I’m taking a writing class at the local university and someone let a poet in. I can never tell if student poetry is any good or not. This particular poet started her poem with the first line:
“So, I was standing next to my ex-boyfriend’s coffin.”
Who the goddamn hell came up with the idea of beginning a statement, story or poem with the word “So”? All day I hear this crap. Is some celebrity weasel or sportstard doing this? Is it now acceptable and will it become a colloquial expectation? It’s an indication of an uncoordinated mind or a confused and insincere speaker. Basic poetry is supposed to be the judicious use of language and it shouldn’t be totally stupid and confusing.
I hear “so” misused a lot lately; in movies, coffee shops. Even at the grocery store. “So, did you find everything you need?”
Well, fuck no. How could that be? All you have is meat and vegetables and shit. You don’t have peace of mind and worldwide literacy. And why did you start that sentence with “So”? Are you trying to convince me that we have an ongoing relationship? Because that will never happen.
“So” is a connection between ideas, right? A linking of chronologically related events or a presentation of evidence culminating, we hope, in an answer. B follows A so (then) C. It often serves as a helpful organizer of thoughts.
Unless some dimwit begins a sentence with it. Then it sounds like a bullshit trick to get attention or to bamboozle me into thinking I missed something important.
There is a way to tell a story without trying to fool an audience into thinking we know more and are more interesting than we really are.
Sad news, I guess, but very few of us are fascinating or significant and the use of dumb-assed incoherent terminology to persuade others to pay attention doesn’t make the narrator smart or exciting. Just the opposite.
If the first word in your lead sentence is “so” it means that I get to stop listening because there is nothing important to follow. A chimpanzee has learned to talk and I am the fuck out of here. If you are needy and inarticulate you have lots of company, but you’re saving me precious time.