Sunday, November 3, 2013

SO... So... So.... So WHAT?

There are many linguists who say that language evolves with time. The language we speak today will be different 100 years from now.

One thing they really don't talk much about is the entropy of language. Modern English, for example, seems to be in full entropy vs 'evolution'.

I'm not talking as much about the written language as I am the spoken one. Written language changes more slowly while the oral language quickly evoles, or devolves, based on trends, fads, common vernacular, etc. But, beware, as people become more illiterate, the verbal language will more quickly infiltrate the written one...

I was watching several video podcasts and some news interviews today. One thing was sadly noticeable and, after a while, completely annoying. What was it?

So, I was watching podcasts so I learned some things. So what was I watching? So they were all about technology. So they were pretty cool. So, the news interviews were, so, revealing so I really understood what they were saying. So it was great today!

What word do you see at the beginning of every sentence in the paragraph above?  If you guessed, "so", you'd be so correct!

I'm not sure when this trend started but it is almost more annoying than 'like' every other word... Why do we have to use 'So' all the time? We don't and it shows a lack of vocabulary, sentence structure and verbal communications skills. It is a verbal crutch, a filler word used incorrectly all the time.

Do you use 'so' before every sentence you utter? If so, STOP!!!

It wouldn't be as bad if only illiterate people used it. Oh no, while illiterate people far overwhelm literate ones, 'so' is used equally by the college graduates (including PhD and Doctors). It is used by lawyers, podcasters, and just about anyone that says anything verbally.

Verbal crutches are a real problem in spoken as well as written language.  I have seen a lot of instructional design storyboards making extraordinary use of verbal crutches. Some of these include over-use of:

Now let's...
And now...
Like... or
Press Next to continue (on every single page!)

and there are more of these... But this is a good start.

Typos are another issue (of which I suffer from on occasion... But that's another topic.

Please pay attention to the verbal crutches. They will say a lot about you to others and it may not be what you think...j

And, make it a point to avoid using, 'so'...