"Gzip" compresses to smaller files than the "compress" command and so is used for almost all compressed files on Unix and Unix-like systems.

I have a problem with the adverb "so" there. I'm not sure if I understand the semantics of its usage in this example very well. "so" when used as an adverb like that typically means "in the manner of", but it doesn't really sound like that's the case here. And the "gzip" utility is used in this manner of compressing to smaller files than the standard "compress" command for all files that need compression in Unix? Hmm... As I said, I'm not sure if my interpretation is correct. What's your thoughts?

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    "It" is elided from the phase so (it) is used. "So" here is not used in the sense of in the manner of. Instead, it is used in the sense of therefore. See definition 3 here. – P. E. Dant Sep 19 '16 at 23:33
  • Then, I guess, there should be commas placed around "so". – Michael Rybkin Sep 20 '16 at 0:03
  • No there shouldn't be commas around 'so', and there wouldn't be commas anywhere if 'it' had not been elided. Commas totally break up the flow of the sentence. – Alan Carmack Sep 20 '16 at 0:30
  • @CookieMonster As Alan says, commas aren't necessary. The only place a comma might be used is before the conjunction and. – P. E. Dant Sep 20 '16 at 0:55
  • @P.E.Dant I agree, I read it as "...and so [therefore it] is used for...". To do it in the manner of would be "...the 'compress' command and is so used for..." – BruceWayne Sep 20 '16 at 2:44

There is an elision between so and is used in order not to repeat the subject or even to place a pronoun there.

The following sentences contain other examples of such an elision, using different conjunctions. I've marked the elision point with (x). You could place either the subject or a pronoun at this point.

Tom ate 400 cookies and thus (x) spoiled his appetite.

Mary lost 117 pounds and therefore (x) was able to fit into her wedding dress.

Junior plays the piano better than anyone else in town and so (x) is called upon to give a performance every weekend.


In this sentence, "so" means "therefore", not "in the manner of". That is a quite common meaning of "so." For instance, "I was sick, so I stayed home from work." As Alan Carmack pointed out, there was also an elision, but you need to realize which sense "so" is being used in before even the elision makes any sense.

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