Re: USAGE: "Therefore" and "thus"

Subject: Re: USAGE: "Therefore" and "thus"
From: Carol Van Natta <CVANNATT -at- ITC -dot- NRCS -dot- USDA -dot- GOV>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 10:26:37 -0600

<snip> I'm currently looking for ways around these terms, but
most of the time, I'm stumped. The words accurately convey
the intended meaning, but they just seem wrong. Is it just
me? Or is there a better way of doing this that hasn't
occured to me as yet? <>

I know what you mean about "thus" and "therefore" being
grating. Engineers just love that linear delineation of logic; it
makes them feel warm and fuzzy all over.

Oftentimes, I've found you can get by without the word at all.
"I'm bored and I'm hungry; therefore, I'm going out to eat"
could be understood just as well without the "therefore." The
word "thus" is a little harder sometimes, because engineers
use it as shorthand for "in this way," "as a consequence of
this action," "this demonstrates that," or like phrases. I
usually try to figure out what the logical conclusion (if any )
the engineer was trying to indentify, then see if the structure
of the paragraph lets me get by without the conclusion
identifier. If not, I still replace "thus" with something more
friendly, because I find "thus" to be especially pretentious.

Carol Van Natta
Senior Technical Writer
Fort Collins, Colorado


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