Speech and voice quality have always been important to me. There is an epidemic of sorts right now that is driving me bonkers: people begin their spoken sentences with “So…” or “OK, so…” Much like when the Gen-X or Gen-Y people used ‘like’ all the time (and still do), this affectation with ‘so’ is mind-boggling. The problem is, I find myself doing it;  I am aware and am actively trying to stop myself from saying ‘so’ when I start a sentence. What’s even more interesting is that when you Google “Starting a sentence with so” there are tens of millions of hits. MANY people have written about this. SO, I am not alone.

Here is part of the Macmillan Dictionary definition of ‘so:’

So can be used in the following ways:
as an adverb (followed by an adjective or another adverb): Why are you so angry this morning? ♦ It all happened so quickly. (with a verb): We were so looking forward to meeting your family. (followed by an auxiliary or modal verb and then its subject): ‘I’m hungry.’ ‘So am I.’ (followed by an adjective and ‘a’ or ‘an’ and a singular countable noun): The garden seemed small for so large a house.
as a conjunction (connecting two clauses): There weren’t enough beds, so I had to sleep on the floor.
as a way of starting a new sentence: So, when do you start your new job?
in the conjunction phrase so that: He was standing in the shadow so that I could not see his face clearly
And the 7th usage in the definition:

Spoken used for introducing a known fact before you make a comment to show that it does not matter:

Okay, so the guy made a few mistakes. That doesn’t mean he isn’t a good player.

Well, perhaps ‘OK, so…’ isn’t so bad after all. It’s not, ya know, like, ya know, as annoying as like, people saying ‘like’ all the time. Right?

Ya Got To Have Friends

Nearly 24 years ago, Doug and I met. We met through a group that formed out of the kindness and creativity of a man named Carl. That group of singles – then called Voorhees Single Professionals – was created long before the internet, Match.com or any other online dating service. Carl created the group out of a desire to connect single people in their 20’s and 30’s to a social life that was tough to find beyond the bar scene at the time. An earlier article in the Philadelphia Inquirer mentioned the beginning of the group in the fall of 1989.

Day10_20100817_27Tonight, more than  23 years later, Carl, his wife Ramona, Rick, Mary, Doug and I – who all met because of this group – had dinner together. I am exhausted. It was as though we had just left a group meeting and had planned weeks of events. We now are planning to get together for a boat ride – the six of us – on the Chesapeake – this coming summer. Ramona volunteered to start a Facebook page so we can begin to plan a September 28th ‘reunion’ of sorts. We want to revisit what Carl started so many years ago – a group of people who want to get together for social activities – a MEET market he proclaimed at the time – NOT a MEAT market – which was the big problem for singles.

The six of us met at our house for drinks and appetizers for about an hour. Our kitchen was filled with non-stop talk. Catching up; talking about our children – successes – failures; things on the horizon. When it came time to leave for our dinner reservation, we continued to talk. The car ride went by in a flash.

At the restaurant, we ordered and continued to catch up on each others’ lives. We talked about people who have passed away; who’ve divorced – but best of all, we reminisced about how each of us met. To remember those days as if they happened yesterday makes you feel as if everything that you’ve gone through – suffered through – survived – is even more meaningful.

What it all comes down to is – as the character Billy Crystal played in “City Slickers” said is ONE thing: if it were not for Carl and his one idea to put an ad in the local shopper’s guide and reserve the community hall in Voorhees on that September night in 1989 – none of us would have met. Our lives would be completely different.

Thank you Carl – forever; we love you. And we’ll plan that reunion for September 28, 2013.