Immune to the Plague of So

I have finally become immune. But it took a long time.

It used to drive me to distraction how so many people start every response to a question with the word, “So…” Bad enough to notice this the first time or two, like seeing one dead honey bee, but then to start noticing it more and more, every freaking person who is interviewed, everybody who answers a question, the whole freakin’ hive is sick! This is not the simple popularity of a word that everyone seems to be using. (Remember around the turn of the century when suddenly everything was “tony”? “The tony shops on Rodeo Drive.” “Carrying a tony leather purse she exited the Mercedes…” But at least “tony” is a word that serves a purpose.) The plague of “so” isn’t even as mundane as the migration of the word “epic” from surfing to a descriptor of everything else that is awesome, amazing, spectacular. And it’s not just kind of dumb and dopey like using the word “dope” as an adjective to describe what? Something is cool? After all, it’s a word that has plenty of legitamate uses—just not at the beginning to the answer of every question. No, it’s closer to habitually stuttering, “Uh…” before saying anything else. Or, “y’know” sprinkled all over an otherwise sensible narrative. Starting every answer with “so” is just obnoxious.

For awhile I wanted to blame this tsunami of bad syntax on the millennials, since it seemed it was always some  young Silicon Valley genius who was answering a question about how he earned his billions, and why his one trick app had such incredible engagement, starting his explanation with, “So…” And, of course, for me the WORST part of “so” is the implied and unspoken message of tolerance and patience, “So…since you ask, and you’re just not as smart as I am, I will deign to explain it to you in a way you can understand.” But it wasn’t just them; everyone was doing it.

Whenever, rarely, I  heard a speaker begin  a response or explanation without “So..” I let out a whoop of  triumph. But it didn’t happen often. In protest, I tried to ban “so” from my own writing and speaking. And I decided I just couldn’t write about the plague of so because I was TOO EMOTIONAL about it. Give it some time. Maybe it will blow over. Even Ebola burns itself out, right?

Anyway, (anyway? so?) – I’m over it. I’m  done. I gave up. I hardly even notice anymore. Answer the question any way you want. I don’t care. I’ve been so exposed, so overexposed, that I don’t even notice any more. I am immune to the plague of so.

—Christo

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