What the “BUT”

butProvided by shreyosidey from Shreyosi’s blog

Now that’s a word we use every now and then.

I wanted to come to your party ‘but’……… ; I would have cracked the entrance exam ‘but’……; Its very important for me to wake up at 4:00 a.m. ‘but’…….; and many more.

According to grammar, ‘but’ is a conjunction used to connect two sentences or phrases.

We spend our energy and all of the creativity in framing the first part of the sentence that comes before ‘but’. BUT as I say now,  the actual story lies in the second part. In a conversation, the content conveyed in the second part holds the crux of the whole talk. This can be explained by a simple example, Ron went in for an interview. He hands over his CV to the employer and their conversation starts.  After a talk of about 15-20 minutes, the employer says, “ See Ron,  your CV is very impressive and you have managed to maintain a good reputation in your field; that’s commendable, ‘but’ we cannot hire you as you are over qualified for the post we are offering through this walk-in.” So,  everything told to Ron before this ‘but’ was in vain.

The point is it doesn’t matter how convincing, beautiful and satisfying is the first part. People don’t even consider it; as if it doesn’t exist for them. What matters for them is the second part. Like –

    I wanted to attend your party, but ‘ I had to work out my presentation before the deadline.’ ; I would have cracked the entrance exam but ‘ I couldn’t afford to get admission in the renowned coaching institute.’ ; Its very important for me to wake up at 4:00 a.m. but ‘ I have promised my friend to accompany him to the discotheque.’

Many times the second part turns out to be an excuse for one’s failures. So we must try to avoid being in situations where we have to use this word.

What are your experiences and opinions about this word BUT?

36 thoughts on “What the “BUT”

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  1. Now you have me thinking about how many times I may have used the word “but” in post this year. The point of your post also made me remember how one of my favorite comedians John Belushi would say “But noooo” and then go on a rant.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think “but” is a polite excuse in saying that we don’t like you because
    -your being overqualified makes us insecure about ourselves;

    -or we really don’t like something about you.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I could never say always, “but” a stealthy but is part of the sandwich method: compliment a person (stealthy but) but then tell them why they suck (another stealthy but) but butter them up at the finish by calling them or their work “interesting” (that means we think you or it sucks). This is a negative approach. I am sorry. I think, though, it is used to politely reject people. It is still better than an insult.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. I can’t remember where I was reading something that suggested replacing but with and. Change the sentence so, “I’d like to come to your party but I can’t” becomes, “I’d like to have come to your party, and maybe I can make the next one”. Find a way to make it happen rather than an excuse, “I’d like to join you for lunch but I don’t want like that restaurant” becomes, “I’d like to join you at lunch, maybe we could go to x?” somehow they don’t seem like good examples, I know what I’m trying to say 😉

    I agree that but negates everything before it, & is just used as an excuse.

    Liked by 3 people

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