We always intend to say what we mean, but do we always actually say what we mean?
‘She strode straight through the door.’ So, is ‘she’ a superhero, a ghost, or blind? She might well have walked straight through the open doorway. But it’s doubtful she ploughed through the barrier itself. A small adjustment, but one that’s vital to the correct understanding of your words.
‘Your not getting you’re wicked way with me.’ I know; you wouldn’t dream of doing this. But you’d be surprised how many times the possessive is mixed up with the contraction. And it’s easily corrected. Just spell out the contraction ‘you are’ in full and the sense becomes immediately obvious. So, perhaps, now you are getting your wicked way with me, after all. I look forward to the encounter.
‘More then anything else, this confusion drives me up the wall, than I go into a rage.’ Once again, you never do this, do you? One letter different, but such variation in meaning.
‘Then’ is an adverb, conjunction, noun and adjective we use to express an aspect of time. Examples?
Adverb – ‘Carelessly, in her infatuation for Bob, she caught what was then known as a social disease.’ Conjunction – ‘He went swimming, then he put on his trunks.’
Noun – ‘That was then, this is now.’
Adjective – ‘She approached the then Prime Minister and punched him on the nose.’
‘Than’ is a conjunction and a preposition that introduces comparison.
Conjunction – ‘It is better to have done that, than never to have done this at all.’
Preposition – ‘Jenny was bigger in all her proportions than was Jane.’
The picture? I like to give a little colour to my posts, and Zemanta, my usual source for these, revealed nothing relevant, so enjoy the French countryside.