19 August, 2006

Proposition situation

So there's this worrying new linguistic quirk that seems to have taken root at work, and unlike previous and existing instances of verbal violence, this one is proving increasingly difficult to avoid and to imitate.

So what it involves, in essence, is framing each and every sentence as if it were some kind of universal proposition following on from an unspoken preceding assumption. So in other words, that means starting everything you say with the word 'so' even though there's nothing to which the 'so' refers.

So what this in effect does is render each and every other form of opening a conversation redundant, chiefly because each and every conversation ostensibly follows on from some previous remark and hence is not an opening at all. So nothing is ever an introduction, only a continuation. So nobody can be bothered thinking of any other way of beginning a sentence.

So you see, this is a singular problem, especially when, as with this sentence, the use of the word 'so' is actually justified and correct but feels, following on from so many unjust and incorrect appearances, somehow out of place. And choosing to begin a sentence with something other than 'so', like the word 'and' for instance, now equally feels somehow contrived or gauche.

So it's yet another objectionable peculiarity spreading like a forest fire around the office, and all the worse for being the kind of thing you don't have time to stop yourself saying, coming as it does at the start rather than mid-way through a remark.

So much for the English language. So what? So that's all I really have to say on the matter, lest you think me an irritating and obsessive so-and-so. So long.


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