30 January 2007

Note to Self:

Shoot me in the face if I ever start becoming an inveterate "very sort of..." user. One of my teachers and two Americanist applicants to the department are addicted to this contradictory construction, and while I have no objection to an occasional placeholder, it feels like an especially cumbersome and pedantic one.

In summary, "very sort of" is not an acceptable adjective for me and never will be. It makes me very sort of upset.


Izzy said...

I don't think I've ever heard this construction in everyday speech. When is it applied? What sort of events/things are "very sort of"?

This confuses me, and while I'm usually cool with nonstandard usages, this one seems not to have any meaning at all. Ugh.

Good to talk to you today!

luaphacim said...

Like when someone is going to say "very" and ends up switching it to "sort of" in midstream... it's not really something that's conscious, so I shouldn't be so irritated by it -- and I'm normally not -- but I swear my linguistics teacher says it in every sentence. Grr.

The appeal might be that you get the appearance of being Amazingly Authoritative with the "very," but also Impressively Intellectual with the "sort of," like you're going to say something very Complex and Deep, but then you can't think of a way to put it into a peon's language, so you settle for something that is only a rough approximation of the awesomeness of your thoughts. I dunno. Call me and I'll give you an example. :-)

MagenRanae said...

I don't understand, dear. If you dislike the phrase so much, then why did you use it at the end of your post?

Anonymous said...

rather unfortunately, it gets tossed into architect-speak quite a bit. I most typically hear this said by people who are not "Amazingly Authoritative", "Impressively Intellectual", nor "Complex and Deep"... and somehow think that it will impress everyone around them.
more like,... annoy everyone around them.