"as such" or "therefore"

11

3

Additional calculations suggest that teacher effects on college going and wages may be as much as three times larger than that predicted based on test scores alone. As such, more than half of teachers who would improve long run outcomes may not be identified using test scores alone.
(The Boston Globe)

Can one use as such at the beginning of a sentence as to say therefore in the same way the journalist did in the piece above?

user114

Posted 2013-02-18T13:33:13.607

Reputation:

2This is common enough that I wouldn't think twice if I read it, but I don't know whether or not it's accepted as standard usage. For what it's worth, I'd never use "as such" that way. – snailplane – 2013-02-18T22:41:41.490

Answers

5

In this case it's not grammatically incorrect, but poor style. "Therefore" binds cause and effect. "As such" binds subjects.

This would be correct:

Tim had an accident, totalled the car and broke his leg. As such, he's not in condition to go to work.

It is clear the other clause is speaking about Tim.

Bad:

Tim had an accident, totalled the car and broke his leg. As such, I can't lend it to you because it's totally junk now.

This is poor style, it's not clear you're talking about car. "As such" would normally apply first to Tim, then "As such, I" would seem that you are not in condition to lend the car, and in the end only the it clarifies it's the car that is "such as in the first sentence"

Rephrasing into:

Tim had an accident, totalled the car and broke his leg, so I can't lend it to you because it's totally junk now.

Tim had an accident, totalled the car and broke his leg. Therefore, I can't lend it to you because it's totally junk now.

makes the sentence okay. "Therefore" (or plain, much less fancy ", so") connects the cause - the accident, with the effect - your inability to lend the car.

In your specific case, the first sentence has several subjects: calculations, teachers, effects, college going, wages (both real and predicted), and test scores. Then comes "as such, the teachers" - and you need to backtrace: "What was the teachers' situation from the first sentence? I thought it was about the calculations, or the effects. So, teachers again?"

This might be remedied by either using "therefore", "as result", "so", or rephrasing to make the teachers a clear, primary subject:

Teachers, as additional calculations suggest, have effects on college going and wages, that may be as much as three times larger than predicted based on test scores alone. As such, more than half of the teachers...

In this case you know what is the focus subject, and don't need to hunt for it when using "as such".

SF.

Posted 2013-02-18T13:33:13.607

Reputation: 9 810

This answer is incorrect. "As such" means "in that capacity." (It needs a "direct antecedent" to be used correctly.) – Phil Esra – 2017-06-03T17:46:51.590

The example above is also wrong. It's tricky--your best option is to avoid it.

The word "such" functions as a pronoun that refers back to a previously used "antecedent" noun.

Example from http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwriting/2006/04/incorrect_use_o.html: "She is the committee chair. As such, she is responsible for scheduling the meetings."

Also see: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/data/faq/topics/Usage/faq0033.html http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2010/09/as-such.html https://painintheenglish.com/case/5591

– Phil Esra – 2017-06-03T17:58:19.977

6Personally, I don't find your first example valid either. To me, as such must refer back to an earlier-mentioned categorisation, not simply to a noun (such as "Tim"). For me, it would have to be something more like *Tim had an accident, totalled the car and is now unable to walk. As such, he's not in any condition to go to work.* – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2013-02-18T17:57:57.297