"Friends" is so trendsetting

Raymond Chen

The characters on the television program “Friends” are apparently trendsetters in the use of the word “so”.

[People with way too much time on their hands] spent a year going through transcripts from each episode of the first eight seasons of Friends, taking note of every single adjective… [T]he show’s popularity peaked at the same time the characters said “so” the most, and as the use of the word declined, so did the show’s popularity.

So that’s how to rescue the show: Make people say “so” more. So if I use the word “so” more, maybe that’ll increase my popularity. Yes, it’s so shallow of me, but so what? Grammar nitpick: “so” in the phrase “so cool” is an adverb, not an adjective.

Raymond’s brush with fame: I actually know one of the writers on “Friends”.


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