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I would appreciate it, if someone readily explain the difference between these. As, I yet to get what the first one means precisely, I had to broach such a discussion.

UPDATED:

The world was created in 7 days, or so The Bible says.

The world was created in 7 days, as The Bible says.

The world was created in 7 days, or so-called The Bible says.

Thanks in advance

  • 2
    You need to write those as “the Bible” whichever one you choose, with lowercase article. Only capitalize an article if it actually part of an actual title, like “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, not merely because it is being applied to a proper noun: English does not have proper articles. That’s why it’s the United Kingdom with a lowercase article, and infinitely many more. You should also write out the number seven. – tchrist Oct 21 '14 at 19:49
  • I'd always thought that the world was created in six days, according to Genesis, (or if you prefer the Old Testament) and that God rested on the seventh day. – Mari-Lou A Oct 22 '14 at 19:18
  • I mean if you really must talk about the Bible get your facts straight :) biblehub.com/exodus/20-11.htm – Mari-Lou A Oct 22 '14 at 19:21
  • @Mari-LouA Depends which Bible you read. – Araucaria - Not here any more. Oct 22 '14 at 23:03
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The world was created in 7 days, or so The Bible says.

"Or so" is condescending, and implies that the Bible is wrong. If we were to be civil, we might say "The world was created in 7 days, according to the bible".

The world was created in 7 days, as The Bible says.

This is authoritative. The reader is led to believe "it is so". The Bible says it is so, so it must be.

The world was created in 7 days, or so-called The Bible says.

This is essentially the same as the first expression, but with extra "I've had too much to drink at the bar" levels of assertiveness.

:)

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  • I think you'd definitely have had too much to drink if you were a native speaker and you came out with the last one. You might just about get away with "...as the so-called Bible says", but even that would rely on speaker and audience simultaneously assuming both the proper noun and the figurative "ultimate authoritative text" senses of bible. – FumbleFingers Oct 22 '14 at 21:08
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The world was created in 7 days, or so the Bible says.

is almost equivalent to

The world was created in 7 days. At least the bible says so.

You're implying that the Bible is the only source (or one of few sources) that says so, and that you're not convinced.

The world was created in 7 days, as The Bible says.

This means that we believe in what the Bible says. And it says that the world was created in 7 day. And so it was then.

The world was created in 7 days, or so-called The Bible says.

This sentence is incomplete. One way to complete it would be

The world was created in 7 days, or so the so-called Bible says.

This is the same as your first sentence, except that you've added the epithet "so-called" to the Bible. In one sense, "so-called X" is used when one thinks that the name X, although widely accepted, is for some reason inadequate for the entity it is supposed to denote. Whether or not "the so-called Bible" makes any sense is up to debate.

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See @Arsen Y.M.'s answer for the correct way to write these sentences. However, he hasn't explained the distinction in their meanings.

The phrase or so [someone or something] says usually means that the claim is being made by that source, but you don't necessarily believe it. E.g. The world was created in 7 days, or so The Bible says.

The phase as [someone or something] says usually means that the speaker believes the statement, and is citing the source as corroboration.

The phrase the so-called [something] is usually used with a descriptive term that's often applied to something or someone, but suggests that there's some doubt whether the description is appropriate. I don't think it makes much sense to say the so-called Bible, because Bible is just a name, not a description. A better example would be

as Barack Obama, the so-called "leader of the free world", says.

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  • I've removed the earlier comment and reversed my downvote. But unless I missed something, it seems to me @Arsen's answer does explain the difference between #1 and #2 - and it usefully addresses the unrelated problem with #3. Whatever - I'm now in the curious position of having upvoted all three answers to a question which in the final analysis I think should have been on English Language Learners in the first place. – FumbleFingers Oct 22 '14 at 21:29
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Both your examples are wrong,

He has committed a murder, or so the newspaper says.

would be fine. Or you could say

He has committed a murder as the newspaper says.

As you see, the clause with as introduces some ground for continuation, it gives some context, but it is not a complete sentence itself. so, on the other hand, can build a complete sentence without any continuation, e.g.

I like coffee. So do I.

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