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What do you think of the use of "so" and "well" as sentence starters in writing?

Asked by wundayatta (58321 points ) January 30th, 2013

So, I often start my sentences on fluther this way. I think it is something borrowed from conversational interactions where we need a word that will jump in and grab sound space and attention and to indicate it is our turn to talk.

“Sooooooo,” and “Weeeeeeell” both are good words to grab that space, draw out that sound, silence others and then talk.

But they are unnecessary in written speech. We don’t need to grab space. Written speech is asynchronous, so we can have all the space we want.

Yet I find starting a post without them to be too direct. It jumps into things to abruptly. I try to think of starting the sentence after the “so” and it just doesn’t sound right in my head.

What do you think? Does the “so” or “well” serve any useful purpose in written language? What is going on here? How do you start sentences without it without sounding rough and abrupt?

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