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Thu Sept 21 2006 16:08:59



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Maybe someone can help me out with this. I've noticed over the last year during conference calls, presentations and analyst calls, that many people in this industry start their sentences out with "So..."

"So, we plan to roll this feature out over the next 30 days..."
"So, our usability study found that people couldn't find the submit button, which is why we went bankrupt..."
"So, earnings in Q3 far exceeded our expectations, which explains the CFO's new Ferrari..."

I'm not talking about occasionally either. It's every sentence. Is this a West-coast thing? A Silicon Valley thing? A tech industry thing? Or is everyone doing it now?

Who started it, and why are you doing it?

So help me, I'd really like to know.

Comments (3) | Permalink

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by: Dave

Thu Sep 21 23:09:30 2006

They do this because their minds are thinking of every negative counterpoint to their current proposition and they are, in effect, answering themselves.

It's common in people who are trying to make a point based on what they believe the other party is thinking. When they do this, they are trying to ''sell'' something -- a concept, a lie, a new way, whatever. Whether it is true or false makes no difference.

The point is this: When they start out ''So...'' they are subconsciously acknowledging that there is a counterpoint to their statement, which is the ''beginning'' of the conversation in their head that creates the ''so'' continuation.  

They are further insinuating that they have already thought about that counterpoint and dismissed it within their own mind, and are now trying to use the next sentence to persuade the listener that their point is valid and that the counterpoint should not even be brought up.

If it is? Well, then they rely on that other gem of sentence beginning construction, ''As I said before....''


Someone Who Has Conducted Quite a Few Investor Conference Calls and Started Many, Many Sentences with ''So...'' and ''As I said before...''

(But I'm all better now.)

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This user has validated their user name. by: David Steiner

Sat Sep 23 09:41:46 2006

That's a very interesting analysis, and jives nicely with the way I often feel when listening to someone who uses that technique. It makes me feel like there was a previous conversation (that never occurred), and that I had made points that now have to be justified. It almost immediately puts the presenter in a defensive posture.

Other thoughts, anyone?

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by: Randy Smythe

Wed Sep 27 11:22:22 2006

So, what I hear you saying ... I love the explanation by Dave. Honestly I never heard this before I started selling on eBay and since I've been away from eBay I no longer hear it. So, I guess it is eBay centric. Makes since when read Dave's explanation.

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