February 2013 Archives


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Imagine.  Hands-on.  Building.  Playing with actual stuff.

I like this photo from an assignment that took me to many elementary schools in Michigan.  Here's to getting lost in play.

I've always been a bit of a proper grammar stickler, ever since grade school when the nuns, between scowls, drilled sentence structure and diagramming into us.  That early discipline served me well through my college Journalism degree and into my work life, where I continue to write articles to accompany my photos for company magazines.

It's difficult for me to listen to radio reporting without constantly critiquing what I hear,  whether overuse of the filler word 'like', using 'less' when you mean 'fewer', or the all-time classic, 'literally!'. 

For the past months I've been noticing the latest filler fad...so.  I don't know when this trend began, but it pops up when someone is asked a question and he starts his answer with the word so.  Interviewer:  "Tell me a little about your early work as an associate professor at the clown college."  Interviewee:  "So, I arrived in Skokie with only a red nose, my little car, and a big dream."  Like all filler words, it's thrown in just to gain a second or two of time to think. It's a fairly useless ornamentation that clutters up the sentence  and simply delays getting to the heart of the matter.  It seems to be the latest incarnation of ummmmm.

And it seems well on the way to becoming all the rage.  I must say it's usually the under 30 set who uses 'so' in this way, and maybe that's why it's starting to grate on my ears.  Tune into NPR and listen for it.  I guarantee you'll start hearing it regularly.

Of course this puts me squarely in the center of the uptight, old-man, persnickety, nitpicking schoolmarm crowd.  But hey, I'm fine with that. 

At this point hearing the word 'so' so much is literally making my head explode.

Really. Literally.

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