[Ads-l] ADS-L Digest - 14 Nov 2017 to 15 Nov 2017 (#2017-318)

Shawnee Moon moon.shawnee at GMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 16 12:15:49 EST 2017

(Re: Use of So at beginning of sentence)

In your opinion, is the use of ‘So’ at the start of a sentence always bad? The examples posted seem to be placeholder words, as if the speaker was unprepared; like it is a slightly less awkward word than “um.”

 I’ve written a book, (going through it, editing from start to finish, again) and I have used it at the beginning of a sentence, in a “this happened, so that happened” kind of manner. Below are two short excerpts. I added enough text so you could see in what context it is being used.

“...In the lobby, sitting patiently on a couch, was a well groomed, attractive man in a suit, with that stuff that makes men’s hair shiny and immovable in his dark brown hair. I apologized for my appearance, and asked what I could do for him.

“We heard about you, and I wanted to do a story about you and your walk,” he said. “I’m Matt Doyle, lead anchor on the local NBC affiliate.” He extended his hand.

“Where did you hear about me?” I asked him as I shook it. “Was it a woman, an older woman?”

“Yes, it was a woman that told us. She had the wrong hotel...”

“Yes, she dropped me at the AmericInn next door.”

So he interviewed me there in the lobby, and then he followed me up to my room to see the gear ...”

And another: 

“Shawnee,” I said, as I shook his. “I’m Scott, you’re not.” he smiled. He then said again, “I have a spare room, it has a couch that unfolds into a bed. You are more than welcome to stay with me.” The lady at the desk nodded and said she knew him and would vouch for him, and go ahead, not to worry.

So I agreed to stay at his place. It saved money, and always makes for an interesting evening, meeting someone new.”
Is the word ‘so’ out of place in these instances? The book is nonfiction, and I’m not trying to win a Pulitzer, but I don’t want it to be clunky or grammatically incorrect. Thanks.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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