In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 26, 2013/ 19 Menachem-Av, 5773

So This Week's Column. . .

By Greg Crosby

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | So I think it's time for me to write about the newest aggravating misuse of speech and writing that is currently sweeping the country. It's the use of the word "so" when starting a sentence. (Yes, that's right. I did it myself here, but I did it on purpose. It's called irony!)

I thought the word "basically" was bad enough when used in almost every sentence, (as in "Basically we went out for dinner and saw a movie." You don't need the word basically. Just say you went out for dinner and then to a movie, no basically) but starting off with the word "so" is even worse.

There's nothing wrong with the word "so" if it is used properly. Many times, in conversation, people will stop their train of thought and say something like, "…So, anyhow…" Or "So, anyway…" as a devise to let the listener know that the speaker is finished with a particular thought and will be moving on to another topic or is just through talking altogether. But the "so" always comes at the end, not the beginning. Starting off a thought with "so" sounds like it is a continuation of a thought, not the beginning.

There are, of course, common phrases using the word such as, "And so on (or forth)," "So be it," "So to speak," "If you say so," and "He's a dirty so and so," The dictionary defines so as an adverb meaning "to such a great extent. Extremely; very much." i.e.: "The plot of that movie is so ridiculous it's almost laughable." Or "informally used to emphasize a clause or negative statement: "That's so not fair," or to the same extent," he isn't so bad."

"So" when used as a conjunction means "as for this reason," or "therefore." But to use it that way you need to say something before you say "so." You wouldn't start your sentence with "therefore." It makes you sound like Professor Irwin Corey. (Note to those under the age of 90: Corey is a comedian who appeared regularly on TV long before Twitter was invented. He would come on stage, stare at the audience and the very first word out of his mouth was "However…" G0D, how I hate having to explain my jokes!)

When used at the start of a sentence "so" adds nothing. The word is completely unnecessary. You might just as well begin the sentence with zucchini or Algenon P. Fortesque, or abracadabra or any word at all. So why are so many people misusing it? (See what I did there? I used it correctly... twice!) Do they think it makes them sound intelligent? It doesn't. Unless sounding like Professor Irwin Corey has suddenly become cool.

In a last ditch effort to illustrate how dumb this use of the "s" word is, just imagine how some of our most famous literary works would read if the authors had used this stupid trite word at the beginning of their novels.

Charles Dickens "A Tale of Two Cities":

"So it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair."

Herman Melville "Moby Dick": "So call me Ismael."

Daniel Defoe "Robinson Crusoe": "So I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho' not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull; ..."

Daphne du Maurier, "Rebecca": "So last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

And using "so" to start famous speeches would really dumb down their impact. Can you see Abraham Lincoln standing solemnly at Gettysburg, looking out over the crowd and saying, "So it was four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation…" Think how FDR's address to Congress would have sounded if he had said, "So yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."

So if you are one of those people who use "so" in this way please refrain. Unless you happen to be Professor Irvin Corey and in that case you may say anything you want…and generally do.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2008, Greg Crosby