THAN — a comparative conjunctive

People, it has come to my attention that when it comes to making evaluative comparisons, some of you are more clueless than a transcendental vegan at a Texas freeper convention.

Note that I said “than”. If I had wished to indicate that at the moment immediately following your cluelessness, a transcendental vegan suddenly wandered into a Texas freeper convention and interrupted my thought in midphrase, then I suppose I would have said “then”.

Because it would have been the right word then. It would have been a better word then than than.

OK, I know that a few of you here have been tarred with my contempt merely for having made typos. We all have slips of the finger now and then. That’s more forgivable than slips of the brain, and those in turn more tolerable than actual gaps in comprehension.

Please cease tormenting me with statements and phrases like this:

• " they’re annoyed that they’re drunker then you and they want you to catch up"

• “I think it’s ‘She’s more then a Memory’, by Garth Brooks”

• “maybe she wanted to be more then just a friend”

• “There’s no indication the wife is smarter then her husband”

• “Her greed is insane but not much more then her husband’s”

• “The only person working here that’s a better employee then her is my ex-wife”
JUST STOP IT. If you’re comparing things and it feels like the world “more” just might fit into that sentence you’re working on, you want than. If time doesn’t seem to be invoked, you probably want than. It has an a in it.

OK, you may depart.

Also, it almost always introduces an elliptical sentence, so it should be “[t]he only person working here that’s a better employee than she [is] is my ex-wife”

Shouldn’t it be “[t]he only person working here who’s a better employee than she [is]is my ex-wife”

“That” is perfectly acceptable in place of “who” or “which”.

I’ve never understood the confusion over “then” and “than”. They’re not pronounced the same even in my ultra hick accent.

Says who?

Merriam Webster for one.

A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage, by Bergen Evans and Cornelia Evans, has this to say on the issue: “That has been the standard relative pronoun for about eight hundred years and can be used in speaking of persons, animals, or things. … Three hundred years ago who also became popular as a relative. It was used in speaking of persons and animals but not of things. This left English with more relative pronouns than it has any use for. … Who may in time drive out that as a relative referring to persons, but it has not yet done so.”

They’re the same in my Inland North/Great Lakes accent.

Gah! Thank you AHunter3! I was actually considering starting a thread on this to ask if there are Americans who pronounce the two the same way. I’d never really seen it before as a mistake native speakers make, and it really baffles me.

For Dutch people I think we should make a kind exception: both can be translated as “dan”, so they struggle with it.

And now I see that has nothing to do what you posted and I’m making a fool of myself. Retracted.

Oopies :smack:

Kindly unsmack, please.

reformulated, –

Because it would have been the right word then. It would have been a better word then (meaning “at that time”) than (meaning “in comparison to”) than (this time referring to the literal word, “than”).