The deal with ‘so’

Cover of "New New Thing"

Cover of New New Thing

So, as someone who starts many of his sentences with this particular adverb I find this whole article fascinating.  I wonder if my time near Silicon Valley had anything to do with my fondness of it as an opener.

So, it is widely believed that the recent ascen dancy of “so” began in Sil­i con Val ley. The jour nal ist Michael Lewis picked it up when research ing his 1999 book “The New New Thing”: “When a com puter pro gram mer answers a ques tion,” he wrote, “he often begins with the word ‘so.”’ Microsoft employ ees have long argued that the “so” boom began with them.

In the soft ware world, it was a tic that made sense. In immigrant-filled tech nol ogy firms, it democ ra tized talk by replac ing a world of pos si ble tran si tions with a catchall.

And “so” sug gested a kind of think ing that appealed to problem-solving types: con ver sa tion as a log i cal, uni di rec tional process, pro ceed ing much in the way of soft ware code — if this, then that.

via ‘So’ Pushes to the Head of the Line « Anand Giridharadas.

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