Thread titles or OP that begin with "So . . ."

This is so annoying, I’m tempted to put it in the Pit.

More and more, I’m seeing thread titles or the OP beginning with the word “So.” This just sounds wrong to me, grammatically, and it makes people sound like stand-up comics. In this context, “so” is a conjunction, and it makes just as much sense as beginning with “and” or “but.”

Why do people do this?


Remember Ed McMahon’s “Annnnnd… heeeere’s… Johnny!” to introduce Johnny Carlson after the opening credits lead-in on the old Tonight Show?

It’s the same sort of “verbal throat-clearing” to begin an anecdote, turned into a post-title trope. The intended effect (insofar as users of the trope intend anything) is to plunge you into the middle of the anecdote or ‘continued’ discussion being reported (e.g., “So my friend and I were shooting the bull, talking about nuclear physics, and we hit on this question neither of us knew the answer to…”)

And of course the story-telling gimmick of plunging the listeners in medias res dates back to Homer.

Speaking for myself, it’s how I talk. I often find myself removing extraneous so’s and well’s from my posts after rereading them but many still get through.

So what’s the hold up here? People beginning thread titles with “so”? But that’s how a lot of people speak.


They’re just writing in a conversational way, as if it were spoken words. Mildy annoying maybe.

What I hate are thread titles that are non-descriptive like “Check this out” or questions that start with “I’ve got a quick question” I hate the phrase “quick question”, because they rarely are.

My son-in-law begins most of his conversations this way - I’m going to sew his mouth closed one of these days… :stuck_out_tongue:

I find I’ve been doing it more and more when I write, and I do my best to catch it on preview, but sometimes, it is the right word. It annoys me when it’s overused, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t annoy me as much as people who overuse “hopefully” or “basically” as verbal crutches.

I can understand posts that use it in the text of the post, using the in media res format to tell the story of the post. However, a title isn’t the story. A title is the title.

This verbal tic is annoying to me to, in both spoken and written language.

People at Microsoft are annoyed by it as well.

I have this annoying habit when I talk, and it annoys the hell out of me! It’s so bad, that when I conciously make an effort NOT to say “So, blah blah blah…” – it sounds wrong somehow.

The only defense I can offer is that the people I’m talking to are often in their own little world, and the “So,” is my way of getting their attention.

[del]So[/del] [del]You’re saying[/del] So should we begin our posts with nu, instead?

He did say that it makes people sound like stand-up comics, and as we all know, Jewish humor is extremely influential in that deaprtment. Maybe you’re on to something.

How about thread titles that begin, “In which”? You know, like “In which I rank thread titles by degree of annoyance”.

I have the habit of starting sentences with “So…” a lot when I write. I actually go through my posts and emails and try to pare down the "So"s.

Don’t know that I ever start thread titles with “So” but I’m sure a lot of my posts start that way.


It’s a subliminal marketing thing. Microsoft is all around us, “SO” is “OS” backwards, and as we all know Microsoft produces one of the most common Operating Systems. Like them or not, when you think OS, you think Microsoft. Why is that? You got it, because the center of microsoft is OS.

But a little right of center in MicroSOft is SO.

[del] So I was in the grocery store yesterday . . .[/del]

It came to pass that I was in the grocery store yesterday . . .

I’m going to do that from now on.

SO, Micrisoft is a little right of center?

> blink < … > blink <

My hat needs a little more mayo…

I think this is from one of those old-timey radio shows, but a friend of mine used to occasionally preface comments with “So I says to Mabel…”