A colleague had seen “then” incorrectly used so many times when “than” should have been — in laudable publications, no less — he started to question which was right. ChanteSez to the rescue!
If you’re talking about time, it’s “then.” A few examples:
If I don’t do it now, then I’ll never get around to it.
Every now and then, I crave mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Think of it this way: Time means “when,” and when means “then.”
“Than” is about a comparison of some sort.
She refuses to date anyone who’s shorter than she is.
I’d rather be busy than bored.
Here’s your clue: Stay aware (with an “a”) when you compare.
Of course, the best way to avoid this typo, and so many others, is to do a good read before you post, print or pontificate.