Social (was Re: Safire on Contraction)

Bookrat bookrat at BOOKRAT.COM
Mon Feb 7 20:33:28 UTC 2000

At 12:51 PM -0800 2/6/00, Grant Barrett wrote:
>Here at Columbia University, they (irritatingly) tend to use our Social
>numbers for record keeping. When they need it, they ask for my "social,"
>without the
>number, and often just my "sosh" (rhymes with gauche).

I work at a university library circulation desk, and our campus uses SSNs
as de facto ID numbers.  The "social" usage is something that I first
noticed last September; of course, it was probably in use long before I
noticed it.  It is common usage among our student assistants (all in the
20-29 age bracket).

"Sosh" is something I have heard only from a couple of them (the two
youngest and most culturally hip ones).

I have, however, heard "social" in two other circumstances which made me
realize how widespread it must be:

1) In talking to one of my bank's customer service representatives,
somewhere on the other end of an 800 number;

2) In talking to my forty-something brother, in the context of military
identification numbers which, so I gather, are now the same as SSNs.

Ken Miller
Social Correspondent
The Lostin Times

More information about the Ads-l mailing list