Have you ever wondered about the legitimacy of beginning a sentence with a conjunction? This article sets the record straight. In this comprehensive post, we’re going to dissect the word “so” being used to begin sentences.
Is it grammatically correct to begin a sentence with this word? Is it a faux pas? When did this word start being used to form sentences? For no definitive reason, people today like to think that it’s a colloquial misuse to put this word at the front of a sentence, so we’re going to make it official once and for all in this article.
Beginning sentences with ‘So’ is grammatically correct: let’s find out more
In case you were wondering, I’ve been working with words for a long time. My life as an English language enthusiast started when I picked up my first book as a child, and I’ve been thrilled by figuring out all the rules about writing ever since I decided to major in English in college. I studied journalism at a reputable university, and I’ve been published for my work in books, articles, and various other written forms.
My parents raised me to believe that it was horrible form to start a sentence with the word, but I’m here to spread the truth about grammar. Get ready to learn if it’s grammatically correct, and we’re going to discuss authoritative, expert writers throughout history that put “so” at the top of their famous sentences. Let’s dive into this subject together.
What do style books say about using ‘so’ at the top of sentences?
- The Chicago Manual of Style:
According to Daily Writing Tips, the Chicago Manual of Style does not prohibit the use of conjunctions to begin sentences. This authority in writing style actually claims that 10 percent of all “first-rate writing” starts off with a conjunction.
- The Associated Press:
Ruth Davies from CentrEditing wrote a piece that busts the myth about using conjunctions to kickstart sentences. In her article, she cites the Associated Press as being a “strict, traditional” style manual.
She brings up a section of the manual that asks editors about the controversy surrounding conjunctions as sentence openers. The editor in the interview says that it’s not forbidden, but it should be done sparingly to avoid lulling the reader to sleep.
What do the history books say about starting sentences with ‘So’?
There are countless examples throughout history of famous writers using “so” at the beginning of a sentence. Shakespeare started some sentences of famous poems this way (The Rape of Lucrece), and Geoffrey Chaucer started sentences in Troilus and Criseyde this way.
Many people have attributed the modern usage of “so” to begin sentences as a phenomena that has been popularized by Silicon Valley. Non-native English speakers use verbal tics to make themselves sound authoritative.