What is it that is behind the latest affectation, the addition of a conjunction, SO, at the beginning of a sentence? This is a purely verbal affliction at the moment, and almost exclusively in answer to a direct question e.g. “What do you think of..”, answer “So, …
It’s a sort of punctuation device, but it somehow is meant to impart a level of expertise in the respondent – and often it seems the context of some scientific / quasi scientific topic.
Update 16 May 2014
Surprise, surprise: BBC Breakfast today ran an item on this very topic, including an interview / contribution from an “expert”. Maybe I’m not so curmudgeonly after all,