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« Last Edit: 28/07/2015 18:52:20 by _system »


 

Offline chiralSPO

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Re: Why do all scientists say so?
« Reply #1 on: 10/06/2015 13:31:41 »
I think it's a way to buy some time to think when preparing to speak, but sound smarter than starting off with, "Um."

Interviewer: *Question*

Interviewee: Yes, well. Okay so, *Answer* (sounds smart)

Interviewer: *Question*

Interviewee: Umm, err, ahh, *Answer* (doesn't sound smart)
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: Why do all scientists say so?
« Reply #2 on: 10/06/2015 17:45:01 »
So, we're really talking about a virus which has infected the scientific community. The big question is, who started it? Sometimes it is fully appropriate to start your answer with "so" because you might be beginning your answer with a clear summary of what was a bloated and confused question: "So, you want to know why things fall down rather than up?"

I suspect it started off with scientists who were not native English speakers and who heard replies starting with the word "so" where it was used more appropriately, but they misunderstood its role and took it to be a standard way of introducing a reply. From there it would have spread to native English speakers and thereby reinforced this usage. Once established in this way, it's very hard to get rid of it - we've seen a similar virus get going in recent times with "the thing is is..." which originally came from someone misapplying part of a phrase structure from "what it is is", and I've even heard it turn up as "the thing was is" (Jeremy Clarkson).

That's just my theory though - there may be sufficient documentation on the origin of this plague of inappropriate sewing to pin it down to some other mechanism. It may be something that came from another language where the tradition is longer established.
« Last Edit: 10/06/2015 17:47:05 by David Cooper »
 

Offline chris

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Re: Why do all scientists say so?
« Reply #3 on: 10/06/2015 17:53:11 »
So I really hate the habit people have of saying "The HIV virus" and "The TSB Bank" etc...

So annoying.

So there...
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Why do all scientists say so?
« Reply #4 on: 11/06/2015 06:47:42 »
Quote from: thedoc
Sam Brown asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Many times on radio and television, scientists, doctors, engineers etc are often asked questions about what they do or how a particularly thing they are talking about works.
Very often (lately - in the last ten years or so) they will begin their answer almost always with the word "So ..."
This is totally new to me. I've never heard of this before.
 

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Re: Why do all scientists say so?
« Reply #4 on: 11/06/2015 06:47:42 »

 

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