The Horns of a Dilemma

A229D0F7-A122-45A0-8B9A-EA4980863545Yesterday I read a very good, witty, and entertaining post from a blogger I follow. I so enjoyed the post that I “liked” it and I wanted to write a comment complimenting the blogger.

But I didn’t write that complimentary comment because throughout the otherwise excellent post, the blogger used the word “than” when the correct word would have been “then.”

The blogger would write something like “But than…” or “And than…” and proceed to say what happened next.

I so wanted to post a comment that said something like this:

I really enjoyed you post, but you need to understand the difference between “than” and “then” and use them correctly. “Than” is used to form comparisons between two things, as in “I’d rather have a slice of pie than a salad.”

“Then” is used to express a sense of time or what comes next or used to be, as in “First I’ll have a salad and then I’ll have a slice of pie.” Thus, to write “And than I sat down to watch TV” is wrong. It should be “And then I sat down to watch TV.”

As I said, I never posted a comment because I didn’t want to sound like a pedantic asshole, even though I probably am one. And I didn’t want to make the blogger feel bad.

On the other hand, I felt as if I was depriving the blogger of a “teachable moment.” Wouldn’t it have been beneficial to that blogger to point out that he or she used the wrong word multiple times in an otherwise great post?

The post received a lot of love. Plenty of likes and more than three dozen comments. But not one comment mentioned the “than/then” issue.

What would you do? Would you bite your tongue and let the blogger continue to potentially misuse the word “than” in future posts? Or would you have let the blogger know so that he/she wouldn’t keep making that same mistake?