(to my phi classes)
"so" has exploded in our social consciousness as sine qua non ideatory crutch.
the understanding of human communication is essential for our human interaction. but a great deal of human communication, i maintain, is just memetics.
we just repeat what's "out there" as a way of coping with social pressure.
we adapt rather than starting from scratch.
remember when the filler "like" swallowed the double proposition "as if"?
specialists from anthropology and neuroscience argue that imitation may improve overall social performance. further, imitation may solve the figuring of top-down complex sets of rules that could otherwise prove redundant. and here comes good old grammar.
grammarians out there: is it really a psycholinguistic/evolutionary goal of homo sapiens to (speak) (write) clearly?
to the point, we're living amidst a "so" epidemics.
let's go over the purported grammar of "so,"
1- a conjunctive adverb for consequence, as "i took my umbrella with me, so i didn't get wet"
2- the pervasive explanatory "so that," as "i'm being clear, so that there's no misunderstanding"
3- addition, as "i moved to miami, and so did my friend John"
4- degree, as "this pudding is so good"
5- confirmation, as "i don't think so"
still, it's clear that our "so" epidemics exceeds any possible grammatical usage in 1-5,
what if babbling is an evolutionary form of social bonding?
we're infected. it's a fact. all you have to do is take a video of yourself talking and play it back.
you'll be surprised at the finding.