Sobeit and So Be It
Could you do a feature on “so be it” and “sobeit?” I thought for sure it was always written as three words until a discussion on a court reporters’ message board came up about a proofreader saying that it should be a one-word word.
Sobeit is a word and so be it is a clause. Neither is much used in ordinary conversation or writing, but legal language tends to be on the old-fashioned side.
The clause so be it is a subjunctive expression meaning “let it be so.” Example:
Aladdin: I want a huge palace with a thousand servants and a swimming pool.
Genie: So be it!
Sobeit can be used as conjunction or as a noun.
As a conjunction sobeit means “provided that, if.” Example:
I will finish this 800-page novel, sobeit I live long enough.
Sobeit can also be used as a noun, as in this example from the OED:
Thou answerest me an houre after..like to a Sexton with a Sobeit or Amen.
Whether to spell it as one word or write it out as three words depends upon the context.
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