Blame it on Seinfeld

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The Language Curmudgeon tried to make a New Year’s resolution to be less critical, but there is too much work to do!

The LC’s least loved, most overused crutch word is SO pervasive, SO ubiquitous, yet I’ll bet most people don’t even notice

SO, what do you think it is?

Ask someone a question: “SO, I had a burger for lunch….”

Someone asks you a question: “SO, what movie do you want to see?”

And SO on. Plus all the ways something is SO wonderful or someone is SO happy or they have SO much to do.

I first noticed it in the dialogue on Seinfeld, so (sorry) it’s been soaking into the collective unconscious for more than 25 years.

Just pay attention. Even Jeopardy! contestants sometimes begin the interview answers with “SO….” I’ve heard TV commentators on PBS do the same. PBS!

“So” has become the all-purpose connector, filler, interjection, crutch. Even more than “well,” or “um,” or, God help me, “You know.”

SO, that’s my current rant. But a few runners-up for extremely annoying words:

  • “awesome”–need I say more?
  • “reach out”–media people overuse this one
  • “blah blah blah”–even worse (sorry, Seinfeld) than “Yada yada.”
  • “gifting”–what’s wrong with “giving”?
  • “forte”–even though gives “fortay” as a second pronunciation, the word for a strength or talent (not the musical term for loud), is pronounced “fort.” I quit using it because if I pronounce it correctly people don’t understand, and I can’t bring myself to deliberately mispronounce a word.

I could go on, but the Language Curmudgeon must retire to her fainting couch.

Note: I’m trying to expand distribution of my blogs, so I’ve added Twitter and Pinterest accounts. If you’ve reached me from either of those, welcome! I’d love comments. 





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