The Agilist Network

Tales and Tips from Agile Software Projects

Best Practice: Try 'AND' not 'BUT'

Posted by kenhoward on June 5, 2007

The word “BUT” can be a turnoff to many people. As an exercise, the next time you plan to say “BUT”, try “AND” instead.

With ‘BUT’:
John: “What do you think of the dinner I cooked for you?”
Mary: “It’s delicious, but it’s going to ruin my diet.”

With ‘AND’:
John: “What do you think of the dinner I cooked for you?”
Mary: “It’s delicious, and I appreciate all of your hard work!”

Generally, ‘BUT’ is a conjunction which tends to join the first part of a statement with a negative phrase. Heavy ‘BUT’ users tend to be characterized as critical and pessimistic.

On the other hand, the conjunction ‘AND’ tends to elicit a postive/optimistic ending.

These thoughts are simply random musings of the author, and I hope they benefit you!

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