1. frozenduck
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    frozenduck New Member

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    Thus and Thereby in Commas

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by frozenduck, Jan 16, 2009.

    I'm translating an article that uses the phrase "and thus" or "and thereby" throughout, as in "A squashes B, and, thus, a C is produced." Should the 'thus' have bracketed commas?
    :confused:
    Effectively it means "A squashes B, and C is thus produced", so are the bracketing commas correct?
    :confused:
    I understand that Trask and most other authorities suggest that 'thus' and 'thereby' should not follow a joining comma, but what about bracketing commas?:confused:

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  2. madhoca
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    madhoca Senior Member Contributor

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    I have not ever seen bracketing commas as you give in your example. We teach punctuation of ‘thus’ thus:

    ‘A squashes B, and thus a C is produced / and thus produces a C.’
    ‘A squashes B. Thus, a C is produced.’
    ‘A squashes B; thus, a C is produced. (NB: semicolon).

    Note: The meaning here is like 'and so' / 'so'

    I would use/punctuate ‘thereby’ as follows:

    ‘A squashes B; thereby, a C is produced.’
    ‘A squashes B, thereby producing a C.’

    Note: The meaning here is like 'in this way / manner'.
  3. frozenduck
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    frozenduck New Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply:)

    The added problem is that this is a translation and in the original language (not English) the 'thus' originates from the first clause, which is actually a string of first clauses, but pertains to C. I suppose my questions is whether or not using bracketing commas here is 100% wrong. :confused:
  4. madhoca
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    madhoca Senior Member Contributor

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    Well, the 'thus' does in fact refer to the first clause, although we put it at the head of a separate result clause.
    Punctuation is different between languages, obviously. In my second language we always put a semicolon after 'because' and often after 'but'.
    There are other experts on translation and punctuation on the forum here... WREYBIES!!?
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies iModerate Staff Member Supporter Reviewer Contributor

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    You have requested moi? :cool:

    In the two translations you have given, thus is a superfluous word, a parenthetical interjection to add emphasis to the word and. Either the and or the thus could be removed and the meaning remains unaltered. So, I would not take issue with the bracketing commas around the thus, but I would take issue with the necessity for the word at all.
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Senior Member Contributor

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    I've often thought the point of it was to look um... professorial.
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Supporter Contributor

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    more like those 2 other p-words, pompous and pretentious...
  8. garmar69
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    garmar69 New Member Contributor

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    Good one maia! I was trying to drink my tea when I read this. Now I gotta clean off my monitor. :p
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Supporter Contributor

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    sorry 'bout that, babes!... from now on, when reading my posts, better keep a towel handy...

    hugs, m
  10. frozenduck
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    frozenduck New Member

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    Wreybies

    Thanks. Superfluous is about right. :D The problem is trying to persuade people that we can remove things ... :(

    Thanks for everyone's help.;)
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