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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread May 20th, 2012, 06:21 am
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Default as of & from

The railway network of France, which as of 2008 stretches 29,473 kilometres.

can I simply use from to replace as of?

I often see AS OF in(or on?) wikipedia, but is there any difference between it and FROM?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread May 21st, 2012, 05:03 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: as of & from

No difference as far as I can see if you are referring to dates which are still future at the time of writing/speaking - eg
The law takes effect as of tomorrow / The law takes effect from tomorrow
The other possibility is as from.
The law takes effect as from tomorrow.

The same is true if the event is completely past :
The law took effect as of January 1st, but was revoked three months later. / The law took effect from January 1st, but was revoked three months later.
The other possibility is as from.
The law took effect as from January 1st, but was revoked three months later.

The problem occurs when the event started in the past but is still true in the present - as in your sentence. Now from would have to be replaced by since, and a perfect verb used, though as of/from plus the present sounds just about possible - though, as in your sentence a bit odd. So :

1) ?? As of last week, I'm working at home
2) ?? As from last week, I'm working at home
3)* From last week I'm working at home
4) Since last week I've been working at home.

If you check with a concordancer, you'll find plenty of examples of the patterns in 1/2 and 4, but not of 3. So, adding in a couple of lexical changes which I think also improve it, your sentence could be...

A) The railway network of France, which as of 2008 totals 29,473 kilometres in length, is...
B) The railway network of France, which since 2008 has totalled 29,473 kilometres in length, is..
C)The railway network of France, which since 2008 totals 29,473 kilometres in length, is..


B and C both sound a bit odd to me though - in this context I want a simple verb, expressing a permanent fact rather than the perfect which just talks about past to present. But the simple verb in C sounds odd with since. But then, so does as of, even though it seems just acceptable.

Personally I'd rewrite the whole thing :
In 2008, the French rail network reached its current extent of 29,473 kilometres in length...
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 12th, 2012, 09:22 pm
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Default Re: as of & from

thank you for you answer susan; and I've got some ideas.

for FROM/AS FROM/AS OF, a famous English teacher(not native speaker but proficient)tells me, past tense should be used, even though the event is continuing, and the present perfect tense should be used when SINCE is used. He also said that a sentence like We have been told to learn Mandarin from 1921 is usually regarded as wrong by strict grammarians, and open-minded ones will consider it OK. susan do you think it's absolutely correct?
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 13th, 2012, 03:13 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: as of & from

As of/from can be used to express both past and future events - see the examples above.
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