... like him/her so-so

normadela

Senior Member
Perú español
Hi, everyone:

Can you confirm if the following is acceptable and correct in both AE and BE:

How do you like the new boss?

Umm... I like him/her so-so.

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    It does not sound good to me! I don't think you can use it to describe a person.

    You might say "How's the decoration coming along?" "So-so, but it's taken longer to scrape off the old paper than I anticipated."
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    I never heard it used towards a person either.

    But it can be used towards a person's qualities, as in:

    - His skills are so-so.
     

    Alba92

    Member
    British English
    Agreed - you could maybe say "How are you getting on with the new boss?" and reply "Um...so-so...", because you're referring to "getting on" rather than just "the new boss". But "I like him so-so" doesn't sound right, would be better to say "He/she is all right..." which gives the same impression.
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    Agreed - you could maybe say "How are you getting on with the new boss?" and reply "Um...so-so...", because you're referring to "getting on" rather than just "the new boss". But "I like him so-so" doesn't sound right, would be better to say "He/she is all right..." which gives the same impression.
    I guess when using "all right" the perception will depend on the way you say it: you can say it with the "so-so" facial/voice expression, or you can say it with an expression that will mean "he's great!"
     

    Alba92

    Member
    British English
    I guess when using "all right" the perception will depend on the way you say it: you can say it with the "so-so" facial/voice expression, or you can say it with an expression that will mean "he's great!"
    You're right, I should have mentioned - you need to say it sort of sarcastically :p
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Can you confirm if the following is acceptable and correct in both AE and BE:

    How do you like the new boss?

    Umm... I like him/her so-so.
    Hello normadela :)

    So far we seem to agree that this use of 'so-so' is not acceptable. It doesn't sound natural in either BE or it seems in AE. It's hard to say whether it's grammatically correct or not. In my view best usage triumphs over "grammar" almost every time.

    "I like the new boss so-so" sounds very strange but so does "The decorating is coming along so-so". I think that's because we usually use 'so-so' by itself as a non - committal answer to a question? When used on its own to reply to a question it isn't evident whether it's adverbial, "I like him so-so",or a sort of adjective, "He's so-so". I'm not happy about describing it as a adjective because we don't say 'He's a so-so person'.

    At least I wouldn't.

    Hermione
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I'm with Hermione:

    A: "How do you like the new boss?"

    B: "Umm... I like him/her so-so."
     

    normadela

    Senior Member
    Perú español
    "I like him so-so (= only somewhat/sort of)" sounds fine to me.
    So does "I think he is just so-so (= mediocre) as a writer."
    So does "He is a so-so (mediocre) writer."
    Thanks to all of you for your reply.
    According to the last posting it seems that although it is not accepted in BE it may be accepted in AE.
    I appreciate your contributions!
     
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