Friday, November 14, 2008

on the so craze

For a time, about two years ago, I so thought that my students were mainly the ones putting so somewhat randomly in front of verbs - between subject and verb - but now as an addicted listener to news and culture podcasts I realize that everyone is so doing it. It's an intensifer for the most part. Inserting "very much" in the same spot would have done it 50-75 years ago. I very much want you to come visit me. And sometimes "so very much." So I'm not against so, since it's succinct and even dramatic. The stronger the verb the better the effect. Weak verbs, and to-be verbs make me less a fan. I am so against that. And negatives, in the same grammar: I am so not with you on that point. Now find a two-word subject pronoun ("We all," which is a rarely used first-person plural form of "you all") and stick "so" between them and one of those weak verbs ("have") and you've got a sign Linh Dinh saw recently and snapped for his blog. All I can say is, they'd so better be friendly.