There’s a popular grammatical trend today that must be getting under the skin of INFP’s like me–starting sentences with the conjunction “so”. I really don’t mind, except when it’s used in answer to a question. Any question. It just gets on my nerves when anyone begins an answer with “so.” When I hear someone start an answer to a question with “so”, I don’t hear the words that follow. I can’t even remember the question because I get so caught up wondering why the answer had to begin with “so”.
Ironically, the habit is popular among educated people, but it sounds adolescent. I heard it the other day at a meeting. “Are you in agreement with this plan?” a young woman was asked. “So…” she began in an apparent answer. My brain started firing lots of questions. So what, lady? Are you or are you not in agreement with the plan? Just say it. Is it yes, no, maybe, absolutely, no way, possibly. Just answer the #*%@%! question!
INFP’s are not hung up about grammatical rules being broken. We couldn’t care less about most rules. But starting an answer with “so” is a communication calamity. It projects hubris. It smacks of attitude. It states clearly: I heard your question, now I think I’ll recite some poetry or do something else entirely because you’re invisible to me and I don’t care what your question was.
Here’s a couple of so-in-so’s talking to illustrate my point.
Question: So, want to get something to eat? Answer: So, I might.
Question: So, how about Ruby’s? Answer: So, they have a special on ribs tonight.
Question: So, do you want to do Ruby’s? Answer: So, we could.
Question: So, is that a yes or a no?
Confusion now hath made his masterpiece. William Shakespeare