[Ads-l] sentence-final "so"

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 14 11:12:33 EDT 2021


I think I’ve been hearing this for at least 30 years in the US, though I don’t personally use it. 

It seems close to the Japanese が (ga) when used as a vague sentence-final particle. 

Benjamin Barrett (he/his/him)
Formerly of Seattle, WA

> On 13 May 2021, at 08:56, Betty Birner <bbirner at NIU.EDU> wrote:
> 
> I have in-laws who do this all the time, intoning "so" as its own sentence, with distinct falling intonation.  I think the source is my sister-in-law, originally from Pennsylvania, but it has spread through their family, and she's been doing it as long as I've known her, roughly 30 years.
> 
> Betty Birner
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> On Behalf Of Jonathan Lighter
> Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2021 12:19 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: sentence-final "so"
> 
> In that case, I'd have expected a capitalized "so," followed by a period.
> 
> JL
> 
> On Wed, May 12, 2021 at 12:44 PM Andy Bach <afbach at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>>> A: I mean, more people are homophobic than cacophobic so.
>> 
>> I'd have taken it to mean "so there (is your answer)."
>> 
>> On Wed, May 12, 2021 at 8:08 AM Jonathan Lighter 
>> <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> 
>>> I've been noticing this for possibly five years, but it could be 
>>> more or less.
>>> 
>>> Quora.com:
>>> 
>>> Q: Which is worse, homophobia or cacophobia?
>>> 
>>> A: I mean, more people are homophobic than cacophobic so.
>>> 
>>> I'd have put in a comma before "so," because there's usually a pause.
>>> 
>>> It seems to have developed from a feeling that more should be said, 
>>> but
>> the
>>> speaker doesn't know what.
>>> 
>>> My feeling is that it was preceded by the (still existing), "so -- 
>>> you know."
>>> 
>>> JL

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