Archive for March, 2013

Well and So.


I’m puzzled.As someone who’s home a lot during the day (thank you, God) I listen to a lot of radio and television talk. It’s usually a pleasant background companion to house cleaning, litter box duty, or laundry. Being an observer of language trends, like to think I’m somewhat attuned to shifts in our vocabulary, though I don’t always agree with them.

But this one has me baffled, and I wonder if you’ve noticed it, too?

Americans seem to be doing away with the word “well,” which is a perfectly good and useful word, and substituting it with “so,” which is another good and useful word, but each one has its own work to do.

For most of us, “well” is a word the can begin an explanation, such as this:

Question: “How did the accident occur?”

Answer: “Well, I was driving way over the speed limit…”

But these days, people are using “so” in place of “well.”

“How did the accident occur?”

“So I was driving way over the speed limit…”

It sounds like a critical part of conversation is missing. When I first started hearing this trend, I assumed that I had missed a  thread that would have mended the conversational flow:

“How did the accident occur?

A: “Well, I was in a hurry to get to the Red Hat meeting (MISSING CONVERSATION HERE… MAYBE I HAD THE BATH TUB RUNNING)….. so I was driving way over the speed limit and ran into the moving van.”

See what I mean? I hear it every day, and it’s starting to grate on me, just as much as that “I’m Crystal” ad for DBU grates on me.

(“I’m Crystal? DBU gives students the skillsssss….”) At least she doesn’t start out with “So I’m Crystal?”

Well, I digress.

On public radio the other night, while interviewing an author, someone asked, “When did you decide to write this novel?” To which the novelist responded, “So when I was 16 years old, I discovered a love of nature.”

What? Huh? Was there something preceding that? Shouldn’t it be more like this?

“WELL, when I was 16, I discovered a love of nature, SO now that I’m 75 years old, I decided to write about it.”

I know I am resistant to change. I can’t help it, and I keep trying to work on it, though without much progress the past 64 years. Maybe the next 64 will see some improvement. But for me, “Well” and “So” are not interchangeable.

So stop doing that.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.


And PS: Don’t forget to sign up for the auction leftovers drawing to be held the end of this month. Leave a note here, or send your request to, and wait to be pleasantly surprised. Oh, the stuff I can pack in a small cardboard box!

And The Winner Is …


Congratulations, Glenn from New York!

I think Glenn is the first male to win one of the auction boxes, so maybe more of you will enter the drawing now that you know it’s not just for the girls!

Given what I’ve got to work with (a huge box of auction leftovers), I always try to tailor the prize to the recipient. I don’t know too much about Glenn, so he’s in for a big surprise. And I hope it will be a fun one. Glenn, the box will go into the mail on Monday. Hope you enjoy it.

* * *

Speaking of winners, here’s a picture of my great niece Josie, who has won my heart. She’s celebrating her first Valentine’s Day, and she looks pretty happy with Valentines that arrived in the mail. (Just wait till she learns about chocolate!)

Couldn’t love her more if I tried.

*  *  *

Bright and early tomorrow morning, I’m headed to another auction in Wisconsin. (Auctions: The reason for long weeks of work.) Get your name in for the next drawing, which will be held the end of March. You can win more than once, and if you’ve sent in your name, it’s on the “every month” list, so don’t worry. If you haven’t, send me an Email at, like Glenn did, or leave a request in the message section on this page. Good luck to you!

I think we cover all bases here: