"sooner than later"

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Tue Sep 6 14:28:10 UTC 2011

Larry Horn on September 4:

I've noticed the "sooner than later" version often enough to conclude that for many it's quite standard.


if so, then we can hope to find people who judge "sooner rather than later" to be less acceptable than "sooner than later" because it's wordy (Omit Needless Words!).

in song:

"Sooner Than Later" [by Drake]

I forgot to call you on your birthday
You swear your the last thing on my mind, yeah
There is nothing I could do to fix it
(All you ever asked me for was time, whoa)

When the lights don't glow the same way that they used to
And I finally get a moment to myself
I will realize you were everything I'm missing
And you tell me you're in love with someone else
So can you do me a favor if pull it together make it sooner than later
We won't be here forever and I realized I waited too long but please don't move on

[music here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dbs4XK-dk2U ]

and in the sports news yesterday (about football):

Era of the super conference might come sooner than later
By Kelly Whiteside, USA TODAY


and on August 15 (again about football):

NFL expects female officials sooner than later
By Doug Farrar


then there's Paul Brians's advice:

The traditional expression “sooner rather than later” is now commonly abbreviated to the less logical “sooner than later.” The shorter form is very popular, but is more likely to cause raised eyebrows than the similarly abbreviated expression “long story short.”


a simply enormous number of hits.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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