Grammar: "So" as a modifier

Subject: Grammar: "So" as a modifier
From: arroxaneullman -at- aol -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2005 17:09:30 -0400

Hey all,

Another interesting grammatical conversation came up today. This time we discussed "so" as a modifier. For example, "We are so lost" (instead of "very?) or "That is so an inconvenience" (instead of "such"?). I commented that this usage was incorrect, but really can't back it up with a grammatical rule.

If a grammatical rule for this situation exists, I have forgotten it. If it is acceptable, why does it sound so wrong? (Yes, I intentionally used it in a common phrase.)

FYI, the explanation in my Merriam-Webster's _Concise_Dictionary_of_English_Usage is rather roundabout and long-winded. What I gleaned is that it's antiquated, yet it appears to be recently revived in youth culture.

So, I'm just looking for a simple rule-of-thumb I can share with my grammatically handicapped peers.

Thanks to the TW Grammarians!



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