From Bahrych, Merino. Legal Writing and Analysis in a Nutshell 5th edition (2017). 343:

as. Do not use the conjunction as when you mean “since,” “because,” “when,” or “while.” Its broad and vague meanings can create confusion. For example, As a potential work stoppage threatened to block the opening of school, the arbitrators revised the wording of the contract. Does as mean “when,” “because,” or “while”?

https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=as doesn't answer my question. Incontrovertibly,

“since,” “because,” “when,” or “while”

are NOT completely synonymous. For example "since" can mean "because", but "because" can't mean "since".

More Examples. General Electric is the only company that has retained its place on the DJIA under its original name since because the index's inception. When While did you last get your teeth cleaned?

  • 1
    As did many English words. – Hot Licks Nov 14 '20 at 2:19
  • 1
    As likely as not. – Xanne Nov 14 '20 at 5:43


As adv. & conj.

Origin: A variant or alteration of another lexical item. Etymon: also adv.

Etymology: Originally the same word as also adv., now distinguished in form in the senses below.

The current form of the headword is the result of the progressive phonetic reduction of Old English eall swa , which originated as an intensification of so adv. and conj. (see also adv. and compare Germanic parallels cited at that entry). This intensive formation was used in Old English in all of the main historical senses of so adv. and conj., appearing in correlative constructions expressing comparison of equivalence, most commonly as an antecedent adverb in a main clause (e.g. eallswa beorht swa gold : compare sense A.) but also as a relative conjunction in the subordinate clause (e.g. eallswa beorht eallswa gold : compare sense B.), and outside such constructions as a simple uncorrelated demonstrative adverb (see Old English examples at also adv.).

  • 2
    a header "OED:" does unfortunately not suffice to satisfy copyright law requirements. And a simple copy-paste not really answer the question (which might be a tad too broad answer in one sitting). We don't see definitions A or B implied in the text, nor anything about so, which is a whole paradigmatic family of related and unrelated meanings. Also, swa mentioned in the first line does not strictly belong to *so but *swe as far as I can tell. This distinction had always been confusing, as can be infered as wiktionary leaves a cautionary remark about Homeric hos, or at Latin si, or... – vectory Nov 14 '20 at 18:49
  • ... the fact that all cannot be easily derived from *h2el- without confronting the flipside of this question, how could *h2el- develop so many diverse meanings such as seen in old, and aliance (hint: it couldn't). Last but not least, how is this to be distinguished from ea (IIRC) that is possibly the first element in ever. – vectory Nov 14 '20 at 18:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.