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why do people always misspell the word "than"?





likeabreeze
I have seen it occur so many times---People misspell "than", rather, they write "then"!
At first, I thought it was an occasional mistake,
but nowadays, the same mistake has happened so many times,
this time, when watching NBA playoff, I saw Kobe Bryant write something on his twitter like
"Nothing worse then watching your bothers struggle and u can't do crap about it #realtalk"
He made that mistake too, hey, a basketball player, a superstar, made that mistake?
I can't help wondering whether it should be counted as a mistake or not, since it occurs so frequently.
If it is really a spelling mistake, why it is so common?
P.S. I googled "misspell" and found 10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling
which has a image describing that mistake,
deanhills
Aha, a fellow grammar Nazi! Welcome to the fold.

manfer
Well, that graphic is innacurate.

"THAN" is always used for comparison. But... "THEN" not always means time.

----------------------------------------------------------------

1.- Then meaning "at that time (in the past or future)":
She was then sixteen years old.
Soon the sun will go down, and then it will be time to go.

2.- Then meaning "next or after that":
He smiled, then turned to me and nodded.

3.- Then meaning "in addition":
We both want to go, and then there’s Carmen, so we need three tickets.

4.- Then meaning "as a result; in that case; also used as a way of joining a statement to an earlier piece of conversation":
Why don’t you call them to tell them we’ll be late? Then they won’t worry.
If I don’t hear from you by Friday, then I’ll assume you’re not coming.

----------------------------------------------------------------

While 1 and 2 refer to TIME, 3 and 4, don't.

From Cambridge online dictionary:
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/american-english

I have chosen american english but I think same can be said for british english if I'm not wrong.
likeabreeze
deanhills wrote:
Aha, a fellow grammar Nazi! Welcome to the fold.


This has absolutely noting to do with grammar, man..
Rather, user manfer seems to be a real grammar Nazi.. Laughing
It's a phenomenon worth digging into.
deanhills
likeabreeze wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Aha, a fellow grammar Nazi! Welcome to the fold.


This has absolutely noting to do with grammar, man..
Rather, user manfer seems to be a real grammar Nazi.. Laughing
It's a phenomenon worth digging into.
AHA .... but here's the thing. Google the "grammar+nazi+ then+than" and check the first image it comes up with. Very Happy

Any way, I've accepted I'm a Grammar Nazi myself, so I'm quite impressed with any one else who is a Grammar Nazi too.
TheGremlyn
If you look at just the word it is spelled correctly (then). The only way you know they are using the wrong word is through the context of the sentence (than). If they intended than but typed thsn (and don't have an iPhone with auto correct) then it would be a spelling mistake. Oh god did I use the right one???

I actually get this a lot from my friends. I see them use your instead of you're. There instead of their or they're. Which and witch (well maybe not this). I stumble a few times myself when it comes to then and than, and it's and its. There might be a few others out there that I have to look up by googling then vs than so I might understand what I'm saying or trying to say. I realized was and were and are and is should be added to my list.

As for a superstar basketball player making this mistake, I'm not entirely surprised. I mean, they were probably a superstar player when they were growing up and that was their focus. They probably did well in school to get a scholarship somewhere so they could play on a university team. Then a scout finds them and brings them into the fold. I'm not saying it's always like this but they're people and they make mistakes. I make mistakes. My friends make mistakes. Watch out when you hold someone up on a pedestal like that as you may disappoint yourself.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to duck and cover. *runs away*
deanhills
TheGremlyn wrote:
Watch out when you hold someone up on a pedestal like that as you may disappoint yourself.
Darn! Now where did I hear that before. Laughing
TheGremlyn
deanhills wrote:
TheGremlyn wrote:
Watch out when you hold someone up on a pedestal like that as you may disappoint yourself.
Darn! Now where did I hear that before. Laughing


I couldn't help it. It was stuck in my head! Not to mention I've done that far too many times to count. I think I was going to say something else but I lost the words and all I could see was a pedestal Razz
manfer
TheGremlyn wrote:
...with auto correct...


Actually sometimes is that exact feature (auto correct, auto complete) the responsible of some mistakes if you push the send button too fast. It is funny sometimes the no sense messages you finish sending because of that automatic feature on a phone.
TheGremlyn
manfer wrote:
TheGremlyn wrote:
...with auto correct...


Actually sometimes is that exact feature (auto correct, auto complete) the responsible of some mistakes if you push the send button too fast. It is funny sometimes the no sense messages you finish sending because of that automatic feature on a phone.


Indeed, sometimes auto correct is a pain in the ass. There's a whole website dedicated to some of those mishaps. Damn You Auto Correct!

It's just that in my post I was on my iPod touch and in order to punch in my example of misspelling than with thsn I had to purposely ignore the correction. That's why I mentioned auto correct. I kind of rely on it to pick up on those errors as I tend to hit the wrong letters if I'm not watching what I'm typing (the keyboard vs the screen). Sometimes I miss the tactile feel of my QWERTY keyboard from my old phone.
deanhills
manfer wrote:
TheGremlyn wrote:
...with auto correct...


Actually sometimes is that exact feature (auto correct, auto complete) the responsible of some mistakes if you push the send button too fast. It is funny sometimes the no sense messages you finish sending because of that automatic feature on a phone.
It is particularly a problem too when it corrects for American English and one is in the UK. I guess when one uses auto correct one has to make sure the right dictionary is used. I try and turn auto correct off when I can. If I can remember to do so.
TheGremlyn
deanhills wrote:
manfer wrote:
TheGremlyn wrote:
...with auto correct...


Actually sometimes is that exact feature (auto correct, auto complete) the responsible of some mistakes if you push the send button too fast. It is funny sometimes the no sense messages you finish sending because of that automatic feature on a phone.
It is particularly a problem too when it corrects for American English and one is in the UK. I guess when one uses auto correct one has to make sure the right dictionary is used. I try and turn auto correct off when I can. If I can remember to do so.


I'm quite familiar with that one Very Happy Being Canadian I like to throw all those U's into words because we use British English. So words like colour, favourite, and probably a few others always get altered to the US variation. So annoying Twisted Evil
deanhills
TheGremlyn wrote:
deanhills wrote:
manfer wrote:
TheGremlyn wrote:
...with auto correct...


Actually sometimes is that exact feature (auto correct, auto complete) the responsible of some mistakes if you push the send button too fast. It is funny sometimes the no sense messages you finish sending because of that automatic feature on a phone.
It is particularly a problem too when it corrects for American English and one is in the UK. I guess when one uses auto correct one has to make sure the right dictionary is used. I try and turn auto correct off when I can. If I can remember to do so.


I'm quite familiar with that one Very Happy Being Canadian I like to throw all those U's into words because we use British English. So words like colour, favourite, and probably a few others always get altered to the US variation. So annoying Twisted Evil
I was totally stumped when I landed in Vancouver, BC, thinking since it's in British Columbia, it would go for the Oxford Dictionary. I ended up doing a course at Simon Fraser New Harbour University in English Grammar, but that confused me even more since the Professor insisted the Oxford Dictionary was the only English Dictionary, whereas at work, it was a mixture of sometimes Oxford and sometimes Websters or Oxford vs Websters. Totally confused the daylight out of me. After very intense wrangling with this and studying every possible company manual on which spelling to use, I ended up with a mixture of gut feel and carefully checking the spelling that was used in newspapers.
bogisha
many of us are not native english speakers so mistakes like this are common, but thanks a lot for explanation, i will now know how to use "then" and "than" properly.
ocalhoun
bogisha wrote:
many of us are not native english speakers so mistakes like this are common,


Don't worry.

I've had to correct PhD's about the difference between 'their' and 'there'.
And they should know better!
watersoul
ocalhoun wrote:
bogisha wrote:
many of us are not native english speakers so mistakes like this are common,


Don't worry.

I've had to correct PhD's about the difference between 'their' and 'there'.
And they should know better!
I agree, I'm always sympathetic to the challenges for anyone using English as a second language.
'Their, they're, there' does particularly wind me up though, when incorrectly used by people who speak English as their dominant language.
likeabreeze
well, just now, I found out that the famous online developer tool jsfiddle.net made another ridiculous spelling mistake.
Write
Code:
document.write("Hello!")
in the JavaScript Section,
then a notification pop up at the bottom of that section,
it says,
"document.write is disallowed in JSFiddle envioriment and might break your fiddle."
envioriment?
What the hell is that?
What a mistake made a developer tool site!
codegeek
I don't consider myself a Grammar Nazi at such, but it does make me uncomfortable when people use "then" for "than" and vice versa. I think the most annoying one I have encountered is the use of "loose" instead of "lose". Also, the "it's" and "its" pair. Seriously, how many minutes does it really take to clear up such trivial concepts? Huh, guess I'm a Grammar Nazi after all, albeit I keep it to myself mostly.

I think the problem with pointing other people's grammatical mistakes is that when I myself make some error, I leave myself open to double the ridicule, and have to always be on the lookout. I guess this is a problem for all my Grammar Nazi brethren. Very Happy
likeabreeze
codegeek wrote:
I don't consider myself a Grammar Nazi at such, but it does make me uncomfortable when people use "then" for "than" and vice versa. I think the most annoying one I have encountered is the use of "loose" instead of "lose". Also, the "it's" and "its" pair. Seriously, how many minutes does it really take to clear up such trivial concepts? Huh, guess I'm a Grammar Nazi after all, albeit I keep it to myself mostly.

I think the problem with pointing other people's grammatical mistakes is that when I myself make some error, I leave myself open to double the ridicule, and have to always be on the lookout. I guess this is a problem for all my Grammar Nazi brethren. Very Happy

You have to act like a Grammar Nazi when you are writing some code.
That's why I pointed to the spelling mistake made by [url]fiddle.net[/url]
truespeed
Larger "than" Deans original image.

Qantas94Heavy
likeabreeze wrote:
I have seen it occur so many times---People misspell "than", rather, they write "then"!
At first, I thought it was an occasional mistake,
but nowadays, the same mistake has happened so many times,
this time, when watching NBA playoff, I saw Kobe Bryant write something on his twitter like
"Nothing worse then watching your bothers struggle and u can't do crap about it #realtalk"
He made that mistake too, hey, a basketball player, a superstar, made that mistake?
I can't help wondering whether it should be counted as a mistake or not, since it occurs so frequently.
If it is really a spelling mistake, why it is so common?
P.S. I googled "misspell" and found 10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling
which has a image describing that mistake,


My personal pet peeve is the use of "your" in the same context as the contraction "you're" - extremely annoying, however in my experience more seen in the younger generation than the older ones. I've seen it everywhere from text messages (OK, maybe that's slightly different) to Facebook to articles(!)... Grr!!! Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes Brick wall
playfungames
English is not my first language and it is kind of similar sounding for me as well. I make mistakes while typing out than/then but then immediately after typing out, I find the error. I have to sometimes check by making sentences in my head like "blood is thicker THAN water" and "if you come here THEN I will show you" to make myself clear which one to actually use.
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