Submitted by lef on April 11, 2011

and so...

I seem to have developed a writing tick of using “and so” rather than “therefore” or “accordingly.” I like the flow of “and so,” but I have been discouraged from using it. I’m curious about what others think of “and so.”

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Olen: "There is no correct use of "and so" in Standard American English."

Absolute nonsense. If "and so to bed" was good enough for Peyps, it is good enough for you (and other Americans. All the examples you give of uses of "and so" are perfectly correct (except for some punctuation errors) and can be used in formal English. As Dyske says, this is a purely stylistic issue.

However, lef, the habit you have developed is a tic, not a "tick".

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Olen, you made that rule up out of thin air. Also, your "therefore" needs to be preceded by a semicolon, for "therefore" is not a coordinating conjunction; rather, it's a type of adverb.

But we shouldn't use "and so." Just use "so" alone; it's a coordinating conjunction. A comma precedes it, but none follows it - just like other coordinating conjunctions - and it's one of the c.c.'s that can begin a sentence, though many teachers think it can't.

It's also quite a good word, don't you think?

Using "therefore" and "thus" repetitively is more clunky and in my opinion a greater sin than using "so" repetitively.

"Tic" not "tick." Agreed.

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There is no correct use of "and so" in Standard American English. Using "and so" may be colloquial, or an empty phrase that adds no value to an idea.

Examples

Colloquial "and so"
Bob enjoyed the movie and so did Helen.
Revised
Bob and Helen enjoyed the movie.

Empty phrase
Heat causes a physical change in protein structure, and so, egg whites harden when cooked.
Revised
Heat causes a physical change in protein structure, therefore, egg whites harden when cooked.
More concise
Egg whites harden when cooked because heat causes a physical change in protein structure.

To be more concise, try thinking 'if - then', 'if - else', or 'while - occurs' instead of 'if - then - so'.

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And so?

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"And so". Sounds like poetry and historical play like stuff that the modern world lost/forgot when video games were invented. My guess would be like this:

My will is bent and broken, and so is lost.

And so seems to be useful when one is combining two sentences that lead to one sentence, bridging two subjects of whatever into one sentence. "And so" is a tough one to figure out, especially in this day in age where we rather go to Wal-Mart to buy a fish instead of going out on a lake and catch on.

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@TheYellowRabbit - 'John loves to dance and so does Marie' sounds a lot better to me than 'John loves to dance, and Marie loves to dance.' which has unnecessary repetition and sounds unnatural (who would say it?). In fact we teach our EFL students to use 'so do/does' in cases like this - this is known as substitution.

There is only one conjunction here - 'and'. In the sentence 'And so we went to bed', 'so' is indeed a conjunction, followed by a full verb. But in 'and so does Marie' etc, 'so' is an adverb followed by the auxiliary verb 'does', which replaces 'loves to dance' (substitution).

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Adverb + auxiliary + noun / pronoun

As to its propriety, the expression 'and so do / doth' + pronoun was used at least twelve times by Shakespeare, including:

"You love sack, and so do I;"
"My hair doth stand an end to hear her curses". - "And so doth mine."
"She for an Edward weeps, and so do I:"

'and so did' + noun / pronoun appears in several classics:

"and with that I fired again among the amazed wretches, and so did Friday", Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

"Then every body got down; and so did Mr. Thornton", Mrs Gaskell - North and South
"And King Arthur set his love greatly upon her, and so did she upon him", Thomas Malory - Le Morte d'Arthur

"She passed through, and so did Bougwan, and so did I", Henry Riuder Haggard - King Solomon's Mines

It also appears frequently in quality publications:

"Disposable income grew twice as fast as the economy in the 2000s, and so did consumption" - The Economist

"Crucially, the debt-ceiling agreement remains in place, and so do the two trillion dollars plus of budget cuts it entails." - The New Yorker

"For 36 days after the election, the results in Florida remained in doubt, and so did the winner of the presidency." - Washington Post

And it also appears in academic papers (found through Google Scholar)

"Non-smokers married to heavy smokers had an increased risk of lung
cancer, and so did subjects whose mothers smoked"

"Tom Paine and Condorcet used them to the end, and
so did the authors of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man"

"toxicity declined and so did the number of identified
allelochemicals detected in the mixture of soil and residues"

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Double conjunction + clause

And here are a couple with the double conjunction (notice the full verbs - 'did not preclude' and 'did not profit'):

"A defendant's consent to a confiscation order which had been given under a mistake of law was not binding and so did not preclude an appeal " - The Times

"He made the invention in 1892 but failed to get a patent and so did not profit from his ingenuity." The Independent

And some double conjunctions from academic papers:

"We made fewer comparisons and so did not need to adopt
such stringent measures"

"However, it is at least a possibility that non-respondents just
did not experience any of the listed physical responses to music, and so did not
consider it worth their while to co-operate with the research"

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It doesn't look to me as though you have anything to worry about with your students.

Finally, I don't think there's any necessity to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction when both clauses are as short as thee ones in your example sentence are.

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@Hal121205 - If you're so concerned about extraneous language, why don't you just "do" a web search, like the rest of us? And why should you be so concerned to find a definitive answer? If you don't like it, you don't like it, end of. But lay off the rest of us - don't do this, don't do that! I mean, really!

@patty-c - "We shouldn't use 'and so' ". What on earth rule says that?

There's nothing wrong with "and so", unless it's repeated a lot; but that goes for any expression. And it wasn't only good enough for Pepys, as njtt says, but for a lot of others, beside.

- 'Next Boy!' said Alice, passing on to Tweedledee, though she felt quite certain he would only shout out 'Contrariwise!' and so he did. (Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll)

- He had never confided in them or shared his hopes or feelings and so they saw no marked change in his behavior - (E.L.Doctorow, Ragtime)

- Which thing when Judas perceived, he went forth to meet him, and so he smote him, and slew him - 1 Maccabees 3 (among many examples from the King James Bible)

MWDEU - "Bierce 1909 objected to 'and so, but modern books generally ignore it. It is, of course, in perfectly good use'"
http://books.google.com/books?id=2yJusP0vrdgC&a...

"And so it goes" (I'm thinking KV rather than BJ).

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I have the same exact problem! If I write without paying conscious attention to using "so", I end up with a whole bunch of them. So, I have to always read through my text specifically to revise my usage of "so". I think I naturally think this way. That is, my mind always structures thoughts into "if - then - so", or that I only have that type of thoughts. Even when I replace "so" with "therefore", "thus", etc., they get quite repetitive also. I think this is just how some people's brains are.

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Thanks so much Dyske. Is the "and so" so horrible?

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It is certainly not a grammatical issue; it's a stylistic issue, SO, it's not wrong. It just does not sound good when you repeat any word over and over.

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George Bush is an old so and so. :-))

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haha i have the same repeating certain words(but) in a 'conversation' problem
it's jus that instead of "and so"
i use the words "You_Know" or "Like-You-Know"
like alot... no matter how hard I try and it also happens when I get nervous or especially when i've got nothing to say xD

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@TheYellowRobot - I've realised that we can also have a result clause with just an auxiliary and no main verb, but in this case we couldn't invert the subject and auxiliary:

'John signed up for dance classes, and so did Marie.' - adverb 'so' - inversion - meaning simply 'and Marie did (so) too' - no idea of cause and result.

'John signed up for dance classes, and so Marie did too.' - conjunction 'so' - no inversion - meaning - 'therefore, Marie did too.' - result clause.

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I've heard the phrase 'and so' so much lately it's bothering me quite a bit. I performed a Web search for the term and I am unable to find anything that states definitively that it is used incorrectly in most cases. Visual Thesaurus treats it as a legitimate term, but I think it is grossly overused. People often use "and so" when all they really need is "so."

I think in most cases the "and" in phrases like "and then" and "and so" is extraneous. "So" is synonymous with "thus," "therefore," "indeed," and "then." In most cases, it is more appropriate to leave the "and" off of words like this. Sentences using these words often go like this: "Such and such happened or is true; so, this follows." There is no "and" necessary to make that a complete thought. Don't use "and so" in these cases.

Creative writing, on the other hand, is a different animal, well-known for breaking all the rules and offending sensibilities. :-)

I encourage you to read patty-c's post, above, also.

Down with "and so!" (in most cases - Travis's usage example is fine, imho)

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Thank you Warsaw Will for giving a well referenced answer. I too had the same concern while creating poetic verses of humble nature. 'And so' comes naturally while writing emotionally, and grammatical rules kill emotions and creativity.

A simple example of your mind knowing when you are right is the decision that the second of the following two sentences is write, though both are senseless:
1. Well sleep green sentences.
2. Green sentences sleep well.

PS. Please do not correct my grammar.

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I've come across this in student writing, and it is potentially a coordinating conjunction issue.

For example:

"John loves to dance, and Marie loves to dance."

But this is troublesome to me:

"John loves to dance and so does Marie."

Is it not a double coordinating conjunction, requiring a comma, introducing a second independent clause?

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@TheYellowRobot - some people make silly typos, and so do I, apparently. Sorry for getting your name wrong, and Rider Haggard's, for that matter.

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Nice work, Warsaw Will!

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I love the sound of "and so".

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Yes @ lucy lenn. Perhaps when you were a little girl someone you loved used to tell you this story:
We were all sitting around the campfire, and the Captain said to me, "Antonio, tell us a story!" And so I began ...
We were all sitting around the campfire, and the Captain said to me, "Antonio, tell us a story!" And so I began ...
We were all sitting around the campfire.....

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