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What is a more modern variant of the interjection 'Lo!"

I'm looking for a single word which has the same effect but is less archaic.

It is a very formal context I want to use it in that you may find in a courtroom for example: 'He claims he is innocent of corruption, but lo! He is guilty of taking bribes!"

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It is a very formal context that you may find in a courtroom for example: 'He claims he is innocent of corruption, but lo! He is guily of taking bribes!" –  nicholas ainsworth Dec 6 '12 at 19:51
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We don't intone much in English these days. We're more about snarking. –  Robusto Dec 6 '12 at 19:53
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I'm thinking "dude". He claims he is innocent of corruption, but dude he is totally taking bribes. –  Marcus_33 Dec 6 '12 at 20:06
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In a truly formal situation, I'd avoid anything that looked like an interjection and/or anything that involves an exclamation point. "He claims he is innocent of corruption, but he is guilty of taking bribes." –  Marthaª Dec 7 '12 at 0:42
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I have it on good authority that the modern equivalent of lo! is the homoglyphic lol. "He claims he is innocent of corruption, but lol, he is guilty of taking bribes!" –  coleopterist Dec 7 '12 at 3:50
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5 Answers 5

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Historically, “lo!”, isn’t expressive of any particular emotion (alas) or addressed to any particular person (dude), and it's not an all-purpose interjection (Hey). It expressly calls upon hearers to look at, to take account of, to behold what follows.

In contemporary English we say “look!” in pretty much exactly the same way.

He claims he is innocent of corruption, but look! He is guilty of taking bribes!

For that matter, so did Shakespeare. Hamlet, I, i, 40, the Ghost’s first appearance:

Marcellus: Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!

And at the second appearance, 86 lines later

Horatio: But soft, behold! lo, where it comes again!

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Would have up voted and more, but for the fact that Look fails to bring the same kind of dramatic effect as Lo, not at all. Was lo used entirely in substitution of look in Shakespeare? Was look used as a verb and lo for an added interjective effect? (I am asking from a non-literary person's perspective, I don't know.) –  Kris Dec 7 '12 at 8:54
    
@Kris You can substitute look for lo anywhere it appears in Shakespeare without disturbing either the meaning or the register; lo is in effect an alternative form of the imperative. Witness the parallel passages above; or from Macbeth: Prithee, see there! behold! look! lo! Even more interesting, from Macbeth again, and then from Winters Tale: *Lo you, here she comes!, and Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the purpose twice, both phrases which are ordinarily look you. –  StoneyB Dec 7 '12 at 23:04
    
No way I could argue that look is of later usage than lo, which apparently is what the OP asked for. Plus, the reference in the question is (perhaps incorrectly) to an interjection not just a verb. –  Kris Dec 8 '12 at 6:35
    
@Kris Not to chop hairs, but OP says defines "more modern" as "a single word which has the same effect but is less archaic". And any bare imperative may have interjective force: Behold! Go! Run! Fuck! –  StoneyB Dec 8 '12 at 8:45
    
@Kris Oops ... chop logic, split hairs. Pick one! –  StoneyB Dec 8 '12 at 9:07
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There are a couple of possibilities, but none as satisfyingly interjective as Lo!

He claims to be innocent of corruption, but, he is guilty of taking bribes.
He claims to be innocent of corruption, yet, he is guilty of taking bribes.
He claims to be innocent of corruption; however, he is guilty of taking bribes.
He claims to be innocent of corruption; nevertheless, he is guilty of taking bribes.
He claims to be innocent of corruption; nonetheless, he is guilty of taking bribes.
He claims to be innocent of corruption; that notwithstanding, he is guilty of taking bribes.

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It may not be an interjection, but lo! I still like nonetheless in this context. –  J.R. Dec 7 '12 at 2:58
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"Hey" seems to be in the modern idiom. So,

"He claims he is innocent of corruption, but hey! He is guilty of taking bribes!"

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In a more general situation, this might fit, but the OP was asking about a more formal context. "Hey" doesn't seem appropriate there. –  Lynn Dec 6 '12 at 23:52
    
@Lynn Contemporary usage: Hey could be as formal as Lo. –  Kris Dec 7 '12 at 8:48
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Consider alas (Interjection, “Used to express sorrow, regret, compassion or grief”) and behold.

He claims he is innocent of corruption, but alas! He is guilty of taking bribes!

As noted in earlier comments, behold is a more modern form of lo (Interjection, “(archaic) Look, see, behold”). Whether behold is archaic (as John Lawler suggested) I can't say; wiktionary's “Usage notes” for it say “Rarely used in informal speech.”

Alas also may seem archaic to some, but a few writers, including Jerry Pournelle, still use it frequently. Note, alas (or alack) expresses a note of regret, unlike either of behold and lo, which bring with them overtones of “I told you so”.

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"Alas!" is certainly too literary even for a formal courtroom. Only writers, preachers, and other politicians can get away with using it. –  user21497 Dec 7 '12 at 5:23
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Lo as an interjection calls people to look at something, to behold it. Behold is rather archaic, and look as an interjection may not be quite as effective as See!

He claims he is innocent of corruption, but see! he is guilty of taking bribes.

There is an Advent hymn, "Lo, he comes with clouds descending", which loses some of its immediacy and portent if Lo is replaced with Look; but retains it if See is used.

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