Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: *sooner rather than later.

*sooner rather than later. Not only is this idiom redundant; it isn't entirely logical because the comparison is never completed. Sooner and not later than what? "Soon" is usually an improvement — e.g.: o "If so, that could dampen fears that the Federal Reserve will act sooner, rather than later, [read 'soon'] to boost interest rates again." William Goodwin, "Jobs Report Fails to Shake Up Markets," Am. Banker, 10 Oct. 1994, at 48. o "They argue that subjects such as Jerusalem are so central to the debate that they should be dealt with sooner rather than later [read 'soon']." Rebecca Trounson, "Ready to Tackle the Tough Issues, Netanyahu Says," L.A. Times, 8 Oct. 1996, at A1. Language-Change Index — *"sooner rather than later": Stage 4. *Invariably inferior forms. ——————– Quotation of the Day: "If you begin a sentence with 'and' or 'but' (and you should occasionally), don't put a comma after it. You want to speed up your prose with those words, and the comma would simply cancel out any gain." John R. Trimble, Writing with Style 81 (1975)
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