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← The "So" meme

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Richard Dawkins

Thank you, I must say I wasn't expecting this thread to turn out quite so fruitful. The scholarly discussions of the phenomenon recommended by Hardnosedskeptic and mirandaceleste are fascinating. And I'd completely forgotten the equally widespread "so" as emphatic adverb: "I am SOOOO going to tweet that". Or the weird negative version: "I am SOOOO not going to the Olympics".

Whenever I'm tempted to deplore such linguistic innovations, I remember Steven Pinker's homily on the fascination of language evolution and his witty admonition to himself after enunciating one of his own pet peeves: "Chill out, Professor". Many, perhaps all, of our older and accepted idioms and figures of speech started in just such ways, perhaps as youthspeak.


Sun, 04 Mar 2012 08:40:52 UTC | #924261