Interviewee: So, it was when I was little and I first looked through my grandfather's telescope.
EXAMPLE B Interviewer: Could you tell the listeners about your trip to Italy?
Interviewee: So we landed at the airport in Pisa on the Saturday morning.
Personally, I do not use "so" at the beginning of utterances. I never have and never will but in the last couple of years I have noticed a growing tendency for folk to begin responses or remarks with that word. It has, I think, become an affectation in modern conversation - especially amongst those who though reasonably well-educated still want to prove points and somehow nourish their self-importance. I hear it quite a lot in BBC interviews.
Of course we all throw random and redundant words into our talk. They create pauses for thought or help to steady confidence - erm, do you know what I mean? It's like, you know. Okay. Errr..People do not speak like books and the grammar of everyday talk is quite different from the grammar we encounter in effective writing.
I’m so glad to find this discussion! I HATE this new trend of using “so” to begin an answer to a question. It’s lazy and incredibly annoying. - Colleen
Whenever somebody says “so…” I promptly sing, “a needle pulling thread.” - Matt Butts
Every time someone begins a conversation with “so”, I feel confused, because it seems like I missed something, or that they began the conversation in their heads and they vocalised it in the middle of it. Also it has a complacent aura. - Kaelian
My observation is that “so” could be dispensed with when used as an introductory, as has become quite common in modern speech in the U.S.. It adds nothing to the sentence that I can detect.Take a sample of sentences that use it, then remove “so” and see if you can detect any loss of information. - Frank Haynes
The thing that annoys me is not just using “so” at the beginning of a sentence, but using it when it is not a continuation of something previously stated. I see Facebook posts all the time which stated something to the effect of “So I was driving to work today and….” I want to respond to those something like “Can you please fill me in on what happened before? Since you started with “so”, I assume that you are continuing a story.” The bottom line is that “so” should NOT be the first word in a totally new subject/thought. - Jack
Recently I noticed acting CIA honcho Michael Morrell using this “So” sentence starter often in interviews and in testimony before Congress. It is an affectation in my opinion, very off-putting and, although it may not be intended, it is a very condescending way of speaking. It is a head-fake that gives you the impression that the speaker is continuing a thought when in fact they are starting off a thought. - Joey12345
What a relief! I am not alone in my aversion to "So" as a starter. Forget about national debts, the rise of The Islamic State (Hi guys!), boat people in the Mediterranean, explosions in Chinese ports, Russian interference in Ukraine, the rise of Donald Trump etcetera - what really matters with regard to the progress of civilisation is our gathering campaign to crush the misuse of "So". Join us! Stamp out the "So" twerps! Make them see the error of their ways!