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A phrase which generates drama while merely stating the obvious. So-called carries with it a connotation of fraud, counterfeit, or deceit. However, the literal meaning of the phrase is absolutely harmless -- things are "so-called" because that's what they are named.

Dramacrats can generate a great deal of animosity and angst by prepending so-called liberally to whatever nouns the victim holds dear. For example, one might refer to a teenmommy's so-called "baby", or to George Bush as the so-called "President". (The superfluous quotation marks, while ungrammatical, serve to reinforce the same perceived air of illegitimacy.) The fucktards in question are almost certain to react harshly, without even considering the ironic fact that the troll is only stating the truth: the teenmommy's baby is called a baby, and George Bush is called the President.

Like alleged, so-called thus provides an excellent means of appearing hostile and derogatory while skating merrily around the issue of defamation. If used correctly, a troll can pwn someone whilst laughing at their victims stupidity.

So-called is part of a series on Language & Communication
Languages and DialectsGrammar, Punctuation, Spelling, Style, and UsageRhetorical StrategiesPoetryThe Politics of Language and CommunicationMediaVisual Rhetoric
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