Writing Tip # 72 – “As Such” does not mean “Therefore”

Greetings readers, writers, and orangutans with internet.

I see this one a lot in news articles, non-fiction books, and corporate documents … People using “as such” in place of Therefore, Thus, or As a result. That’s not what it means.

Example of such misuse from a fictional sports article:

“Luigi McGregor leads the National League with 73 home runs this season. As such, he is due for a substantial raise on his current salary of six bucks an hour.”

The problem with this construction is that the first sentence explains what Luigi did, not what he is.

“As such” is another way of saying, “Since he is that thing I just described.” Therefore, the imaginary writer of the above sports article is telling us that Luigi is either the National League, 73 home runs, or a baseball season. I guess it’s our choice.

To use “as such” correctly, the writer would have to say this:

“Luigi McGregor is the National League leader with 73 home runs this season. As such, he is due for a substantial raise on his current salary of six bucks an hour.”

Here, Luigi is described as the home run leader in the NL. In other words, my topic (Luigi) is a thing (NL home run leader). As such a thing, he is due for a raise.

More examples:

Bruce Springsteen is one of the most popular recording artists in America. As such, he should easily be able to sell out Giants Stadium.

Godzilla is a 200-foot-tall monster that spits atomic fire and tramples cities. As such, he has a hard time meeting women.

“Therefore” would have been acceptable in all these instances as well, but it is not interchangeable with “As such.” The latter only works when a topic is described as a thing, be it one of America’s most popular recording artists or a 200-foot tall monster.

_______________________________

Thanks for reading. Next week I’ll explain how to wash your basement with a live goldfish.

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11 responses to “Writing Tip # 72 – “As Such” does not mean “Therefore”

  • Bryan Edmondson

    Hi Eric, it is good to see you again. Evidently I unsubscribed to PFC emails so I have missed you lately. I will head over to Baker Street and subscribe again. Hope that you are well.

    I think, as such I am.
    Bryan

  • nrhatch

    Eric Baker is interesting to orangutans everywhere.
    As such, he deserves a gold medal for grammar . . . and a Ba~Na~Na. 😉

  • vaweber

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for stopping in to check out my blog! I’m not a grammar Nazi, but certain things really do get under my skin…. Have you considered a post on mis-use of the word “of?” Or how “fixin’ to” doesn’t imply fixing of anything? ;0) Happy Trails, ~Valerie

    • ericjbaker

      Hi, Valerie. Are you talking about “could of” by any chance? That makes me cringe as well.

      I’m not really a grammar Nazi either, but I don’t mind encouraging people to express written communication in a more articulate manner. It helps them in the long run. On the other hand, if a friend is pouring her heart out to me, I certainly won’t interrupt her in the middle and say, “Perhaps he dumped you because you end so many sentences with a preposition. Have you considered that possibility?”

      I doubt many WordPress bloggers need writing help from me, given the high level of skill and accomplishment out there. These posts are more for the amusement of people who already know this stuff, though I hope non-writers who earnestly want to learn something stumble in from time to time.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  • kk

    I wish there was a like button. This is exactly the type of post I like 😀

    • ericjbaker

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. You’ve clicked the like button in my heart.*

      *I apologize for the corniness of that response, but it’s past my bedtime, and I tend to get sappy when I’m sleepy.

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