As I Write This…

…I am moved to peevish comment.

People, don’t use “as” to string clauses together when you’re narrating action.  Save “as” for linking together actions which are simultaneous or nearly so, and are directly related – “He leaped aboard the train as it pulled away from the platform’’ or “As he wandered about the room, he absent-mindedly rearranged all the knick-knacks and framed photographs.”  That sort of thing.

Don’t use it for joining clauses which would be more appropriately connected with “and” or “then.

And remember, also, that “as” is a subordinating conjunction.  If you use it to join a clause to the main body of your sentence, the grammatical setup implies that the action of that clause is less important than the action of the main verb.  Don’t do something like that unless you really mean it.  (Which is a pretty good all-purpose piece of writing advice, in case you ever wanted one.)

In general, important actions deserve to star in their own independent clauses, rather than being supporting players in somebody else’s sentence.

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