About four years ago I wrote a post (on my old blog) about some of the verbal tics and language use I encountered at Microsoft (memetic habits I inevitably picked up myself).
My observations centered around the use of the word "so", example:
"So, here’s the thing: do I use the word ‘so’ a little to start a sentence? Absolutely! Do I also like to ask a rhetorical question to make a point? You bet. So, can I combine both techniques into one.? Bingo. Right, so...Now, there, in fact just now, we used an example of a sequence of at least 3 words that acted as delaminater from one thought to the next."
I was reminded of this by an article at Seed Magazine called "So", researching the various theories relating to the use of the word (published this week and found via memeticians). Not the "so" as in the intensifier (so expensive), or the "so" that joins two clauses, but the "so" that introduces a sentence. The article cites me and the idea where "so" acts as a "delaminater" (not "deliminator"). Michael Erard, the author of the Seed article picked up on this word play:
"Alex Barnett wrote on his blog that "so" was a "delaminater" word. To him an idea was a concrete object, much like an onion. "So" was the word a speaker used to convey that another layer was peeling back. This metaphor implies that ideas have a kernel that one could reach with enough "so"s, a notion surely enticing to the problem-solvers and the goal-oriented. I prefer to think of "so" as a vehicle across a landscape of knowledge. It lies not so much in between points on a terminal trajectory, but more on perpetual journey across points of understanding. In this sense it shares some qualities with the infinite "why"s of a two-year-old. Another "so" can always follow the end of a thought. The trajectory is endless; the rabbit hole has no bottom. There will always be more questions for science to answer.
So, would it break Michael's heart to learn that my use of the word "delaminater" was a double typo error on my part?