Lately, I’ve become obsessed with a verbal tic that I, and many others, seem to have in their speech pattern. I’m getting to a point where I can’t help but notice it all the time now. I don’t know what got me going on this, but once I notice something like this, I can’t help but notice it everywhere. It’s how I operate. I’m hyper-observant and don’t think that’s not incredibly annoying to those closest to me.
Here’s what ruffling my feathers lately, not in a bad way, but in a way that my mind then wanders off for a bit pondering what may come next. It’s the use of the word “so…” at the end of a sentence. Notice I added the ellipsis after “so”. There’s a reason. Sentences can end in the word “so” without the ellipsis. For example, “Make it so.” A clear use of the word at the end of a sentence that leaves no doubt that it’s job is done. I’m fine with the regular “so”, it’s the “so…” at the end of a sentence that’s got me all worked up.
An example so you understand, “I’d love to go salsa dancing with you tonight, but I just had hip replacement surgery, so…”.
Another example, “An evening spent watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians sounds fun, but I already kill enough brain cells with my large alcohol intake, so…”.
One more example, just so we’re clear, “I’m sure she has a super-nice personality, but I wouldn’t have sexual relations with her even if I had a stolen penis, so…”.
I think you catch my drift. Everything is open-ended. The sentence is never quite finished. It’s just hanging there, in limbo. It’s like ending every sentence the same way David Chase ended The Sopranos. You’re just sitting there, waiting for something to happen, but nothing does. The screen goes black and you spend the next five years analyzing what it means with the same fervor and dedication as scientists who are attempting to cure cancer.
I am not immune to this either, by the way. I catch myself doing this every now and then. When I do notice myself saying “so…”, I kind of lose my train of thought for a bit. I’ll mentally remove myself from the conversation and ponder why I couldn’t just definitively finish the sentence. Why can’t I just say, “I know Chinese food is delicious, but eating at a Chinese buffet gives me horrific gastro-intestinal pains, so…I’m not eating that shit.” If I would have ended the sentence with “so…” without clearly stating I wasn’t “eating that shit”, the recipient may still be confused as to whether I’m actually going to eat that shit or not.
That’s the problem. There’s an level of uncertainty every time someone ends a sentence with “so…”. The person who asked about the Chinese buffet may be thoroughly confused when the sentence just ends with “so…”. They may think, “So…do you want to eat this shit or not? I’m not a mind reader. I’m just trying to be nice. And I really didn’t need you to tell me you get the shits when you eat Chinese food. Who knows, maybe you get some sort of perverted thrill from wreaking havoc on your digestive system. I don’t know because you didn’t finish your sentence and now I have to guess what you meant.”
If you’d like, you can make a little game out of this. The next time you catch someone doing this, see how quickly you can come up with something creative to help them verbally finish their thought. When your boss says, “You’ve done great work for us over the last year, but we’re still running lean financially and it’s going to be difficult substantiating a raise this year, so…”, you quickly finish the sentence with something like, “so…you’re getting fired which will save us more money because your competency-to-pay ratio is offensive and I clearly know more about this job than you ever will, which will allow me to get that raise I so justly deserve.” Try that and let me know how it works out for you.
I see that you’re reading this right now and nodding your head in agreement. You know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve brought an issue to light and you’re secretly cursing me now because you’ll start noticing this in your everyday conversations. To that, I say “You’re welcome” and “I’m sorry”. Welcome to the world inside my head. It can be a confusing place, but it’s home, so…
Categories: Seed Views