So, is it OK to start sentences with ‘so’?

The practice is common in everyday speech, but it has crept into our writing, as well. Plus, the adoption of new words, and Tom Clancy’s insights on writing.

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Trends in language are constantly changing. New words and phrases come about all the time, with some anointed by dictionaries. This week, we look at how the English language began to evolve with its emigration to America, and we examine new ways of speaking and writing in contemporary terms.

So, is this just a fad?: Here’s the lexical free market at work. Chances are if you listen to NPR, you frequently hear interviewees begin sentences with “so.” Intern Johnny Nelson wrote on the This is NPR blog about a reader who complained of the continued use of the word to begin sentences. Though the discussion here is about speaking, my guess is someone could easily have the same complaint some writers’ leading off sentences with “so.” A quick Google search of the word reveals at least one story—from Forbes—in which this happens. It’s also easy to find sentences that begin with “And” or “But.” These are all clear violations of the rules we were taught in English class, but blogging and social media have turned some rules on their heads. So, is it OK to start a sentence this way?

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