Saturday, January 02, 2016

So is the new Like

So I've been trying to get attention with my observation that younger Americans are beginning their sentences with the word "So" ad nauseam.  So no one wants to hear it.  So we have a new year now and so perhaps with the release of the annual  "List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use,Over-Use or General Uselessness" by Lake Superior State University in Michigan, my readers will stop ignoring me.   "So" is at the top of the list.

LSSU has been issuing the list since 1976 and although it usually makes me smile in agreement and makes me feel validated as a curmudgeon of worth, nothing really changes.  Americans are so infatuated with baby-talk and with sounding like the other illiterates trying to seem hip or educated or even oneness with the masses  they're not easily persuaded that working "selfie" or cray-cray into every line is just plain stupid or that it's time to stop demanding that we "have a conversation" as a euphemism for "shut up and listen."

Of course these little infatuations do fade eventually.  Starting a sentence with so will go the way of starting a sentence with "say" and fewer sentences will be larded with "like" as they were in the 1990's. But you cant be sure. Both affect and effect are gone forever it seems, and no one sends invitations any more.  It's nearly certain however, that words that sound similar will continue to undergo a kind of syncretism. Our grandchildren will tell us to "annunciate" our words and to assault our ears with other false congnates while English Teachers nod approvingly and the American vocabulary will continue to swell like cheap sausage with inert ingredients and other stuffing. It's just Cray-Cray.

But not all of us will go gently into that confused darkness. LSSU and I, like Quixote and Panza will go on as America hashtags and twerks itself into an epic fail.

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