So… or how to start sentences

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 13:12 Erika Baker

So… Janet Street-Porter wants to bid farewell to 2016’s most annoying and overused word in the english language – the word ‘so’ at the beginning of a sentence.

It seems that “so” has now taken the place of the “like” we were all complaining about in 2015, which took the place of “so he turned round…” we were all complaining about in 2014.

Is there really a new outbreak of lazy english language, or is it just that a word previously not used in this way has swamped our language and become ubiquitous for its 15 minutes of fame?

I say, old chap… we’ve always started sentences with a meaningless filler word. Because when you look at it more closely, it’s not meaningless at all. In spoken conversation it gives us the space to think about how we are going to structure the rest of the sentence, how we will put our thoughts in order to say clearly what we want to say in a way that the person we are speaking to is most likely to understand correctly.

Yes, there is probably too much of it. Once a word takes hold as part of our vocabulary, we tend to overuse it for a while, until we drop it completely. Remember “if you know what I mean”? And “to be honest with you”? They were once everywhere, they now seem to have all but disappeared.

I say!

So, it seems that last year’s common filler word was “so”.

Pray, tell me what you think this year’s common filler word might turn out to be?

Well, what do you think?