Recently, I've had a discussion with someone regarding how to know how to choose among the words "this" and "such" in written text, but could not find any usage style guidelines on this topic. Basically, are these always compatible (i.e., one can be used in place of the other), or is it preferable to use one in place of the other in some situations?
For instance, is it best to use "this" in literary words, and "such" in scientific works such science articles and law manuscripts? Personally, when I hear the word "this", I see it as contrasting with the word "that", and I always envision someone pointing at something.
On the other hand, the word "such" seems more abstract, and thus more appropriate when referring to intangible things. I would also consider the word "this" more appropriate when referring to something tangible, such as an article, or to the main topic of conversation, whereas I would tend to use "such" more often in longer sentences where it can be used to refer to subtopics, perhaps in conjunction with the word "this" serving the same purpose, so that the two can be contrasted.
I wonder whether there are also cases where it would be better to choose one word rather than the other, and what the criteria would be for such choice in such cases.

closed as off-topic by WS2, FumbleFingers, Edwin Ashworth, Misti, Chenmunka Feb 3 '15 at 11:35

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    You need to provide some example sentences contrasting one usage against another. It is very difficult, without examples to understand what you mean. – WS2 Jan 30 '15 at 22:05
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    I'd have thought the difference was pretty obvious - this means exactly and only the thing just referenced, but such applies to this and others like it. – FumbleFingers Jan 30 '15 at 22:12
  • @FumbleFingers Just finished my answer and seen your comment. – Dan Jan 30 '15 at 22:18
  • You need to further rule out the 'so much' sense of 'such': We had such fun. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 30 '15 at 23:55

This refers to something specific -

this book is a good read

this happiness I feel

Such contextualises the 'something' with similar 'somethings'

such books (i.e. books like this) always sell well before Christmas

such anger (i.e. anger like this) will end badly

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