‘So’ and other verbal tics


Sir, – Frank McNally’s excellent column on “so” deserves further exploration (An Irishman’s Diary, January 13th).

“So” is not the only irritant invading the media. The following immediately spring to mind. “Listen” (we have no choice. Mostly sports people, especially GAA, after a win). “Lookit”. “I suppose”. “A year like no other” (almost daily from politicians). “In terms of” (no need to identify speaker). “Let me be very clear” (followed by obfuscation). “We need to get a result” (Originating in soccer but now fully invasive in all sports. Is there any doubt that in all matches there will be “a result”?). – Yours, etc,