.

So, that's basically true, but "use" can also be a noun. To what purpose "usage"?

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

And the all-time favorite: forced.

"She was forced to put milk in her coffee when she found the cream pitcher empty."

David said...

Sew, why are you worrying about this. You know.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Let us not forget "utilization", the noun form of "utilize".

For writers who get paid by the letter, "utilizification".

Viking In Winter said...

"I mean" and "you know" both nauseate me.
They irritate my almost as much as up talking.
Is this crap taught in school?

Steven Wilson said...

So, close proximity, is that not, you know, like, I mean redundant.

mikee said...

"So" used (not utilized) at the opening of a sentence is an affectation that gained popularity after its use (not usage, nor utilization) in the 1999 movie Office Space.

Bill Lumbergh: So, Peter, what's happening? Aahh, now, are you going to go ahead and have those TPS reports for us this afternoon?

It denotes tentative, affected superiority in one who is not superior.

I'd like also to toss in my hatred for the misuse (or misusage, or misutilization) of decimate for the correct word, devastate.

buster said...

I can't stand the use of "loan" (a noun) as a verb in place of "lend".

Ann Althouse said...

"I can't stand the use of "loan" (a noun) as a verb in place of "lend"."

The OED has "loan" as a verb going all the way back to 1200. It says it's "Now chiefly U.S." Maybe you're not a U.S. person. I note that you put the period outside of the quotation. That looks wrong to me.

Ann Althouse said...

"1834 J. C. Calhoun Wks. II. 328 The power to withdraw the money from the deposit, and loan it to favorite State banks."

buster said...

@ Althouse

I know about the OED, but it sounds rebarbative. That's why the usage has receded. Periods go outside the quotation mark then the quoted thing is a single word or phrase.

Meade said...

So rry.

ddh said...

So, why do you care?

The Godfather said...

"Loan" can be a verb, and has often been so used, so the OED is correct. One can also scrape one's fingernails on the blackboard. But why would you do so? "Lend" is available as a verb; why not use it? Clearly this is a matter of taste and judgment (good or bad).

But putting the quotation marks is simply a matter of right or wrong. When Buster said:

I can't stand the use of "loan" (a noun) as a verb in place of "lend".

he wasn't quoting what someone else said. except the words "loan" and lend". The sentence as a whole (I can't stand . . . .) was his own. The quotation marks belong ONLY around the two words being quoted.

buster said...

@ The Godfather

Philosophers distinguish between using a word (Lend me five dollars) and mentioning it ("Lend" is a verb). Use/mention confusions can lead to logical trainwrecks. So there is a convention to place words that are mentioned in quotation marks.