Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: therefore (2).

therefore (2). Part A: Run-on Sentences. One should take care not to create run-on sentences by joining two independent clauses with “therefore” — e.g.: “Byfield had hired him for a ridiculous reason: ‘He grew up in New York, therefore I liked him.'” Kenneth Whyte, “Let Byfields Be Byfields,” Saturday Night, 1 Feb. 1996, at 15 (mispunctuating an oral comment). (A possible revision: “He grew up in New York — therefore, I liked him.” Or: “He grew up in New York; therefore, I liked him.: Or: “He grew up in New York. Therefore, I liked him.”) Part B: And “therefor.” “Therefore” (stress on first syllable), an adverbial conjunction, means “for that reason, consequently.” It’s the usual word. “Therefor” (stress on last syllable), adv., means “for that” or “for it” {he showed charity and was finally rewarded therefor} {the recognition therefor}. Some writers mistake the two terms, especially in law (where “therefor” appears most frequently). As Eric Partridge noted, “many quite good writers do not even know of the existence of therefor” (Usage & Abusage at 332). Maybe that’s because it’s legal jargon. If the good writers that Partridge mentions start overusing it, they’ll risk no longer being called “good.” Part C: For “thereby.” “Therefore” shouldn’t be confused, as it sometimes is, with “thereby” (= by that means; in that way) — e.g.: “The bank recently completed negotiations to offer a student lending package in conjunction with Columbia University in New York, therefore [read ‘thereby’] providing student loans to college students at an expensive school.” Marian King, “Banks Given More Incentives to Offer Loans for Students,” Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale), 1 Jan. 1997, at 14. Language-Change Index — “therefore” misused for “thereby”: Stage 1. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “The best fiction does not arise out of an idea at all, but the idea, or argument, arises out of the human elements and characters as they naturally develop.” Letter of Maxwell E. Perkins (3 Oct. 1944) (as quoted in Editors on Editing 297, 298 (Gerald Gross ed., rev. ed. 1985)).
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