Use of word "so" undermines your credibility

soI sometimes start my sentences with, "So, ..." (any episode of Gweek will be full of examples). But it irks me when other people do the same! Consultant Hunter Thurman gives three reasons why the word "So" sucks: It insults the people you are addressing, it undermines your credibility, and it "demonstrates that you are not 100% comfortable with what you are saying."

Rather than just plainly answering their question, you’re relying on the crutch of a practiced blurb. Usually, whatever follows “so” is a carefully crafted sentence, evolved over many iterations and audience reactions.

There’s a reason we do it. In psychology, it’s what’s known as a “marker.” It’s a little cue to our cognitive mind that says, “Quick, call up that part that we practiced.”

Use of word "so" undermines your credibility (Via Lifehacker)

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  1. So, what you're saying is that this sort of sentence is so, so wrong?

  2. Who sews whose socks?
    Sue sews Sue's socks.

    Who sees who sew
    whose new socks, sir?
    You see Sue sew
    Sue's new socks, sir.

  3. So apparently Seamus Heaney was wrong. He opens his translation of Beowulf with the word "So..." That's his translation for the Anglo-Saxon *"hwaet". *He explains,

    Conventional renderings of the word "hwaet", the first word of the poem, tend towards the archaic literary, with "lo" and "hark" and "behold" and "attend"...But in Hiberno-English Scullionspeak the particle "so" came naturally to the rescue, because in that idiom "so" operates as an expression which obliterates all previous discourse and narrative, and at the same time functions as an exclamation calling for immediate attention.

  4. This article cites no sources and amounts to nothing at all except the observation that "so" is frequently used to initiate non- interrogatory sentences, rather than the grammatically correct usage when initiating some 'questions'.  Concluding that it undermines credibility is purely sophomoric thinking and has no justification other than the author's prejudices against thoughtful people.  It appears to have originated in our common discourse from the computer programming world and represents the initiation of a  well-reasoned argument, as compared to "Well, . . ." or "Um, . . ."  See this article in The Chronicle of Higher Education

  5. So say we all.

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