The Virginian-Pilot
© (Editorial Page)

So, This is About the Word So!

By Phil Terrana

So I was listening to an interview today on television, which reinforced that a fad is afoot. So you might ask, "So what is this revolutionary craze sweeping the nation, and possibly the world?"

So I will tell you. "So" is it.

So what is it, you ask?

"So" is it, I tell you. So let me explain.

So what I am noticing is that every day more questions being asked by interviewers are being answered by statements beginning with the word "so."

So maybe you are thinking that this might be simply a case of Beverly Hills teenager-speak and surely not the way the civilized folks speak.

So you would be wrong to assume this. So let me tell you how widespread this has become.

So I have heard economists begin every sentence with "so." So I have heard congressmen, diplomats and scientists begin every sentence with "so."

So an astronaut talking about the vehicle that landed on Mars described what would happen in these words:

"So the modular carrying the rover will hit the Mars atmosphere. So when it does, a parachute will deploy and-"

So, and so what?

So what happens next isn't really important.

So what is important is why does every sentence have to begin with the word "so?"

So didn't we already go through this with the word "like?"

So didn't we learn our lesson?

So who starts these trends?

So maybe some public relations firm must have heard someone, somewhere start a sentence with "so" and decided that it sounded just different enough to make ordinary sentences and ideas a little more appealing and so it started advising its clients to employ this unique new way of talking but so then other public relations firms latched on to the idea and it started spreading like so many cultured cells in a Petri dish.

So some people even hear it on their own and are attracted to it like so many flies to flypaper and before you know it, every Tom, Dick and Harry so and so is starting every stupid sentence with "so."

So I was wondering if this was simply an American thing or if the whole world had jumped on the "so" bandwagon. So I turned to London, where the Olympics, the largest international gathering of athletes, were taking place.

So I hear an interviewer ask a woman on the Mexican soccer team who she thinks is the best female soccer goalie in the world at this time.

"Solo," she answers cautiously, perhaps not wanting to offend her own goalkeeper.

So I am at a complete loss because for the life of me I have never heard of a soccer goalie named Lo.

Phil Terrana is an author and freelance writer living in Virginia Beach.



The Virginian-Pilot
© 13 December 2011 | 5:00 AM Editorial Page

Convenient forgiveness

Re 'What's wrong with adultery?' Cal Thomas op-ed column, Dec. 9: Thomas appears to be saying adultery doesn't matter in Newt Gingrich's case for two reasons: One, he has admitted his sin(s) and asked God for forgiveness (twice) and, two, the nation is in such dire straits that we must overlook personal flaws in light of his other outstanding abilities.All right, let's give him that.

But what about the Clinton matter? Gingrich, along with other Republicans, went after President Bill Clinton knowing he himself was guilty of the same offense. This makes him a hypocrite and an opportunist.

Are these also qualities we as a nation must learn to live with? Are there any bounds within the Republican Party that don't just apply to Democrats?

Phil Terrana
Virginia Beach