So … in this era when so many people use the word “so” to begin so many of their sentences, one scholar has written three studies analysing what happens when people begin their sentences with the word. Galina Bolden’s first “so” study, in 2006, explains that sometimes people use the word as a way of “moving on with [a] conversation that has been temporarily stalled” (“So, how are you?”).
Her second “so” study, in 2008, is called “So What’s Up?”: Using the Discourse Marker So to Launch Conversational Business. Bolden, an associate professor of communication at Rutgers University in New Jersey, expands on the earlier idea….
—So begins the latest Improbable Research column in The Guardian.