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(Hey. Did you know there is such a thing as a “drive-thru funeral home,” and now there’s a “drive-thru church”? Whew. But since this is a language blog, let’s just focus on the use of thru.)

Thru is an informal, simplified spelling of through. It is akin to spelling night as nite. Neither thru or nite is appropriate in formal writing, but, let’s face it, both are useful in texting.

The word thru appears acceptable only as an abbreviation, in which case it can be used in the heading segment of a memo (together with the other parts of the heading segment such as TO, FROM, SUBJECT), but it is not advisable to use it in the body of memos, emails, letters and reports. Or a love letter to an English teacher.

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4 thoughts on “Through and thru

  1. ma’am, is there a word or is it appropriate to use “thru and thru” or “through and thru”? e.g. The crack on the vase is thru and thru its thickness.

    • Hi, Mark. It’s best to use “through and through,” not the informal abbreviation “thru and thru.”

      Merriam-Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/through%20and%20through) defines the term as “thoroughly” or “in every way.” These are the examples given:

      1. I know him through and through, and he would never do such a cowardly thing.
      2. Those UFO claims were examined through and through and were found to be completely bogus.

      The American Heritage Dictionary (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/through+and+through) defines “through and through” as:
      1. In every part; throughout: “wet through and through.”
      2. In every aspect; completely: “a success through and through.”

      In your example, it might be awkward to use the term “through and through.” Perhaps we can instead say, “There is a deep crack that runs through the vase.”

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