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Help, I can't keep up...

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by miked, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    It is used by people who give lectures.
    It prompts their brain into the right slot and what comes out is pure drivel.
    NickM likes this.
  2. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I have been known to answer in that form. I usually mean "So what do you expect from me?" or "So why are you telling me?".

    The other response is "And" meaning "And you want something from me" or "finish the story".
  3. miked

    miked Well-Known Member

    And then there are those who end an answer with, "Innit"...
    NickM likes this.
  4. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    So much better than "You know....."
  5. MickLL

    MickLL In the Stop Bath

    So it seems to me that so is entirely superfluous in those examples innit.

  6. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member


    NickM likes this.
  7. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Hmm. Sounds aggressive to me.
  8. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    It's a weird one, but I think a lot of it is not just word replacement (sinninims:D) but abbreviations as well.
    'So' can be used to mean 'therefore', ….errr therefore
    'So what do you expect from me?' means 'therefore, what do you expect from me?', which is a contraction of 'Therefore, I have to ask 'what do you expect of me?'

    ...which also is effectively a contraction of a sentence, something like 'I have listened to what you have said, and you have told me something I already know, bored me to tears, beaten around the bush ad nauseum without a clear implication of what you want,......Therefore, I have to ask 'what do you expect of me?'

    'err...what was the question again?':D
  9. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    It all depends on the tone of voice, doesn't it? :)
    RogerMac likes this.
  10. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    So, well - you know - like, I mean - wot's this thread about anyway?
  11. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    That rather depends on the context and, as you say, tone of voice. I think Andy has hit the nail on the head, "So" or "And" are contractions of a sentence that in itself may appear patronising, belittling or downright abusive.

    As Andy says "So" might mean "Therefore" in the same way "And" might mean "Please finish telling me the story in order that I might understand your intentions and requirements.". It is just that replying with "And" is so much more directive, even if it does often result in getting the whole sorry tail again in slightly different language. It might also be reasonable to assume that the reason for using either short reply is that one has actually lost the plot entirely.
    Catriona likes this.
  12. miked

    miked Well-Known Member

    Then, less we forget, are the modern conjugations of the verbs, to sit, and, to stand.
    Now, I don't want to suggest that modern English is wandering up a creek without a paddle, but dumbing down (as the phrase has it) does seem to be 'so' fashionable. However, there are a few people left who still prefer, 'I was sitting'; or 'I was standing'.
  13. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    I'd use So where someone has done what they often do and made a statement rather than asked a question. It creates an adjunct to what they said, or introduces a consequence of it, or poses a question raised by it.

    In presentation training, you teach people not to pitch straight into an answer without establishing very clearly the context of the question, which might mean different things to different people and in some cases, might be loaded, rhetorical, or completely off topic.
    Learning likes this.
  14. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Your inability 'to keep up' in not your fault: they are speaking in a dialect of English that you don't fully understand. As long as all their friends and work colleagues speak the same dialect they will continue to function in society.

    I live in a rural area of west the Severn, and older locals still have a glorious local accent and some wonderful dialect words, but I have never had any problems understanding them since settling here 15 years ago. But the local children, who walk past my house as they go to and from the local secondary school, all speak like the cast of Eastenders.

    As long ago as 1982 I (a 26 year old non-graduate) and 11 recent graduates, who had just completed a 3 month training couse in computer programming under a government scheme, all attended interviews at a big employer in Swindon that was looking for IT trainees. Because they had found that academic qualifications were useless as an indication of reading, writing and general communication skills, they used their own selection tests as follows.

    Firstly we were given a one hour English comprehension and 'use of English' test which involved being asked to write a 200 word (maximum) precis of a chapter of a Charles Dickens novel, and then to write a report on errors in a page from an instruction manual that had logic inconsistences plus many grammar and spelling errors.

    Secondly we were given the 'use of logic' tests that were commen in IT recruitment at the time

    Finally, each of us were given a 5 minute interview in which various non-IT subject were discussed.

    After all this, all twelve of us passed the logic tests, but only 4 of us (including me) also passed the 'use of English' test and the the interviews.

    A local small business that I have used a few times was looking for an office junior who would have to read and reply to customer correspondence, and take telehone calls. They received so many applications that the owner despaired of a way to select one of them. He was very wary of all the various 'qualifications' that school leavers collect today, so I suggested a brief written test of basic arithmetic (at the level I was made to do at primary aged eight or nine), and a badly typed letter full of spelling and grammar errors for them to correct (no use of mobile telephones was allowed, which resulted in some applications being withdrawn). He did this, and only two applicants managed to 'pass'. He then interviewed both and made his selection.

    The young lady who got the job came to England with her parents when she was 6: her parents had insisted that she learn to speak and write 'correct' English. Some time in the future she will probably be running the business.
  15. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    The above post points to something that is important in all this - it doesn't matter whether adults understand teenagers, we were never meant to. Whether children, teenagers or older, groups tend to communicate with their peers readily, but, the real test is whether they can communicate with the rest of the world.
    One day, the innit crowd will have to talk to someone on a phone or even via email in another country. Translating between languages has never been easy. Translating poor language skills is impossible.

    An example of simple accents causing issues is when George Stephenson proposed his railway to parliament. Few of those in parliament could understand his Geordie dialect, which of course didn't help his cause.
    After his proposal was rejected (there were logistic figure issues as well) he was then asked by his colleagues to draw up enough information for detailed analysis, and then let somebody else present it in parliament.
    Together with the huge bribes they had to pay wealthy landowners, this then got the bill through.
    SqueamishOssifrage and Zou like this.
  16. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    Back in the days when I was doing A-levels, there was also something called the University Test in English, which you had to pass to get to Uni.

    Maybe they should re-introduce it.
  17. Mark101

    Mark101 Well-Known Member

    In Singapore the Malay people
    seem to start every sentence with 'Lah'!
  18. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    In some books I read a while ago, set in Asia, the courtesy title when addressing an older person, was Auntie or uncle, which I thought was a sweet way to do it.
  19. MickLL

    MickLL In the Stop Bath

    True - I lived in India for a while and my D-in-Law is Asian. Sometimes causes a few raised eyebrows when she tells her kids here in the UK to call someone Uncle!!

    I also have some very good friends from Sri Lanka and get treated as a member of their extended family. I'm Uncle to all the kids in the family. It's quite fun when we play cricket in the park and all the kids are shouting "catch it uncle" - passers by give some funny looks.

    Catriona likes this.
  20. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    Not just in Asia, it seems. When I was very young, very close friends - particularly war-time ones - were to be addressed as uncle plus Christian name.
    Catriona likes this.

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