1. Montag
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    Montag Senior Member

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    No 'and then'!

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Montag, Jan 16, 2008.

    MS word keeps telling me that that should be 'And then' instead of 'Then'.

    Is that right? I just dont like the sound of 'and then'. Does it always have to be like that?
     
  2. Tari
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    Tari Member

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    Personally, I think it's stylistic. I've turned off a lot of the MS-Word grammar markers. If you're comfortable with grammar, you can bend the rules a bit.

    It could be "...before him, then..." or "...before him, and then..." or even "...before him, and...", and I can't say any of those is necessarily wrong.


    Personally, I'd put a comma after the "then," though (or write it with an "and," instead of a "then"). Not sure if that's an actual grammatical thing or not, though.


    If you're unsure, your next best bet is to just reword it in a way that doesn't run into those problems.
     
  3. Bluemouth
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    Bluemouth Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd personally cut out 'then' from that sentence. It seems unnecessary.

    Also, in many instances, completely disregard the rubbish Microsoft Word suggests as grammatical errors - it's usually way off the mark.
     
  4. Hulk
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    Hulk Banned

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    True - most of them are silly.
     
  5. Tari
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    Tari Member

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    Bluemouth seems to have found the best version of that sentence. If you want it to be one sentence, though, I'd suggest you replace "then" with something else.
     
  6. Milady
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    Milady Contributing Member

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    It does that to me a lot. I usually just ignore it. As for your sentence, though, I agree with Bluemouth. It would be a lot less awkward and run-on-y like that.

    (And yes, run-on-y is a word. As of now.)
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I do pay attention to Microsoft's grammar suggestions, even though I end up disregarding most of them. Even when I disagree with the suggested fix, it's worthwhile to see if the existing sentence is grammatically flawed.

    Sometimes, the sentence is correct, but Microsoft has taken a different meaning of a word, thereby making a mistake about its role in the sentence.

    In the above example, the two sentences are improperly spliced with a comma. Microsoft's suggested remedy is technically correct, but a poor choice stylistically. The better solution is that offered by Bluemouth: to separate them with a period instead of splicing them, and to eliminate the "then".

    Natural language parsing is still largely an art rather than a science. But if the Microsoft Grammar checker flags a sentence, there may very well be a problem in how it is constructed.

    This is where it is worthwhile to be able to diagram the sentence yourself, to understand why it might have been flagged, and to decide if there is a better way to write it.
     
  8. dwspig2
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    dwspig2 Member

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    Knowing which punctuation marks to use and when to use them makes a huge difference in how often you see the green "wavy" lines in MS Word.

    This is slightly related to the grammar issue regarding MS Word. What do the new blue "wavy" lines mean in MS Word 2007? I still get the typical red lines, and occasionally I get the green lines, but every now and again, I get blue lines that seem to be simply grammar mistakes. What's the difference between the blue and the green lines?
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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  10. Sophronia
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    Sophronia Member

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    I wouldn't use "and then" in the middle of a sentence, but it would probably sound better at the end of a sentence, when you're finishing a statement or action phrase. *thinks MS word is retarded anyways and uses Open Office*
     
  11. MarcG
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    MarcG Contributing Member

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    Do you guys really get alot of grammar errors? I think I've had maybe 2 out of the last 4 or 5 pieces I wrote. Maybe it's just how I write.
     
  12. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    I always disregard the "THIS SHOULD BE AND THEN" message. In fact, when I see "and then" when I'm reading other books, it sticks out like a typo.
     
  13. Tari
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    Tari Member

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    For those of us who've turned off the grammar checker, it's hard to say how many errors we've gotten. :p

    I recently got a "this is a fragment" error on a normal sentence, though. It was entertaining. I think it didn't like the parentheses.
     
  14. dwspig2
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    dwspig2 Member

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    It also doesn't like when you have some parenthetical comment offset with commas. For some reason it does disregard dashes, so I've taken to using them more.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't see a huge number of them, but there are usually a few flagged. Some are parsing errors by Word, some are genuine slip-ups on my part, which I correct, and some are choices on my part. For example, I might put in a "sentence":
    I know full well that it is an incomplete sentence, but it is written that way for impact. It interrupts the flow, and in that context it is more effective for doing so.

    Despite how it may seem at times, I do not believe writers should slavishly follow grammatical rules in every sentence they write. However, I do believe they should know and understand the rules. When they break them, it sjhould be for a good reason, not simply because they don't know better, or just to be different.
    [/soapbox]
     
  16. JustinaB
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    JustinaB Active Member

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    I use word every day for work and, of course, for my writing. I have never ran into the blue wavy line demon.

    Until now, I did not know he existed!
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Nor I. But I am pretty consistent with formatting. I create document templates for different document types and stick to them.

    PS - What makes you so certain the demon isn't a she?
     

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