But

Case closed.

"A door with a sign that says Closed"

Photo by Ai Nhan on Unsplash

I want to become fit, but I have bad eating habits.

We are on our first vacation this year, but the weather is awful.

I want to read more, but I have no time.

What's common in all of these three statements? Let's deconstruct them.

The first part of each sentence implies a perfect scenario. A happy path.

The second part implies an obstacle to that. A fact that turns the implication in the first part of the sentence into wishful thinking.

Then there's this tiny word in the middle, connecting both constructs in a negative connotation. BUT.

When we use "X, but Y" constructs, what we actually mean is "because of Y the X won't ever happen". It's the easiest way to turn a possibility into an excuse.

Now, let's try to replace it with a more open word - AND.

I want to become fit, and I have bad eating habits.

We are on our first vacation this year, and the weather is awful.

I want to read more, and I have no time.

See? Using AND, we break the negative link between both statements, making the obstacle totally disconnected from the perfect scenario implication in the first part of the sentence.

We essentially turn the excuse back into possibility.

I want to read more, but I have no time.

Case closed.

I want to read more, and I have no time.

Hmmm...


This article is part of my writing challenge - Writing Seed. Join it and become more consistent with writing. It's totally free.