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Than it was then?

By Oz_Media ·
Okay, some who know me have seen me post my confusion over 'than' being replaced with 'then'.

ie: "It was greater THAN I had expected" is often written as "It was greater THEN I had expected"

or as noticed in Google's SketchUp tips today, "Looking around Google Earth is more fun then a winning spree of solitaire and it looks more productive to your boss too."

There's the use of THEN when THAN should be used again.

From what I recall, THEN is used as a pronoun for time, not as a comparitive remark.

Is this a new example of how English being trashed by those who have never been corrected or is it that so many people make the same mistake that it has now become acceptable English. A real pet peeve...not as bad as saying you COULD care less though (shivers up spine)...that is becoming more and more annoying.

So, what is it?
"Looking around Google Earth is more fun then a winning spree" or is it
"Looking around Google Earth is more fun than a winning spree"

Has than now become then?

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I don't get it

by Oz_Media In reply to English as a second langu ...

You invade a country, kill and repress it's people and then expect others that come to the country to speak your language?

I thought Americans acually considered themselves multicultural.

Multicultural countries, such as Canada and most of Europe, allow immigration without expecting conformity. Multiculturalism embraces the differences and encourages peopel to retain former customs, language and other cultural adpects of the people.

A melting pot, which most confuse with multiculturalsim, is when you allow people to enter your country on the basis that they assimilate a chosen religion, language and customs.

America is NOT multicultural, just possesive. You can live here if you become one of us.

I think Star Trek had a good exqample of becoming American, BORG.

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Not necessarily so

by NickNielsen In reply to Experience teaches me

The mix-up is invariably made by those who do paid not attention in English classes in school, because they believed they would never need to know how to express themselves intelligently.

I have seen word mix-ups like then/than, affect/effect, to/too, there/their, and many more in correspondence from generals and colonels and in major magazines like Time and Newsweek. I've even seen the NYT confuse its and it's.

It's the product of a culture that believes close is good enough. The same mindset contributed to the Challenger disaster, will contribute to the pending Middle East military debacle, and is contributing to the inability of Americans to follow traffic laws and the general decline in common courtesy in American society.

Edit: spull for mating

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"It's the product of a culture that believes close is good enough."

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Not necessarily so

Well put. I work at a Community College. I never cease to be amazed at how often I hear students say things like "As long as I get a C, I'll be happy." A C? So people are happy with mediocrity. Whatever happened to the desire to excel at something?

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by NickNielsen In reply to "It's the product of a cu ...

Isn't that the spreadsheet program? :^0

I actually heard that question in a high school classroom! X-(

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Litteracy levels keep decreasing...

by Zen37 In reply to Than it was then?

....and i blame somewhat the Internet for it.

I was chatting with a kid recently and he asked me how the word "carrot" was spelled (he wrote it "carott") The kid was 14. I felt like saying; "why don't you get off the Internet and open a book. You'll thank me later"

How can a 14 year old kid not be able to write the word "carrot"?

I use to make the mistake mentioned in the original post (confusing then and than) until a nice gentleman pointed out my mistake and showed me the way to properly know the difference, right here on Techrepublic. I truly appreciated the gentleman's gesture and I've been writing it correctly ever since (Note that English is not my native tongue). But I still have issues with "S" at the end of words like it's and its.

I find it unfortunate that we don't pay enough attention to proper grammar. But I distinctively remember not giving a rats a** about it when i was younger, so i cannot really blame them. I guess it's all in the way you point out the mistake. Don't fall on the person because he or she doesn't get a simple rule of grammar. Be polite and offer an explanation. After that, if the person still makes the mistake, well, it's totally their fault.

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In general

by NickNielsen In reply to Litteracy levels keep dec ...

An "s" is added to the end of a noun to indicate a plural (one voice/many voices).

An apostrophe-s ('s) is added to the end of a noun to indicate possession (The pencil box belongs to Steve/That is Steve's pencil box).

Pronouns like its, theirs, ours, his and hers are already possessive and do not use an apostrophe.

"It's" is a contraction of "it is", just like "doesn't" is a contraction of "does not". They both use the apostrophe to indicate the missing letter in the contraction.

These are the basic rules, to which there are exceptions too many to list here. For what it's worth, I use The Elements of Style (Strunk and White) and The Transitive Vampire (Gordon) as guidance when writing. Both offer much information on American English grammar, usage and punctuation.


And speaking of punctuation...

Anne went out one winter day
upon the ice to frisk.
Her parents thought her quite insane
her little *

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Sometimes it isn't so much poor grammar as it is poor typing skills. :^0

by sleepin'dawg In reply to Than it was then?

If anyone should be aware of that, I would say it's you Oz.

When I'm typing, sometimes my fingers seem to take on a life of their own and if I'm in a hurry, I might not take the time to run spell check or perhaps grammar check.

Dawg ]:)

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Well hey there, Dawg!

by Oz_Media In reply to Sometimes it isn't so muc ...

Typos I can accept, of course. I have tried to pay a LITTLE more attention to typos but I don't really care in forums, it's not important unless it spells a different word, as in THEN vs THAN. E and A are not exactly side by side so the typo issue is not as common as using U or O instead of I, common typos.

My main issue is with 'carriage returns' (remember those? LOL)orphaned letter sare an issue and revresed letters are my most commomn typos.

Do you really think Google had a typo in their instructions or do you think some moron in southern California simply doesn't understand the difference? I'd put money on the latter.

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the problem is basically laziness, and the worst offenders

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Than it was then?

are the media people using the wrong words in written and spoken stories.

As to which of the then / than is appropriate.

Then can be a passive past tense noun, as in he did it back then. Or it can be future tense active as in go to the chemist, then go to the fruit store. this is more a verb adverb type situation.

In a comparison situation it's always than, like Fred is bigger than Harry. this is as action neutral situation set in the present tense, or the present tense of what's being mentioned. Most often used for comparisons, like an either / or type situation; that's the sentence will make reasonable sense if replaced with one of the words - either or.

Eg Fred is bigger or Harry - still carries the same basic intent. Go to the chemist or the fruit store doesn't carry the same sense.

basically then is past tense or future tense, than is present tense.

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by Oz_Media In reply to the problem is basically ...

Although there are always exceptions, I see THEN as a common relation to time.
THAN would be relative or comparitive.

Every now and then and Went here then there as being time related.

Bigger than him and Holier than thou. as being comparitive.

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