Re: USAGE: "Therefore" and "thus"

Subject: Re: USAGE: "Therefore" and "thus"
From: Stephen Forrest <techwriter -at- IBM -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 19:46:52 GMT

At 05:39 PM 10/27/97 GMT, Len Olszewski wrote:
>In article <8525653D -dot- 005E0C54 -dot- 00 -at- web_srv -dot- coreco -dot- com>, Emru Townsend
><emru -at- CORECO -dot- COM> writes:
>|>... my question: in many of the documents, I see gleeful overuse of
>|> "therefore" and "thus."
>|> 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.
>Picking the right alternatives depends a lot on what your audience
>expects. However, in the past, I have had luck using rhetoric which
>discusses the importance or the implications of a fact rather than
>simply exposing causality. A lot of times, the "thus" or the "therefore"
>is part of an awkward, wordy, passive, or incomplete construction. In
>cases like that, you have to rewrite.
>For example, the passage:
>"Objects you write cannot be instantiated or executed without CREATE and
>RUN methods. Therefore, CREATE and RUN methods providing the correct
>functionality must be developed."
> a candidate for rewriting, and here's one possible solution:
>"When you write your own object, your CREATE method must create the
>record and catalog entry neccessary to define an application. Your RUN
>method must recognize and correctly interpret the values of instance
>variables it finds in the catalog entry for your application."
>The second passage eliminates the "therefore", and provides information
>the reader might find useful. The causality is still apparent, but the
>second passage gives the reader an augmented version with facts the
>documentation should be revealing.

Sorry, but I think the first paragraph is much better. The second makes my
eyes glaze over.

If it's about technical communication--post it! If not, don't!
Posts: mailto:techwr-l -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu
Commands: mailto:listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g. SIGNOFF TECHWR-L)
Archives:,, or
Subjects: JOB:, QUESTION:, SUMMARY:, ANNOUNCE:, or none of these.

Previous by Author: Re: names for the "English" alphabet
Next by Author: Re: Question about HTML authoring rates
Previous by Thread: Re: USAGE: "Therefore" and "thus"
Next by Thread: Re: USAGE: "Therefore" and "thus"

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads