[Ads-l] Meaningless "so" at start of reply sentence

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 15 10:44:04 EST 2017


So I've noticed from MSNBC commentators.  Other needless sentence leaders besides "so" are "listen" and "look".


Tom Zurinskas,
Originally SWConn 20 yrs,  college Tenn 3,  work NJ  33,  now FL 14.
truespel phonetics free converter and  tutorials - http://truespel.com








________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 2:50 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: Meaningless "so" at start of reply sentence

One more link on sentence-initial "so" -- Ben Yagoda's 2011 piece for the
Chronicle's Lingua Franca blog.

http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2011/12/02/so-it-turns-out-that-everyones-starting-sentences-with-so/
[http://www.chronicle.com/theme/che/img/logo-che-mobile.png]<http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2011/12/02/so-it-turns-out-that-everyones-starting-sentences-with-so/>

So It Turns Out That Everyone’s Starting Sentences With ...<http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2011/12/02/so-it-turns-out-that-everyones-starting-sentences-with-so/>
www.chronicle.com
So my favorite recent language article is a piece by Anand Giridharadas that appeared in The New York Times last year. It’s about the use of the word so in speech ...




On Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 2:59 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:

> Heaney's use of "So" came up in the comments on the Language Log post I
> linked to.
>
> ---
> http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2570#comment-81190
Language Log » So new?<http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2570#comment-81190>
languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu
62 Comments Noni Mausa said, August 22, 2010 @ 9:54 am. Being rather slow on the uptake, I first noticed the initial "so" a few years ago in CBC radio interviews with ...



> [Dan Lufkin:] Seamus Heany begins his translation of Beowulf with "So. The
> Spear-Danes in days gone by…." The "so" renders OE "Hwæt." Heany comments
> on his choice (Introduction, p. xxvii):
> "In Hiberno-English Scullionspeak, the particle 'so' came naturally to the
> rescue, because in that idiom 'so' operates as an expression which
> obliterates all previous discourse and narrative, and at the same time
> functions as an exclamation calling for immediate attention. So, 'so' it
> was."
> ---
>
> Also discussed in comments on these posts:
>
> http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1872
Language Log » Also, check the back seat<http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1872>
languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu
32 Comments T. A. Smith said, November 7, 2009 @ 10:44 am. To prove your point: For about seventy years, I was painfully uneasy about writing a sentence that began ...



> http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4021
Language Log » Hwæt, the parking-spaces<http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4021>
languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu
52 Comments Thor said, June 14, 2012 @ 8:55 am. Are you sure they aren't just quoting the rapper Li'l John? mikemorr said, June 14, 2012 @ 8:58 am



>
>
> On Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 2:33 PM, Kate Svoboda-Spanbock <
> katesvobodaspanbock at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Not sure whether any of the references below mention it, but, Seamus
>> Heaney used it, followed by a period, to start his translation of Beowulf.
>> --
>> Kate Svoboda-Spanbock
>> katesvobodaspanbock at gmail.com
>> 310-880-3091
>>
>>
>>
>> On Nov 14, 2017, at 11:10 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>
>> > Back when, I somehow got into the habit of introducing a topic with the
>> > words, "As I've said," even though I'd not mentioned that topic before,
>> > ever. I became consciously aware of it after my girlfriend eventually
>> > freaked out.
>> >
>> > On Sun, Nov 12, 2017 at 9:02 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >
>> >> Googling for "sentence-initial 'so'" yields some familiar faces.
>> >>
>> >> Geoff Nunberg on Fresh Air:
>> >> https://www.npr.org/2015/09/03/432732859/so-whats-the-big-
[https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/08/18/gettyimages-475158605edit_wide-9ae801ac64861edfb7bf9e2df45e05068e5f885a.jpg?s=1400]<https://www.npr.org/2015/09/03/432732859/so-whats-the-big->

So, What's The Big Deal With Starting A Sentence With 'So'?<https://www.npr.org/2015/09/03/432732859/so-whats-the-big->
www.npr.org
It has been called the new "um" or "like," but linguist Geoff Nunberg says starting sentences with "so" isn't a new trend. People have been doing it for years. We're just noticing it more now.



>> >> deal-with-starting-a-sentence-with-so
>> >>
>> >> Arnold Zwicky on his blog:
>> >> https://arnoldzwicky.org/2015/08/11/so/
[http://arnoldzwicky.s3.amazonaws.com/ZippyToadSo.jpg]<https://arnoldzwicky.org/2015/08/11/so/>

So…? | Arnold Zwicky's Blog<https://arnoldzwicky.org/2015/08/11/so/>
arnoldzwicky.org
Today's Zippy features Mr. the Toad, moving during the day to his default personality: seized by rage and a sense of entitlement and issuing sweeping pronouncements ...



>> >>
>> >> Grant Barrett on A Way With Words:
>> >> https://www.waywordradio.org/sentence-initial-so/
Sentence-Initial So - A Way with Words<https://www.waywordradio.org/sentence-initial-so/>
www.waywordradio.org
So, can a sentence begin with the word so? Which ones? So is oftentimes used in place of therefore to conclude an explanation, but more people are using it as a



>> >>
>> >> Mark Liberman on Language Log:
>> >> http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2570
Language Log » So new?<http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2570>
languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu
62 Comments Noni Mausa said, August 22, 2010 @ 9:54 am. Being rather slow on the uptake, I first noticed the initial "so" a few years ago in CBC radio interviews with ...



>> >>
>> >>
>> >> On Sun, Nov 12, 2017 at 5:22 PM, Margaret Winters <mewinters at wayne.edu
>> >
>> >> wrote:
>> >>
>> >>> I've been noticing it for a couple of years at the LSA and other
>> >>> conferences - younger speakers particularly tend to start their talks
>> >> with
>> >>> 'so' or 'ok'.  I've been understanding it as a semantic inchoative -
>> >> 'This
>> >>> is an announcement that I am getting going on my talk'.  I once
>> started
>> >>> trying to gather data at a conference (approximate age of speaker,
>> >> gender,
>> >>> and first word), but got distracted too many times and gave it up.  I
>> >> don't
>> >>> know of anything has been written on it, but would be interested.
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> Margaret
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> ----------------------------
>> >>> MARGARET E WINTERS
>> >>> Former Provost
>> >>> Professor Emerita - French and Linguistics
>> >>> Wayne State University
>> >>> Detroit, MI  48202
>> >>>
>> >>> mewinters at wayne.edu
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> ________________________________
>> >>> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of
>> >>> Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at MST.EDU>
>> >>> Sent: Sunday, November 12, 2017 5:12 PM
>> >>> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>> >>> Subject: Meaningless "so" at start of reply sentence
>> >>>
>> >>> Yesterday a friend asked me about something I've noticed for at least
>> a
>> >>> year: On TV and radio I often hear a response to a question begin with
>> >> the
>> >>> meaningless word so.
>> >>>
>> >>> E.g.:
>> >>>
>> >>> Question: Did the Democrats have a good turnout?
>> >>>
>> >>> Answer begins: So let's look at the figures.
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> Has this feature been treated yet in any linguistic discussions?  And
>> is
>> >>> my impression correct that it is a relatively recent development (the
>> >> past
>> >>> year or two)?
>> >>>
>>
>>

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
[https://s0.wp.com/i/blank.jpg]<http://www.americandialect.org/>

American Dialect Society<http://www.americandialect.org/>
www.americandialect.org
Devoted to the study of English around the world.




------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


More information about the Ads-l mailing list