I am interested in the word, “so” in the following sentence in Jeffery Archer’s novel, “The Prodigal Daughter.”
Florentina Kane who is the chairman of an international hotel empire she succeeded from her father, and stood as a candidate for the Congresswoman for Illinoi State in late 1960s is asked question by a journalist at the press conference:
“Do you consider it a disadvantage to be a woman when seeking public office?”
( She answered:)
“Perhaps to a limited or ill-informed person I would have so answer yes, but not with any intelligent voter who puts the issues before outdated predudices. Which of you if involved in a traffic accident on the way home today would think twice if the first doctor on the scene turned out to be a woman?- The Prodigal Daughter(Published by St. Martin's Press) P.293.
Naturally I read the bold line as “I would have to answer yes,” as most of you do, but then noticed that it is clearly and distinctly written as “so” in italic to emphasize this specific word.
What does “so” mean in the above sentence? How does “so” here function grammatically?
Logically and empirically, it's hard to believe such a reputed author as Lord Jeffery Archer deiberately put "so" in Italic to show off his error.