... So ...

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
johnincrete
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... So ...

Postby johnincrete » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:33 am

Where did the recent habit of starting sentences with "so" come from?

It occurs with all classes of speaker but it annoys me most when the speaker has an education that should prevent it. I here it so often on Radio 4.

"Do you prefer your tea from a mug or cup?" "So, I prefer a cup" Such rubbish!

Perhaps LIC members who use the "social" media" which I don't could comment on "so" use there.

Yin&Yang
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Re: ... So ...

Postby Yin&Yang » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:56 am

Me too - usually switch channels as soon as I hear it!
Someday is now : )

Tim
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Re: ... So ...

Postby Tim » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:10 am

I don't use social media, John, but my guess is that the use of 'so', especially when answering a question, is something that is coached into public speakers and spokespersons. If you're asked a direct question that might tempt you to answer yes or no, beginning your answer with 'so' sets you up nicely to make a statement rather than answer the question directly - and of course, answering a question properly is anathema to politicians and the like. Just my view.

Tim

Kilkis
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Re: ... So ...

Postby Kilkis » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:51 am

I agree that it is a recent thing in English, I suspect originating in the USA, but has been fairly common in Greek for at least the last 20 years. My boss in northern Greece, who was well educated (Batchelors from Thessaloniki, Masters from Manchester and Doctorate from Strathclyde), would frequently start sentences with "λοιπόν" or finish them with "έτσι". The usage in Greek seemed slightly different, however, and hence more normal.

"Λοιπόν" would be used at the start of a sentence but that sentence would be part way through a discussion rather than at the beginning of an answer to a question. I guess you could see it as putting forward a number of ideas and then tying them together with a sentence starting with "so". Another usage would be a group of people in a taverna discussing what they are going to eat. Having decided, when the waiter comes to take the order one person might place the order for everybody and start with "λοιπόν". I do that myself sometimes. My old boss would tend to use "έτσι" at the end of a sentence with an inflection that suggested it was being used in order to stress the point being made.

My Greek is roughly at the level of a two year old so my interpretation may be wrong.

Warwick

PS I do agree that how it is being used in the UK today is intensely irritating.

Jeffstclair
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Re: ... So ...

Postby Jeffstclair » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:34 am

I worked in Ireland years ago and have a handful of Irish friends ..Many of them use' So' at the start of a sentence , it seems fine when you are in Dublin with a glass in your hand ... But when I hear some Old Etonian use it on the radio it feels wrong ...

Maud
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Re: ... So ...

Postby Maud » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:10 pm

My old headmaster from my school days was a graduate in English from Oxford University. - We all thought he was very clever! He told us never to start a sentence with ‘so, also, but, and......’ I still do as he taught us to this day!

bobscott
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Re: ... So ...

Postby bobscott » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:33 am

So what? Eh? Oh, yes, sorry............

It's just one of those annoying things : what does 'he went, like,' mean, especially when left hanging in the air with no follow-up, verbal or visual. Generally, I think the poster above who said it's a ploy to avoid having to give a yes or no answer has it about right. Gives the inarticulate time to think, as in 'like', 'you know', 'er' , 'um' etc.

So, that's settled then!

Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Maud
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Re: ... So ...

Postby Maud » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:15 am

And another thing Bob.......!

Kilkis
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Re: ... So ...

Postby Kilkis » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:32 am

I follow the arguments but it is the exception that proves the rule ("proves" in the sense of tests). Rory Stewart was Eton and Oxford educated and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature so you would imagine he has a passing acquaintance with the rules of English Grammar. He frequently starts sentences with "so" in reply to questions but he generally gives a very direct reply to the question, i.e. does not obfuscate.

It seems to be a fairly recent affectation of the relatively well educated rather than the great unwashed, who still tend to stick to "errr", "you know" and "init".

Warwick

TweetTweet
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Re: ... So ...

Postby TweetTweet » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:48 pm

Maybe he's using it as a précis for "I've been instantaneously understanding your question(s)" - using SO is one word -v- 6.

Kookla
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Re: ... So ...

Postby Kookla » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:49 am

Agree with your comments. Plus newscasters using split infinitives. My recent bug-bear was a few years ago everyone was saying absolutely, when they meant yes. Quite gushing and sycophantic.

bobscott
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Re: ... So ...

Postby bobscott » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:00 pm

Maud wrote:And another thing Bob.......!


Yes Maud. But (sic) I was also told that use of those words could be a matter of 'style'. Bit like getting my knuckles rapped at the age of 9 for using a thumb to play a black note on the piano. So what. if it makes for easier fingering, go for it I say! Especially with arthritic fingers!!!

Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Maud
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Re: ... So ...

Postby Maud » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:08 pm

Language changes over the years Bob. One just hopes it doesn’t change too much!

My grown up offspring have even picked up the habit os saying “Cool.” I guess it is a bit like we all said “Fab” in our youth! These ‘trends’ come and go, and we just have to see them through. As long as ‘language’ isn’t’ seriously damaged all will be well.


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