Lake Superior State University's 41st Annual List of Banished Words
So, if the wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University get their way, this is the last time a story lead like this will ever make it into print or broadcast.
Answering a question by beginning with the word "so" is just one of a dozen forms of wordplay that made it onto LSSU's 41st annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.
So the word that received the most nominations this year was already banished, but today it is being used differently than it was in 1999, when nominators were saying, “I am SO down with this list!” Nominations came from across the country.
“Currently, it is being overused as the first word in the answer to ANY question. For instance, "How did you learn to play the piano?" Answer: "So my dad was in a classical music club..." – Bob Forrest, Tempe Ariz.
“Tune in to any news channel and you’ll hear it. The word serves no purpose in the sentence and to me is like fingernails on a chalkboard. So, I submit the extra, meaningless, and overused word ‘so.’” – Scott Shackleton, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
“Politicians, especially, are using this word when asked a question and not answering said question. It is used by all parties in Canada's Federal election. – Karen Newton, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
“Frequently used to begin a sentence, particularly in response to a question, this tiresome and grammatically incorrect replacement for "Like," or "Um," is even more irksome…It hurts my ears, every single time I hear it! – Thomas H. Weiss, Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
“So it's getting really annoying. So can we please put a stop to this?” – David G. Simpson, Laurel, Md.
“It has become widespread to the point of an epidemic,” said a sickened John from Philadelphia, Penn.