So, I feel I may be a bit pedantic here. Am I the only one who gets irritated by the hundreds of questions that start with the completely redundant "so"?
"So I have this problem", says one.
"So this library may have a bug", says another.
"So this code is giving an error", a third user might ask. Why? I want to ask back. Isn't "this code is giving an error" clear enough? What does the "so" add?
I always feel compelled to edit out the "so", but then feel I am being obsessive, maybe even offensive. So what? I ask myself. These people are engineers; redundancy is built into their psyche. I resist the urge and let the "so" go.
But no more. I need to ask.
So, here goes: what do you think? Does starting my questions with "so" make me a sloppy so-and-so, or is it a hidden tribute to the capital SO, our beloved Stack Overflow? :)
18 hours ago, I posted this with fingers crossed. I hoped people would see the humour in it and it wouldn't earn me the ire of my peers. I am grateful that so many took it seriously or gently, saw the humour, and joined in. Thank you.
I realise that this question cannot have a definitive answer, hence I will +1 those who responded, but I will not tick a specific one, I will let the community do that with their votes. Some conclusions are possible, nonetheless:
- in these 18 hours, this post itself got 23 up-votes and nine down. That tells me there is a sizeable minority who would get irritated with micro-edits of this nature and it would be counterproductive to press on an issue like this since it could be divisive;
- while answers agree that there is needless redundancy in this usage of the word "so", they also agree that the ugliness of "so" is in the eye of the beholder and they would only edit it if it was part of a more comprehensive (and therefore overall more helpful) edit.
- My lesson: leave "so" alone unless as part of a question overhaul.
- My secret wish: that this question and discussion might prompt some to self-edit and voluntarily adopt a more correct style. I would so love to see the back of the leading "so" but I agree it is wiser to let it just slink away on its own.