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Grammar News (1 Viewer)


WF Veterans
April 1, 2017. At the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of English Grammar this week in Honolulu, the word then was made a coordinating conjunction. Tempers flared during a long and often highly-technical debate, but in the end 65% voted to induct then into the hallowed realm of coordinating conjunctions. The president of the SAEG, Lauren Chen, said, "Our action today is another step forward in perfecting the laws of grammar."

Not everyone was happy with this outcome. Melvin Barnard said, "FANBOYS is a beloved part of grammar, enjoyed by teachers and students alike. What will they learn now? FANBOYST?" When told of this objection, Ms. Chen replied: "For heaven's sake! Why can't he just teach TANBOYS?"

This ruling was a boon for the anti-comma splice caucus -- it had been an embarrassment to their position that independent clauses joined with a comma and the word then were technically considered comma splices.

In other actions, answers to questions were recategorized as not being fragments, the proposal to ban the use of semicolons in Times New Roman was rejected, and the issue of how to represent a dramatic pause was referred back to committee.


Senior Member
The use of "then" as a conjunction makes sense:

"I went to the fridge, grabbed an apple then a sprite from the cooler."

"I went to the fridge, grabbed an apple and then a sprite from the cooler."

It seems really only applicable in this situation and maybe some select comma splicing opportunities. I don't see how someone would be against calling it a conjunction.


Staff member
Media Manager
You can't keep a good anti-comma-splicearian down, we will rise again then take over the world.


Senior Member
I am a fan of making then a coordinating conjunction. I just wrote a reply on another forum and was using then as a coordinating conjunction:

The Public Library system in this County is a disgrace. The hours are terrible and the facilities are lacking. If I was Mayor, I would definitely expand funding to these institutions, then I would fix the broken roads and create a public bus system that will take you straight to the metro stations--the Bourgeois Capitalists who own Metro are blinded by Materialism: you don't need to spend millions of dollars to expand the metro lines, you just need to create a public bus system that will take people to the metro stations that already exist, then with more customers, the price of Metro fares will decrease significantly, and our citizens will be able to commute to where wages are higher without any difficulty, and then there will be an economic boom in Fairfax County that will serve as a model for the rest of the country.

It's comforting to know that the S
ociety for the Advancement of English Grammar made this ruling. Of course the rules of the English language are not dictated by any one academy or individual, but by the people who collectively use the language, so if anything, this academy is simply acknowledging a new grammatical trend in the English language, a trend probably brought about by several factors such as modern literary movements, the transition from more formal systems of verse like sonnets to blank verse (during which time we see the comma splice become more prominent), and the digital revolution. I am however not supportive of the anti-comma splice clique and will continue to wage violent literary warfare with them.
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