Thursday, December 04, 2008
I posted recently on the viral spread of the word 'look'. On both sides of the Atlantic interviewees on television and radio were beginning sentences with 'Look....'. It's irritating because, as I said, it suggests either brutality or lies. But is 'look' now being replaced by 'so'? I just heard somebody talking about something or other in the Today programme beginning every sentence with 'So...'. The word suggests a highly connected and relevant sentence is about to follow but its continued use - it really was like a facial twitch - undermines this by implying the speaker has no idea what he is talking about and is desperately relying on 'so' to provide the illusion that he does. Is there, I wonder, some kind of interviewee-training guru putting them up to this - saying, perhaps, that these pointless words provide a valuable micro-second of thinking time? If so - whoops there I go - he is either a fool or a brilliantly subversive wit.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 7:25 am