Wednesday 9 August 2017

#214 No buts

I don't like the word "but". It's one of the most manipulative words in the English language. I've been wanting to write about this for ages but other things kept getting in the way. 

Do you see what I did there? That's called an excuse. That's all the word "but" is good for. Excuses. It's a sorry excuse for a word.

It's impossible to use it without telling a story. Why are you carrying an umbrella? Well, I thought it was going to rain today but the weather forecast was wrong. What an unnecessarily long way of putting it. Why are you carrying an umbrella? Because the weather forecast said it was going to rain.

If you have to give a reason, just give one. The weather forecast said it was going to rain. It was wrong. Even "and" is better. The forecast said it was going to rain and it was wrong.

The trouble with "but" is that it's a bully. It picks on whatever statement comes before it. Christmas dinner comes with sprouts but I don't like sprouts. This is why sprouts have such a bad rep. The fact that you don't like them is in no way more significant than the fact they come with Christmas dinner. 

Yet you sit there, all smarmy and entitled, throwing your "but" about the place like it's one of those plastic horns that children used to whirl around. You know, the ones that looked like the tubes that connect the head of a Dyson vacuum to the main unit.

But I don't like sprouts.


You just don't like them. That's all.


Running on empty said...

Profound Familiarity said...