I agree that the "so" thing has permeated all demographics. I remember first being annoyed with it
when I'd constantly hear it from marketing and consulting types doing presentations and at beverage
industry meetings. It seems to have started in the early 2000's, maybe in "blue state" urban areas
among middle-level white-collar professionals. Perhaps their kids got it from them! So (pun
intended) I might be blaming the wrong generation.
Over-use of "if, then, so" de-emphasizes the contrasts those words are supposed to offset. This may
be part of politically correct speech, an attempt to dim contrasts so as not to "offend" either side
of a contrast or equation.
Does anyone in the professional media read "The Elements of Style" anymore? When I landed my first
newspaper job "way" back in 1988, I was handed a copy and expected to absorb it before writing my
first bylined copy. This was at a very small newspaper (Watertown NY Daily Times), so I assume it
was standard practice in the industry at that time.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Stamler" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 5:16 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Radio voices, was Toothpaste
> On 3/12/2014 1:14 PM, Michael Shoshani wrote:
>> On 03/12/2014 01:48 PM, Malcolm Rockwell wrote:
>>> Hmmm... So (har), the latest phenomenon I've noticed is something called
>>> "creak speak" and it's extremely annoying to me. It is when the
>>> speaker's voice croaks at the end of a word or phrase.
>> Oh, yes. This phenomenon is, for reasons I can't really fathom,
>> popularly known as "vocal fry".
> It's been a standard vocal ornament among traditional Appalachian singers for generations.
> Interesting that it's moving into a new context.
> And Tom, it's not just "Coddled" twenty-somethings that are beginning their sentences with "So".
> I'm hearing it as much f4om 50-year old biochemists being interviewed as I am from youngsters. It
> seems to be a genuine linguistic shift, and if what's being said on this list is true, its ambit
> is much wider than NPR.