Okay people, enough is enough! I won’t stand for it any longer! Today I’m going to teach you the difference between then and than so you can either properly use them or ignore everything I said like in school and continue to use them interchangeably.
I’m doing this to benefit society…as well as myself. I’m not so awful that I constantly correct people when they misuse ‘then’ in a text or an e-mail, I let it go. I chuckle to myself, “Oh, so-and-so, one day I’ll inform you of the difference”. Well, folks, today is that day. That’s cool if whomever continues to use these words however they choose, but at least an effort was made. It’s just a small pet peeve of mine and a mild turn-off, but there are more important things in life. Like using ‘well’ instead of ‘good’.
Some of you reading this probably think I’m uptight and pretentious for caring about the English language this much. Shakespeare made up his own words as he went along so why do we have to follow any rules? Well, for one, you’re not Shakespeare. And if you are, start writing again, you’ve been slacking for a few hundred years. Second, it’s just good form. People appreciate the proper use of words. And by people, I mean me and others like me. I really do apologize if this comes off rude and condescending, but I’m trying to help without sounding like an ass. It’s probably not working, so if you think I’m being an ass, I’m sorry, but this is important to me and thank you for continuing to read this despite your negative opinions (I’ll be less of an ass in the next one).
So finally, without further ado, the difference between ‘then’ and ‘than’ with the help of quotes from Anchorman and Step Brothers, two movies I love quoting which happen to have Will Ferrell even though none of the quotes are his:
Champ Kind: I will smash your face into a car windshield, then take your mother, Dorothy Mantooth out for a delicious seafood dinner and then never call her again!
‘Then’ is used to set up a sequence of events. Champ Kind is going to do those actions in the order described to inflict the most pain on your mother and indirectly on you.
Male Therapist: So, Dale. I don’t know how much you know about therapy, but it usually starts by you telling me a little something about yourself.
Dale Doback: I work at a college as a janitor even though I feel like I’m smarter than most of the people who go there. Sometimes I see an equation written on a blackboard like half an equation and… I just figure it out.
Male Therapist: Is this Good Will Hunting?
Dale Doback: No.
Male Therapist: It sounds a lot like the plot of Good Will Hunting.
Dale Doback: Yeah, anyway. My best friend is Ben Affleck…
‘Than’ is used when making a comparison. Dale is comparing his intelligence to all the other students in the college, which coincidentally happens to be the plot for Good Will Hunting.N
Now go and use those words properly! Make me proud!
Okay, I’m done preaching…for now. Enjoy your weekend!