Looking to cheat the boredom of a dragging video conference or survive a train journey, stuck next to audio chat passengers? Try to keep an inventory of how many times you will hear “suddenly”. You will be held in suspense because the expression can be delivered at a rate of machine gun. To listen is to note the obvious: “suddenly” is an endemic phrase. No social or generational sphere escapes it. “Suddenly” is grafted onto a sentence without adding much, if anything at all, to its content. “He shaved his beard; suddenly it rejuvenated him. “We can even place it at the head of the gondola without its contribution being enhanced:” Suddenly, it’s grated for our lunch this noon. In the past, there was a surge of the adverb “actually”. There is a tidal wave.
We could see in it a banal tic of language, an embarrassing linguistic hiccup that we will end up coaxing or which will self-dissolve on its own. Error. The intruder has taken root. “Do you realize you just used ‘suddenly’ three times in the same sentence?” “, we heard from a close person who was exposed to the interest of looking into the issue. In November 2014, the Académie Française tried to put a stop to this already galloping inflation. The meaning of the adverbial phrase “suddenly”, recalled the venerable institution, is “To introduce the consequence of an event (…) translating a quasi-simultaneity”. “Suddenly” being very close to “immediately”, “We cannot therefore use it systematically, as we often understand it, in place of ‘therefore’, ‘de ce fait’ or ‘therefore'”, the Academy warned. You speak, Charles. Seven years have passed and those two tiny, elusive words have crept into everything.
By dint of flashing in our sentences like a Christmas garland, this somewhat soft lexical addiction has imposed itself, and refuse to willingly, like a marker. What makes the Quebecois bow to laughter, who, at home, baptize our compatriots “Du coup”. A meme seen recently on Facebook contrasts the richness of the vocabulary available in the Belle Province to express the notion of transitivity (thus, therefore, then, in conclusion, if I understand correctly, consequently) to the unique idiotism apparently available in our lexical paraphernalia. .
However, if “suddenly” was able to reach such a degree of omnipresence without meaning much, it is because it does some service. With its own zest of solemnity to solicit approval, this somewhat meaning-enhancer cheap overplay the expression of a cause and effect relationship. This language crutch makes it possible not to trip over when our speech experiences a weak time. Either we are not so sure of the evidence that we strike (“She had a swimming pool, suddenly she could not come”), or that we try to dress as we can. breaking down an open door (“I didn’t have her number; I couldn’t call her, suddenly”).
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“Suddenly”: the expression which suddenly invaded all conversations