Usage and Grammar
Q. During the past few years, many people have developed the habit of beginning a sentence with the word so, typically when they are responding to a question. This includes politicians, talking heads on television, and others who one might think are “learned” individuals. My view is that the use of the initial so in a sentence is both unnecessary and annoying. Any thoughts? Thank you.
A. There have always been “throat-clearing” words. Even highly intelligent professional speakers need a little thinking room to organize thoughts before speaking. So is no worse than well or um. The trick is not to be annoyed.