November 25, 2008

Grammar is the Peanut to My Language Butter

Today's test concerns the use of then and than. These aren't too easily confused and yet people still mix them up. Than is used to compare. Then is used to define a moment in time. Let us illustrate. Select the correct use of then or than:

1. I'm waiting for my mother to die and than I will get married. It's out of spite. That's why I'm not married yet. Mom's death than my wedding.

2. First comes love then comes children, then comes marriage and a baby carriage. What, that's not how it goes? No wonder my mother keeps reminding me marriage comes first.

3. Marriage is less important to me then cheese. That's why I've eaten plenty of cheese but not yet gotten married.

4. I would rather pull my own teeth out with a door knob than have the conversation with my mother in which she awkwardly tells me that she just wants me to be happy but can't understand why I'm not married yet. Oh and did she mention that you have kids AFTER you get married? Yeah, three times.

One is the incorrect use of than but a correct assessment of how irrational my mother makes me. Two is a correct use of then but not correct about the order of making babies and marriage. Three is an incorrect use of then as well as incorrect about my feelings about marriage (but I REALLY do like cheese.) And four is correct all around.

I hate the holidays.

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