SO, there’s this verbal tic that I’ve just noticed a lot of people have and it’s really starting to grate.
At least once a day, and sometimes more frequently, I will speak to someone who insists on beginning most of their sentences with the word “so”.
The term appears to serve no purpose, for example: “What did you have for breakfast? So, I had some toast and a cup of tea.”
This is different from the traditional use of the S-word to indicate some kind of connection between two thoughts, as in: “I had some toast and then I felt thirsty so I had a cup of tea.”
The new-look “so”, having shoved its way to the front, is almost like the verbal equivalent of a capital letter, as though the speaker is saying: “I am starting my sentence now, you know that I am starting my sentence now because I am using the word ‘so’.”
Maybe I’ve been asleep, but this annoying habit appears to have gone from non-existent to omnipresent in the space of about three weeks.
I’m just glad that I’m yet to hear an Irish person using this verbal tic as it would raise the horrible possibility of a sentence being book-ended by “so”.
For those who don’t know, some people from the South of Ireland have long used the S-word at the end of a sentence as a sort of verbal full stop.
Which leaves us with the awful prospect of: “So, I had some toast and then I felt thirsty, so I had a cup of tea, so.”
As Chandler from Friends might say, that is so not a good sentence.