I've only noticed it in the last 6 months or so. It's a language habit that a lot of people are taking up. Well, at least a lot of people who are interviewed on NPR.... which is pretty much where I do most of my hearing on a day-to-day basis.
It seems that every second response to a question begins with the word "So". Today I was listening to a very smart person talk about psychopaths and what sort of rehabilitation or punishment would help them alter (literally) their brains so that they can behave in socially acceptable ways. He's probably a PhD. He's probably an amazing researcher who might very well lead us to a more peaceful world. But all I could think was that he was kind of a boob because he couldn't think of another way to start his sentences! Like, maybe, just say what you're going to say and skip the world "so"?!
Is it just me? Is it even new or am I just now noticing it? At first I thought it was a little bit charming... but it's beginning to annoy the bejeezus out of me.
Anyone else notice it?