So annoying

Aug 25, 2016
Has anyone else noticed the fashion for preceding the answer to any question with the word ‘so’? It’s beginning to drive me crazy. No it’s not. It’s well on the way to doing so.

It’s everywhere: on the radio, on the TV, around the office, even at home sometimes.  You have all heard it.  The conversation goes something like this.  Interviewer: “When did you first realise that you had a talent for music, Bruno?”  Bruno:  “So, when I was about ten my dad bought me a guitar.”  You get the idea.  ‘So’ precedes every answer.  If you haven’t noticed it already you will do in future.  Sorry, I’ve just spoiled Radio 4 for you forever.

Where did it come from?  No idea.  I first heard it when visiting Washington DC in 2015 so I’ll probably blame the Americans.  These verbal ticks come and go.  We are in the midst of the ‘like’ invasion in which nobody under 25 can utter a sentence without including this unnecessary addition at least once. You will have noticed how everything has been ‘awesome’ for some time even when it’s quite ordinary really.  People in shops insist on telling you that you are ‘brilliant’ just for remembering your PIN number.  And please don’t get me on ‘cool’, ‘wicked’, etc.  We really don’t have time.

I am confident, however, that the ‘so’ frustration will fade, either because it stops or I get used to it.  When it does something equally annoying will come along to upset pedants such as me.  I wonder what it might be?     

Steve Jordan, Managing Director, The Words WorkshopSteve Jordan
Managing Director