Grammar Rant: The (Mis)use of Contradictory Words

Want some more translated porn? Too bad, because y’all gonna get a well-needed lesson in grammar today.

In recent months—and in many months theretofore, but only now have I had time to get sufficiently angry—I’ve witnessed errant, erratic, erroneous usages of certain words that express contradiction/contrast in the English language. Allow me to launch vitriolic criticism at everyone, then offer some constructive criticism so that these infamies I speak of shall never again occur. I’m sure the Oxford comma is about to become universal by my efforts, so this endeavor should be no less successful.

NOTE: Example sentences in green in this article are correct, those in red are incorrect, and those in neither serve some other purpose. Also, there is a sort of tl;dr at the end for the minority of you who don’t have time to set aside for grammar.

The four words under examination today are “but,” “though,” “although,” and “however,” but primarily the latter two. There are other words of this nature, such as “despite” and “whereas,” but they don’t quite tie in to the following complexity. I will begin with the factual basis of my outrage:


The word “however” is an adverb and nothing else, and the word “although” is a conjunction and nothing else. Incidentally, “but” in this context is a conjunction and nothing else (but works slightly differently from “although”), and “though” is both a conjunction and an adverb.

Why is all this important? Because we often torture our eyes with such sentences as:

“I like pancakes, however I also think waffles are great.”

While breakfast aficionados would agree that the semantics of the above sentence are correct, the grammar is not. The word “however” is being used as a conjunction, connecting two independent clauses, and as I’m sure you recall, “however” is an adverb alone. As a rule of thumb, if you can change the word “however” to a conjunction that connects two independent clauses, like so:

“I like pancakes, and I also think waffles are great.”

then the use of “however” is grammatically incorrect, because the above sentence implies that the word in that position is to be a conjunction. Here are some examples of correct usages of the word “however”:

“Jeff likes pancakes. However, I prefer waffles.”

“Jeff likes pancakes; I, however, prefer waffles.”

“Jeff likes pancakes. I smacked him across the face, however, and asserted my preference for waffles.”

This seems simple, but luckily we have something to complicate it. The word “however” has a completely different meaning from its use as a contradictory word, which OAD defines as “in whatever way; regardless of how” or “to whatever extent.” For example:

However much you try, you will not convince me that pancakes are superior to waffles.”

While this form of the word “however” is also an adverb, its grammatical function is slightly different from that of the contradictory “however.” I won’t force you to wrap your mind around this concept, but all you need to do is recognize which form of the word you’re using, and in the case of the contradictory “however,” delineate it with a comma or commas. If you don’t employ commas regularly, then:

However the verdict is…”

a reader won’t know what the meaning used in the above phrase is. You will probably be able to determine it from the rest of the sentence, but oftentimes there can be quite a distance to go until you reach that part of the sentence. Moreover, there probably exists some sort of hypothetical sentence structure that I don’t feel like thinking about in which a full sentence can be ambiguous due to the two meanings of “however” commaless.

And now onto “although”! Wait, I just realized that I’m not being vitriolic enough. Time for an intermission.


The word “although” is only a conjunction, as stated earlier. So, just as “however” is often used erroneously as a conjunction, “although” is often used erroneously as an adverb:

“I love pancakes. Although I do like me some waffles.”

“I should cook pancakes. Although, waffles would work too.”

No. The above sentences would be best off with “however” instead (so long as you make sure to add a comma in the first one). Or you could change them so that “although” actually does function as a conjunction:

“I love pancakes, although I do like me some waffles.”

“I should cook pancakes, although waffles would work too.”

This seems marginally demanding on the mind, so I have a solution for the two of you who are lazy but read this shizzle anyway. Recall that the word “though” is both an adverb and a conjunction, so you can use it in times of confusion:

“Bob likes pancakes, though I wouldn’t be surprised if he were really a filthy waffle lover.”

“Bob likes pancakes. Though, I wouldn’t be surprised if he were really a filthy waffle lover.”

Just remember to place commas where appropriate. For example, let’s say you neglect one here:

“Bob likes pancakes. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if he were really a filthy waffle lover…”

As in that sentence earlier with “however,” I have an ellipsis at the end because if somebody were known to always neglect commas after the word “though,” then we wouldn’t know whether it’s being used an an adverb or a conjunction from the beginning of the sentence. It could be either:

“Bob likes pancakes. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if he were really a filthy waffle lover.”


“Bob likes pancakes. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if he were really a filthy waffle lover, I think he’s a loyal pancake supporter.”

The first sentence uses the word “though” as an adverb, but it is only when we get to the end of the sentence that we realize it. The second sentence uses the word how it should be used judging by the absence of the comma: as a substitute for “although.” To recap, adverbs should be safely nested in their own commas, whereas conjunctions don’t need to be.

By the way, we aren’t done with “although” yet. One might assume that it works the same way as “but” due to the fact that each of the words, as I mentioned earlier, is a conjunction and nothing else. However, unlike “although,” “but” can’t be used at the beginning of a sentence—at least, not in the same way.”Although” and “but” both imply that there is more than one independent clause. However, “although” can come before the first independent clause or the second, whereas “but” can come before only the second. For example, the two words fulfill the same role here:

“Joe likes pancakes, although I like waffles.”

“Joe likes pancakes, but I like waffles.”

But they aren’t equivalent here:

Although Joe likes pancakes, I like waffles.”

But Joe likes pancakes, I like waffles.”

This isn’t to say that the word “but” can’t come at the beginning of a sentence. It can, but for a different reason, which is the same structure that many other conjunctions assume:

“Joe likes pancakes. But I like waffles.”

“Joe likes pancakes. Yet I like waffles.”

“Joe likes pancakes. And I like waffles.”

In a world of perfect grammatical logic, the above sentences might be considered sort of incorrect, but I’m sure you will find that this structure is quite inevitable, especially in such cases as dialogue. If you need to recognize the above usage of these words for some reason, just determine whether you can connect the preceding sentence into one:

“Joe likes pancakes. But I like waffles.” –> “Joe likes pancakes, but I like waffles.”

This note on the word “but” is important because we have to take care not to use “although” in the same way. Take this sentence:

“Joe likes pancakes. Although I like waffles.”

In such structures, the “although” would immediately spur the misinterpretation that the sentence will contain two independent clauses.

Too long; didn’t read; I have porn games to get to

I attempted to structure the above in a… structured manner, but the four words described are connected in manifold, asymmetrical ways that make doing so difficult. So, after this convolution, you might hate me more than you previously did, in which case 1) go fornicate with a cactus, and 2) I’ve made a Venn diagram to summarize.

Again, the four words have “It’s complicated” relationships with each other, so I’m leaving out some things (especially with regard to commas) in order to make this a rightful tl;dr:


I’ve suppressed much of the rage I sought to express, but I hope that my introduction of this issue to you will give birth to enough rage to make up for it in the future.

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Official Downloadable Version of Noble☆Works Now Available!

Yuzusoft has recently released the downloadable version of Noble☆Works, meaning that you no longer have to rely upon some shady third-party shipper in order to acquire the game. We hope this will result in more support for the company that spreads high-quality pornography across the globe!

However, as DMM is a Japanese website, there will be quite a bit of nonsensicality involved. I (Fiddle) successfully purchased the game and conquered their convoluted download process, whereas Keisuke’s credit card was rejected despite being of the same provider as mine. Unfortunately, we are by no means experts in dealing with Japanese website racism, so we probably won’t be able to answer any troubles you have unless they involve navigating through the Japanese/Engrish of the website (though that shouldn’t be very difficult). We suggest using a guide like this one if you have trouble; you can find many more similar ones on the Internet.

Bear in mind also that this downloadable version of Yuzusoft’s differs slightly from the original in technical details, and as such, the past few days have been spent making a new patch that works with this version, which can be found on the Downloads page. Many thanks to binaryfail for his vital assistance in this endeavor!

In conjunction with this news, the maintenance translation patch is now out, replacing the one previously linked to on the Downloads page. Bear in mind that this is by no means a monumental overhaul, but rather a grateful application of some errors pointed out. We only decided to make it so that we may sleep peacefully, knowing that a particular equals sign no longer operates iniquitously under the guise of a hyphen.

Lastly, we’re continuing to translate some doujinshi, which can be found on the Doujinshi page. We don’t consider them important enough to merit an announcement, so they sort of just appear randomly. In any case, you can read those if you feel like it.

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Noble☆Works Full Translation Patch Released

And you can find it here! Merry Christmas!

Perhaps the easiest way to purchase a copy of Noble☆Works is through Amazon. Note that Yuzusoft does not have a downloadable version of the game, and it officially ships only within Japan, so you will need to make use of a mail forwarding service or something of that nature, assuming you live outside Japan.


Thank you to Keisuke because I’m awesome (this portion written by Fiddle); lead translator/image editor Fiddle; our other translators Secchan (who is also responsible for kicking off the translation), KiritoCy, Dark Blank, Solo Spieler, and Exiled; last-ditch translator Ephemeralist, whose extensive knowledge solved numerous complicated situations; our editor Twoo; TiagOfVarela and Decay, whose beta testing efforts went above and beyond to eliminate many a typo and fix awkward or ambiguous phrasing; Eclipsed, who wrote a detailed walkthrough for Noble☆Works on Fuwanovel; and OriginalRun, for his various forms of moral support.

If you experience technical problems, you can ask in the comments section of the Downloads page.

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Sena Route Translation Complete – Release Date: December 24th

The translation of Sena’s route is now complete! Credit to Solo Spieler and Secchan for their contributions and Fiddle for finishing it off.

But today we have news even bigger than Sena’s mammaries. With this route complete, translation is now at 100%! Those of you who have been watching us intently have surely noticed some extended periods of little to no translation progress, and some of you have politely demanded an explanation for said periods, to which we replied that we had been checking/proofreading other routes in that time. Well, now you may assume that this information was accurate, because we’ve made so much progress in that regard that we will be able to release the full patch quite soon after the 100% translation that took place today: On December 24th!

Again, that’s December 24th, 2015, two days from now, Christmas Eve, the fourth anniversary of Yuzusoft’s original release of Noble☆Works.

From Keisuke and Fiddle: Thank you all for your support and patience.

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We Translate Doujinshi Now!

Secchan, our mascot and one of our translators, has recently taken up an unhealthy addiction to certain characters which enjoy prominence only in doujinshi (short, fan-made manga), and because we didn’t feel like setting up an intervention for him, we’ve decided to embrace his desire to spread these doujinshi to the world.

Thus, he and I (Fiddle) have teamed up to Anglicize these publications, he doing the translations and I the image editing and making fun of his translations. You can download them under our new Doujinshi tab. Fear not; many more are to come in the future.

Doujins that are 18+ will be labeled as such. The only one we have at the time of this announcement is all-ages.

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The Superior Superiority of the Oxford Comma #15

One might observe that articles pertaining to the almighty Oxford comma have been especially scarce recently. This is due to various reasons, including but not probably limited to the moe-induced deterioration of my neurons. Also, I’ve run out of adjectives to put before the “Superiority” in the title, and no, screw you, “Superior” is a totally legit one.

In any case, I believe it would be wise to conclude this series, at least for the time being. I would say with a straight face if you could see my face right now that this group is dedicated to the pursuit of the Oxford comma’s benevolently dictatorial reign. That whole translation thing is merely an attempt to indoctrinate a particular, manageable group of people at once; divide and conquer, so to speak. However… what’s the phrase? To quote Thomas E. Dewey, you know that your future is still ahead of you.

So here is a summary of the previous articles’ arguments in favor of the superiority of the Oxford comma:

  • The first article introduced the Oxford comma in general, allowing newcomers to bask in its radiant glory.
  • The second and fourteenth appealed to ethos, pointing out that those organizations that endorse the Oxford comma can generally be called reputable, and those that oppose it can indeed generally be called disreputable, even acting upon a conflict of interest.
  • The third, which was notably elaborated upon in the fourth, explored the lay argument often employed by both supporters and assailants of the Oxford comma, in which both sides state that their point of view is correct by means of ambiguity brought about with appositions in particular grammatical constructions; I demonstrated that there are situations which work for the argument of either side, but that mathematically, the usage of the Oxford comma is favorable in this regard.
  • In the fifth, I explained how the absence of the Oxford comma, as well as inconsistency in using or neglecting it, leads to ambiguity when we have lists not including the word “and” or “or.”
  • In the sixth, I cited a book explaining that only the Oxford comma accords with the order and cadence of sentences.
  • In the seventh, I explained that the absence of the Oxford comma disturbs one’s reading.
  • In the eighth, I explained the various ways in which the semicolon serves as an outward proof of the Oxford comma’s rightfulness.
  • In the ninth and twelfth, I indicated that the Oxford comma is necessary in certain syntactic constructions surrounding three-item lists, including but not limited to those involving direct address.
  • In the tenth, I explained that being consistent with the Oxford comma is important, especially due to the fact that it matches the flow of spoken sentences.
  • In the eleventh, I demonstrated that, while I often argue in favor of rearranging items in a list to achieve optimum clarity, the Oxford comma is also superior when a list abides by a certain order.
  • In the thirteenth, I proved that the figures of speech asyndeton and polysyndeton serve as proponents to the noble Oxford comma’s cause.

And now for something completely different: In contrast to what recent translation updates might lead you to believe, we’ve been making progress as usual, just not visible progress, as we display on the website only our progress in terms of raw translation. We’ve been doing checking/proofreading/testing/fgfgf, so you can rest with at least the satisfaction of knowing that the time between the translation’s conclusion and the actual release will be shortened.

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Shizuru Route Translation Complete

Shizuru’s route has been fully translated! A big thanks to Dark Blank for getting started on it and a huge kudos to Fiddle for finishing it off.

We’re almost there. Just one more route to trek.

Expect some downtime regarding translation progress during the next few weeks.

At this point, I’m going to say Shizuru as a character has overtaken Hinata at my #2 spot for best girl ranking, and although everyone on the team may will diagree with me, I believe her route is the best (with Maya’s route in tow). It also contains the most entertaining h-scenes.

Fiddle would like to reiterate that the above statement does not express the opinions of The Oxford Comma is Superior Subs as a whole, just that of our dictator.

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