It’s summer and Seed’s running a few classic articles online. This weekend, read about “So”…
The language of science, with its specialized vocabulary and clipped rhythm, has a distinctive architecture.
The functional elegance of this rarefied speak is uniquely captured in one of its most inconspicuous words: “so.” This isn’t “so” the intensifier (“so expensive”); it’s not the “so” that joins two clauses. This is the “so” that introduces a sentence, as in “So as we can see, modified Newtonian dynamics cannot account for the rotation of any of the three observed galaxies.”
This “so” is key to a basic unit of scientific talk: the explanation.