Sunday, December 19, 2010

This Is So Weird

You may be familiar with the phrase that begins with “This (or that) is so…”, mostly in reference to something negative happening. Or a variation thereof. There’s an emphasis on the word “so.” As in “This is so not a good situation,” or “That is so not what I wanted.” I can’t remember where the phrasing originated from, but it’s been around for quite a few years now.

I’ve been encountering an interesting occurrence in the science fiction romances I’ve been reading over the past year or…so. Specifically, releases from various authors from about the past two years. Characters are using some variation on a “so” phrase, regardless of time period (e.g., near future, far future), culture, setting, occupation, or gender. The usage is not rampant enough that I’d call it a trend, but it’s not exactly uncommon, either.

Don’t get me wrong—it’s a fun type of phrasing and I don’t think twice about it when I hear it or see people using it online. But it’s low on the list of slang I expect to read in a science fiction romance. I’m not sure it’s been around long enough to be invisible. In other words, I worry that using a phrase involving that type of “so” can date a story.

This phrase has really been jumping out at me, which is why I wanted to blog about the phenomenon. It could just be that the sample of books I’ve been reading happen to contain the phrase, and maybe I won’t run across it again. Regardless, I found it rather interesting.

Have you encountered any slang in a future-set book that took you out of the story or made it seem dated?

Joyfully yours,