Then or Than?

I’m really getting sick of this latest craze of improper grammar. People are mixing up “then” and “than” more and more and I don’t know why.

Reading CNET news today I saw this quote under an image:

Palm CEO Ed Colligan is more worried about the Pre launch then a looming patent war with Apple.

I saw this one in a kid’s book:

Fact can be stranger then fiction.

When I was on vacation last summer in LA, there was a booth on the pier at the beach advertising tickets to a TV show which pitted adults against fifth graders in a Jeopardy like contest:

Are you smarter then a 5th grader?

Yes I’m smarter, and then I’m a 5th grader…  And apparently the people who did your PR aren’t smarter “then” 5th graders either.