Paul's Grammar Corner
OK, off we go:
So, the word so should almost never appear as I've written it here. So is an adverb, usually used before and adjective (he is so fat) or an adverb followed by "that" (I am going to punch you so that you know I am unhappy).
But there seems to be a new use which is invading England at the moment and which has already colonised the US. It started in the geek/scientific community and has become the single most annoying thing a techie can say, particularly since so many normal people have picked it up. It goes like this:
Q. "How long have you been studying cellular biology?"
A. "So, I've been studying for seven years."
Q. " And what have you discovered about your chosen career which may help other listeners?"
A. "So, I've learned I would have been a good cartoonist."
The answerer will go through the whole conversation prefacing every sentence with the word so until it becomes white noise and we learn to tune it out. I have not reached that stage and I never will. Please stop doing this when you speak, and NEVER do it when you write. Sometimes it's OK to use idioms in writing but this is not an OK example.