In the English language, we use the word “so” in several different ways. Each way allows us to speak with more emphasis; some uses of the word “so” are more typically “Southern Californian” than others. Learn the most common ways of using the word “so” here!
“SO” + Adverbs and Adjectives (and Things that are “so” San Diego)
“So” means several things in English.
“To such a great extent”
In this meaning, “so” is an adverb that shows the degree (level) of an adjective or adverb.
- Why are you so angry? (This person isn’t a little angry: he is very angry.)
- I didn’t realize the car was parked so far away. (The person is surprised that the distance is very far.)
- Why are you speaking so slowly?
- My presentation didn’t go so well.
In this meaning, “so” is an intensifier. It intensifies (gives more meaning to) the adverb or adjective it is modifying.
In these cases, we can switch the word “so” with the word “very.” The meanings seem the same, but “so” is more intense than the word “very.”
- You are so beautiful.
- Thank you so much!
- That was so thoughtful of you.
“So” + ADJECTIVE/ADVERB + THAT
We often use the construction SO + ADJECTIVE/ADVERB + THAT to show the effect of something.
- He was so tired that he fell asleep while eating his ice cream.
- I was so upset that I threw my shoe.
- She was so tall that none of the pants in the store could fit her.
Slang: “so” for a characteristic
With this meaning, “so” is used to show that something or someone is the perfect example of another thing. For example, if someone’s name is Summer, and she lives in San Diego and goes surfing every morning, she is SO Californian!
- My friend Jane is the perfect student. One day after the teacher gave us our assignment, she completed it! That’s SO Jane.
- We went surfing, ate a burrito, and then watched the sunset. Today was SO Southern California.
- With that shirt and those cowboy boots, you look SO country.
- This sushi roll has avocado and cilantro. It’s SO Californian.
Things that are “so” San Diego
Yes, tacos with fish. Or lobster. Or scallops! With its close proximity to Mexico, it’s no surprise that California food is influenced by typically Mexican spices and flavors. Since San Diego is on the beach, it’s also no surprise that the local food includes a lot of seafood! While in San Diego, be sure to try fish tacos. In most places, you can order the fish grilled or fried. The toppings will vary at each restaurant, but many include avocado or guacamole, salsa, and cabbage.
Seafood + Mexican food? SO San Diego!
The craziest and most exciting week in San Diego is ComicCon week! Every July, celebrities and comic book fans come to the city’s Convention Center for a crazy week of events, shows, and exhibits. It’s the perfect time to walk around Downtown San Diego and see all of the costumes. Be on the lookout for celebrities as well: you never know who you are going to see!
ComicCon? SO San Diego!
Go to Mission and Pacific Beaches and most days you will see Slomo: a man on rollerblades who rides up and down the beach boardwalk for hours. Slomo is a staple of the city, and he is now famous throughout the nation: the New York Times made a video about him! Slomo is actually a doctor who retired in order to pursue real happiness. He found it . . . on the beaches of San Diego!
The happiest person alive is a doctor-turned-rollerblader? SO San Diego!
Surfboard museum in a taco shop
A taco shop in Pacific Beach isn’t just a taco shop: it’s also a museum that pays tribute to Southern California’s surf culture! In 1989, Cindy and Sam McLarty opened Taco Surf, a surf shop that displays more than 90 surfboards.
Is there anything more “San Diego” than a surf museum in a taco shop? Nope! SO San Diego.