1. stubeard
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    stubeard Active Member

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    Starting an anecdote with 'so'

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by stubeard, May 15, 2012.

    Does anyone happen to know, where does the phenomenon of starting any kind of story with the word 'so' come from?

    "So I was walking down the road and I bumped into my friend..."

    Has anyone else noticed this? Is it more prevalent in the US? (I'm from the UK, but I've been living in Washington D.C. for the past few months.) Does anyone know where it comes from? It must've come from somewhere. Is it actually that new, or am I just noticing it more? And where does it stand, stylistically-speaking?
     
  2. Lazy
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    Lazy Banned

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    It's so common here in the US that I find it strange that you find it strange... No idea where it came from.
     
  3. indy5live
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    indy5live Active Member

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    So (pause) what do you think about this? - Suggesting the person wants a genuine response.
    So what are we doing later? - Implying they are doing something later, not just asking.
    So I went to the store earlier today... "Oh yeah, what happened?"
    So guess what happen today? "Tell me please!"

    ...I think it's probably from social media, instant messaging, texting...a way to get attention or response before making your actual statement. It can build anticipation.
     
  4. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    I've been using "so" since I was a kid, long before texting or social media.
     
  5. Erato
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    Erato Contributing Member

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    Yess! I do this constantly. "So we got there early and Alice was waiting for us at the steps. And then we had to wait there for Cal to come with the keys. So once he showed up two hours later, we all went inside..." I really ought to break the habit for myself, but it might be a useful trick in writing dialogue.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's used as a hesitation word. "Well", "Okay", "you know", or the ubiquitous "Um" are of the same ilk, except "Um" usually doesn't carry over from speech to writing.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    at nearly 74, i've heard people say that all my life, so i can't see how it can be thought to be anything 'new'... one of its more or less newest variants is that silly 'valley-speak' opener, 'like'... which is so often redundantly made even sillier, with the addition of 'you know'...
     
  8. JessWrite
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    JessWrite Word Nerd & Proud! Contributor

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    I use 'so' all the time. It's usually followed by, 'yeah', when I'm done with a point or conversation. My friends use it a lot too, like "So, how was your day?" I wonder if it's just the age though, I'm 18. Do teens use 'so' more than adults?
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I've noticed this more and more often in the USA, and I think it's a relatively new phenomenon, at least in one sense. Not so much in introducing anecdotes, but in TV political commentary. I've noticed more and more often, when a political show host asks a pundit a question, the answer begins with "So ..." For example, the question might be "How is Obama going to counter this new attack by the Romney campaign?" The answer will usually be "So the Obama campaign is going to have to refocus ..."

    Etc.

    These pundits are supposed to be very highly educated people with a lot of TV experience, and still they start their answers with "So ..."

    I didn't notice that when I first moved here over 15 years ago. I've only really noticed it over the past five years.
     
  10. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I think the use of words like 'so', 'really', 'honestly', 'seriously', 'you know'... is on the rise. They have been around for several generations but I have noticed in the last few years that it is more prevalent. Of course that's just my opinion. I don't have any real basis other than noticing people saying them more often. It could be people aren't saying them more, I'm just noticing it more. :)
     

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