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Consider the sentence

E-books are on the rise, but they haven't suppressed paper books though.

This usage seems to be quite common, but when I learned English I was taught to use "however" where I now read "though".
My questions on this use of "though" are:

Is this a new trend?
Is it restricted to American English?
Is "though" considered more colloquial than "however" ?

And on a syntactic level:
Do you put a comma before "though"?

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In any case, though and however do not mean the same, do not compare for which is better. –  Kris May 3 '13 at 12:13
    
Thanks for your detailed comment, @Cerberus: I agree that adding "but" to "though" is redundant. I would be quite happy to upvote your remarks if you cared to transform them into an answer. –  Georges Elencwajg May 3 '13 at 14:15
    
@GeorgesElencwajg: OK done! –  Cerberus May 3 '13 at 14:22
    
@Cerberus: OK upvoted! –  Georges Elencwajg May 3 '13 at 18:34
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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You probably shouldn't use both but and though together like that, because you're saying the same thing twice; both words mark the clause as antithetical to what came before. So you should remove one or the other.

If you decide to use though, you need a comma before it.


I don't know whether it is new; it's just incorrect.

I don't think it is related to American English; I would simply interpret it as a typo, not as a conscious choice.

Both though and however are a bit informal at the end; though is better. The position of however in formal prose is rather at the beginning of a sentence, or after the first constituent.

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The only reasonable answer to this question is that you must DELETE *though* because it doesn't belong there: it duplicates the function of but. However would be equally ungrammatical in the sentence:

E-books are on the rise, but they haven't suppressed paper books, however.

This sentence is grammatically incorrect.

It's not a new trend. EFL students have been doing it for eons. It's not just an American solecism. All native Anglophones have been infected by the Solecism iVirus ("i" for ignorance). It's endemic and epidemic wherever English speakers gather.

On a syntactic level:

Put a period before "though" and then erase "though".

Common = vulgar, crude, rude, inferior, low-grade, mean, poor, second-class, second-rate, shoddy.

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Well, this is a hierarchical community with democratic leanings. Some moderators delete my comments because they're offended & have the power to erase; users have the power to upvote & downvote (I'm always prepared to accept the consequences of my speech acts or I'd be terrified to say what I thought); & I have to say that nobody chastened a user who responded to one of my posts the other day with "Really? That's stupid." Nor was I offended. We reptilian-brain‌​-hugging limbics are driven. –  user21497 May 3 '13 at 10:49
    
We can't delete what we don't see. If it's not flagged, it's invisible to us. If enough users flag something as rude or offensive, it will be deleted automatically (without mod intervention), so the community also has the power to erase. –  KitFox May 3 '13 at 12:01
    
@KitFox: Well, somebody's been deleting some of my comments. But this isn't my website, so I can't really complain a whole lot except to say that a major problem with deciding what's "rude", "offensive", "unsavory", or "inappropriate here" isn't always an easy job. This isn't Usenet or Google Groups, & I don't want it to become that, but it's neither an egalitarian nor an unbiased forum either. –  user21497 May 3 '13 at 12:26
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I suppose it's easier to delete everything that's flagged than to accept the basic premise of the contemporary idea of "freedom of speech": The first principle of a free society is an untrammeled flow of words in an open forum. Adlai Stevenson; Free speech is intended to protect the controversial and even outrageous word; and not just comforting platitudes too mundane to need protection. Colin Powell; Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself. Salman Rushdie. All EL&U users are equal, but some EL&U users are more equal than others. –  user21497 May 3 '13 at 12:31
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I hear you, and I think this would make a good and interesting Meta topic, if you care to post one. –  KitFox May 3 '13 at 12:36
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I thought it might be sensible to list the various acceptable alternatives:

E-books are on the rise, but they haven't yet totally eliminated the demand for paper books.

(Al)though E-books are on the rise, they haven't yet totally eliminated the demand for paper books.

E-books are on the rise, (al)though they haven't yet totally eliminated the demand for paper books.

E-books are on the rise; they haven't yet totally eliminated the demand for paper books, though.

E-books are on the rise; however, they haven't yet totally eliminated the demand for paper books.

E-books are on the rise; they haven't yet, however, totally eliminated the demand for paper books.

E-books are on the rise; they haven't yet totally eliminated the demand for paper books, however.

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Thanks for the list; it doesn't quite answer my question, though :-) –  Georges Elencwajg May 3 '13 at 12:25
    
@GeorgesElencwajg: In answer to your question: No. There is not a new trend of substituting "though" for "however." Check out the Ngram at the following web page: books.google.com/ngrams/… –  rhetorician May 3 '13 at 13:06
    
Ah, thanks a lot, rhetorician. –  Georges Elencwajg May 3 '13 at 14:12
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