Stick Miller: So, what can they be thinking?

Published 11:55 am Saturday, June 29, 2019

It’s a new and irritating habit, this putting “so” at the beginning of a statement. Q. So, how long have you lived in Americus?  A. So, we moved here in 2004. Q. So, what do you like to do in your spare time?  A. So, sew. Q. So, how are you feeling? A. So, so-so. Q. So, how do you like your new neighbor? A. So, she’s an old so and so. And on it goes. It is, I think, a form of “millennial speak.”

It is an annoying habit akin to inserting “like” a dozen times before a sentence is finished. Someone told me once that “like” is the new “uh.” If that is true, “so” must be the new “like” which supposedly replaced “uh.” Apparently, they are all stalling techniques that allow the speaker subconsciously to gather their thoughts before they like say something else dumb. I call it “reloading.”

Sometimes I think they just do it to irritate me. It seems as if Earthlings gradually have stopped thinking. Whether we’re talking about Wal-Mart attire or Edsel automobiles, the consequences of ill-thought out ideas can be enduring. So, how can we be so dumb? For illustration, let’s talk about names.

There’s a little community in the southwest corner of the state of Georgia: Little Hope.

Little Hope. Now I’m sure it’s a great place to live, but isn’t it sad that apparently, those folks have all but abandoned any hope. Maybe they’ve all but given up on landing a Saks Fifth Avenue® department store or even a drive-thru Chick-fil-A®. There are some really nice houses in Little Hope and some are for sale. I guess they’ll have a hard time selling without a change of attitude. “Little Hope” sounds more like a prognosis, and less like the friendly little community it most surely is.

I’d like to suggest the citizens of this pretty little settlement get off the fence and change the name of their town. If the town is indeed doomed, call it “Hopeless.” If they’ve gotten encouragement from Saks, pending the opening of the new Chick-fil-A®, let’s call it “Hopeful,” or “Lotsa Hope,” or “Hope, we got it.” In any case, bless their hearts … they need to act now.

Likewise, names given today are no longer our old standard bearers. So, what can some parents be thinking? They could be doing more harm than good. The question is why would a parent want to shackle a child with an unpronounceable name that will follow them all their lives? It’s certainly not any of my business, but so what could they be thinking? They are most likely not (thinking). Here’s an example:

So, we regularly drive through a small town in north Florida. There’s not much left of the town, but they do have a vegetable market called “Blandine’s Fresh Vegetables.” So, what could good old Blandine’s parents have been thinking? Now I’ve heard of Blondine as a name, but I always thought it alluded to one’s hair color or coloring. Using that same logic, do you suppose Blandine could refer to one’s personality? I think not. In doing my extensive research for this column, I find the name “Blandine” was first used by a saint who was martyred during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, but I’d bet good money that Blandine of “Blandine’s Fresh Vegetables” fame’s parents were not like students of ancient Rome. So, what could they have been thinking?

I think it is that It all boils down to trends. As trendy names become overused, trendy speech becomes the norm. So, as I silently criticize both nomenclature and grammar, I have to remember that very few of us are perfect and after all, it is the thought that counts … or the lack thereof.


Boyce “Stick” Miller lives in Americus. Contact him at