Re: And then ...

Subject: Re: And then ...
From: Chris Morton <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 09:30:04 -0700

I did an informal study of this recently, using CMoS and The Gregg Reference
Manual as my sources. The definitive word on this is that there isn't one.

Technically, old schoolers insists on "and then," but common usage is
quickly molding this into a simple "then." Here, I reference scripture in
that the sabbath was made for man, not vice versa. Applying this to modern
English, it serves us—we don't serve it.

If enough experts agree to dispense with the "and," then it's soon destined
to be an anachronism.

For now, however, I reluctantly have been using "and then."

> Chris

On Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 9:19 AM, Nina Rogers
<Nina -dot- Rogers -at- drakesoftware -dot- com>wrote:

> I'm sure this has probably been addressed here before; if it has,
> someone please point me to a link to the thread.
>
>
>
> My question has to do with the little word "then" in sentences where it
> isn't used as part of an "if ... then" sequence.
>
>
>
> For years, I used a comma before it: "Enter the data, then click OK."
>
> Then I was told that "then" must be preceded by a conjunction: "Enter
> the data, and then click OK."
>
> I also see a comma-less version pretty regularly: "Enter the data then
> click OK."
>
> And there's the semicolon version: "Enter the data; then click OK."
>
>
>
> The first two examples are fine with me, even though I can see how the
> first one can be considered a comma splice. The third looks like a
> run-on since "then" is connecting two independent clauses. The semicolon
> in the fourth example seems to stick out like a sore thumb, perhaps
> because, while I use lots of semicolons when writing fiction or creative
> nonfiction, I don't use them much in tech writing.
>
>
>
> I've found/heard arguments/justification for all of the forms above.
> Which form is correct ... or are more than one acceptable? If so, which
> is "most" acceptable?
>
>
>
> (Obviously, an easy way to solve this would be:
>
>
>
> 1. Enter the data.
> 2. Click OK.
>
>
>
> But I'm curious as to how others use punctuation here.)
>
>
>
> Thanks!
>
>
>
> Nina Rogers, Technical Writer
>
> Drake Software Tax Development
>
> (828) 524-8020 x4204
>
> nina -dot- rogers -at- drakesoftware -dot- com
>
>
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References:
And then ...: From: Nina Rogers

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