As and As From
From The ABC Of Plain Words by Sir Ernest Gowers

As has the reputation of being overworked by officials. Dr. Ballard writes:

The word as has acquired a wide vogue in official circles. Wherever as can be put in, in it goes. A man in the public service used to draw his salary from a certain date; now he draws it as from a certain date. Time was when officials would refer to "the relationship between one department and another" ; now they call it "the relationship as between one department and another". Agenda papers too often include as an item: "to consider as to the question of". If this sort of interpolation between the verb and its object were extended to ordinary speech, a man would no longer "eat his dinner" but "eat as to his dinner"; or, to make the parallel complete, "eat as to the diet of his dinner".

There is reason in saying, of a past date, "these allowances will be payable as from the 1st January last", but there is none in saying, of a future date, "these allowances will cease to be payable as from the 1st July next"."On the 1st July" is all that is needed. The phrase "as and from", not unknown, is mere gibberish.

There are one or two other ways in which as may give trouble:

(i) It must not be used as a preposition, on the analogy of but. See BUT. You may say " no one knows the full truth but me", but you must not say "no one knows the truth as fully as me". It must be "as fully as I". The first as is an adverb and the second a conjunction.

(ii) We say "as good as ever" and "better than ever". But should we use as or than, or both, if we say "as good or better"? The natural thing to say is "as good or better than ever" ignoring the as that as good logically needs, and you commit no great crime if that is what you do. But if you want both to run no risk of offending the purists and to avoid the prosy "as good as or better than", you can write "as good as ever or better". Thus you could change:

Pamphlets have circulated as widely, and been not less influential, than those published in this volume,


Pamphlets have circulated as widely as those published in this volume, and have been not less influential.

(iii) Do not use the exotic qua in places where a simple as would do as well. You will be suspected with reason of showing off. As is all that is needed in :

It is requested that the Local Authority will say whether the Local Authority holds the fund qua trustee or otherwise.

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