Slice of Life, Friday the 27th: FABSONY, Acronym for the Coordinating Conjunctions

Today, I propose that grammarians use the acronym, FABSONY, for the Coordinating Conjunctions, instead of the usual acronym, FANBOYS. It is my belief that a far better visual image results from the FABSONY acronym, for we salute SONY, a giant Japanese radio and TV company and its founder, Akio Morita. On the other hand, FANBOYS brings to mind teenage serfs forced to fan their monarch in the era before democracy. Could such activity be only the “tip of the iceberg”? Let FANBOYS stay in the past!

Here are the words used as coordinating conjunctions: “for, and, nor, but, or, nor, and yet.”  Only three out of seven of these words are always used as coordinating conjunctions: “and, or, & nor.”

(1) Usually “for” is as a preposition. “For” is a coordinating conjunction when it means “because.” (2) “But” is usually a coordinating conjunction when it shows contrast–the opposite of “and.” When “but” shows exception, it’s a preposition. (3) “So” can be a subordinator or an adverb. Warning: Here’s the toughest detail of today’s Slice of Life. “So” as a coordinating conjunction shows cause-and-effect in an independent clause. “So” as a subordinating conjunction shows cause-and-effect in a dependent clause. “So” as an adverb shows intensity–perhaps its most common use. (4) “Yet” as a coordinating conjunction means “but.” The adverb version of “yet” is to express something that hasn’t happened, despite expectations.

According to John Langan, the godfather of Developmental English and Reading. the four aspects of good writing are unity, support, coherence, and sentence skills. Learning how to use the coordinating conjunctions is an early stage in learning grammar and also occasionally advanced. I need some more espresso.

5 thoughts on “Slice of Life, Friday the 27th: FABSONY, Acronym for the Coordinating Conjunctions

  1. Wow! I was totally unaware of the acronym FANBOYS (or FABSONY) until now. Clearly you have put some thought into this. I’ll be keeping this one in my pocket for some future grammar lesson…

  2. Like that acronym for coordinating conjunctions. No more FANBOYS for me. Yes, I think “and, or, nor” belong in their own category. I like how you give the definitions for the conjunctions, which is often a great mystery to our EL students. It gives them a sense of power when they can join independent and dependent clauses to create complex sentences, instead of “and, and, and….”
    Espresso induced grammar text book. Thanks for the clear thought and writing. 🙂

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