1 EAGLETON NOTES: So

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Monday, 27 March 2017

So

Every answer to a question by a journalist on television these days seems to start with "So..." Am I the only one who finds that intensely irritating.

And whist I'm on the subject of irritating things can anyone explain the rational behind the practice that seems to have developed in the UK (I have no idea whether other countries/cultures also have the practice) of clapping oneself in a situation where one would usually expect other people to do the clapping.

36 comments:

  1. I agree, Graham. And every answer begins with "basically".

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  2. Of course I can not say I have noticed the "So..." thing, as I usually watch the news on German telly. But in my language, I have also noticed several annoying patterns develop over the past 10 years or so. I'm afraid they are part of the ever-changing thing that is called language. If you listen to news broadcasts from, say, 50 years ago or read papers from that time, you will notice more and more changes.
    That doesn't make it less annoying in the here and now, though.

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    1. Yes, Meike, there have been many changes. When I was doing a 'How to deal with the press' course naby years ago the journalists running it told us always to start a reply with a 'pause-word' to give us time to think before responding but without appearing to pause (which can look dithery).

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  3. I notice I have started doing the "so" thing. I must have picked it up from somewhere but I don't seem to actively hear it. I also picked up the teen "like" and use it way too often.

    I don't like it when people clap themselves but I think it's more ignorant than anything else. We are losing some of those finer points in behaviour

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    1. Kylie I think that is the thing: most people don't notice the 'pause-word' and for people using it it becomes so normal they start every sentence with it whether they need the time or not. Yes, I suppose clapping oneself is just ignorance (but it is still irritating).

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  4. My current frustration is hearing the verb 'to go' being used instead of 'to say'. It drives me bloody mad!

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    1. Cro that's one I have not noticed. I long ago gave up on split infinitives and now throw a dirty look at the radio/tv when newsreaders and their ilk say "None of us are". It's probably a reflection of when we went to school.

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    2. Oh that's interesting. Assuming that you have a problem with 'are' as opposed to 'is' (if not then I'm completely in the dark!) then historically both have been used and are correct (depending on the circumstances) according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

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    3. Helen I agree that both can be correct but I was taught, and still prefer, none (as in not one) of us is rather than not one of us are.

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  5. I find it intensely irritating, a total turn off.

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    1. Yes Iain. I find it very distracting.

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  6. So, I take it you don't like it...I find it very difficult to type because I'm clapping myself. So, you see, I have to clap for myself because no one else will - so I have to do it myself! :)

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    1. I totally understand your annoyance, Graham! I cannot stand the way young people use the word "like" so often in sentences. I also hate the use of "but" at the end of a sentence!!

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    2. The ending a sentence with 'but' is not one I've noticed Liz.

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  7. hahaha .... so many things irritate me, Graham ;) I have noticed both of what you've said. I get irritated with the amount of unnecessary clapping during speaking events. Silliness.

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    1. Yes Heather. I was at a concert last week and at the end of one stunningly beautiful piece the audience, despite the conductor still having his batten raised, started clapping and spoiled the moment of silence.

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  8. Perhaps those egomaniacs clap themselves because they have the clap. As for this modern trend to begin questions or answers with "So", I share your disapproval. Of course language evolves and I have happily adopted many "new" words and expressions but I refuse to join the "So" movement buddy!

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    1. YP I received a message from a long-time friend and member of the grammar police. "Time to give up, I'm afraid. It's endemic." What had I been I complaining about? A newscaster saying “the number of blue tits is less this year.” There are fewer blue tits or the number of blue tits is smaller.

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  9. Living in Sweden, I haven't noticed those particular quirks, but no doubt we have our own. And now I'll probably be keeping a special lookout for "yours" as well... (As we always borrow a lot, both good and bad, from British and American culture and language...)

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    1. Yes Monica. I accept that language is now becoming more universal and I suppose I have relaxed over the years but some things still manage to irritate me.

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  10. I very often type "OH" at the beginning of many of my comments! Doggone it, that is just the way I talk! I mean every "OH" I type!
    One thing I notice, the adverb has died. I hear it very often when I am watching the news. Ask Richard, I drive him crazy correcting the newsreaders!

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    1. Gosh Kay I can't believe that it's four days since I looked at my blog. Apologies. I can now envisage the headline "Adverb dies" followed by a lot of questions as to what an adverb is.

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  11. So, basically, you have a problem with people applauding themselves. So, don't watch 'Pointless'. What is especially amusing is the fact that teams not only do it when they win but also when they lose and go out... Perhaps it is because Alexander Armstrong says 'Wonderful contestants!' as he invites the audience to applaud the team going out in that round. Next, contestants in shows will do football players' celebrations.

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    1. CJ because I am an avid watcher of the 6 O'clock News I tend to see the end of 'Pointless' on many occasions. Given that Alexander Armstrong is such a talented and clever person he really does his best to hide the fact with his "Wonderful contestants!" even when they have appeared to be quite the opposite. Self congratulation just isn't British!

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  12. I basically think people applauding themselves is a bit pretentious really...maybe it's just me that thinks that.

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    1. No, Amy, I agree with you absolutely.

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  13. I too have changed a bit of my language and my writing style and it's hard sometimes to stay grounded to the Queen's English.
    It's so customary now that when I do write something down I find myself looking at it with a quizzical eye and wondering if I have spelled it correctly.
    We are surrounded by a new version of lingo....things are a changing and it's not all for the better.
    I find myself correcting persons in my mind and aloud sometimes and also commenting on tenses and the general "slash and burn" of our good old English language.
    I do believe that most of the deterioration is from texting. Many folks now can't tell the difference between your, you are, or you're.
    I cringe when our newscasters plough through the news and run their chop shop around pronunciation, grammar and intonation.

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    1. I agree Virginia but I think we are now in the minority.

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  14. So, I'm late to the party, but I think it is an irritating, affected, hopefully short-lasting abomination to our language; much like "like."

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    1. Jill it's never too late to comment.

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  15. Sometimes I have to go through my sentences to cut out phrases that I overuse. I noticed incidentally that I used the word "love" five times in one paragraph recently - thank goodness I spotted it as I would like the word to retain SOMETHING of the feeling of a superlative!

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    1. JennyI frequently discover that I have done the same thing but usually after I've pressed the 'send' button.

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  16. I've noticed the self applauding too, and I don't quite understand it - especially because British people are definitely not known to pat themselves on the back! However, I must admit to increasing my use of the word "so" at the beginning of sentences... which actually started while I lived in Australia, and I felt like it could be an Americanism?

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    1. Clazz I'm sure that the 'so' has been introduced by media people as a way of giving oneself thinking time at the start of answering a question and it's just caught on. That is, however, speculation on my part.

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