"but", "and", & training thought
(This post originally appeared on hackers.town.)
I don't know when, where, how long ago I first read (and really ingested) the idea that the word "but" basically tells a reader/listener "yeah, just throw out my previous statement".
It stuck with me, whether I recall the circumstances or not.
Ever since it really took root, I've tried to use what I call a "loaded 'and'". In my speech, it takes the form of a little pause, maybe a slight increase in volume, a little lengthening of the word; in text, it can be line breaks, bolding, italics, throwing in a few extra "n"s – functional indicators of the same essence.
I find it unexpectedly important. "But", in many cases, seems to imply that the first statement is what the speaker feels/knows/has been told they should believe, while the second statement is their actual opinion.
A loaded "and", on the other hand, gives the impression that the first statement is true, and the second is in conditional, temporary disagreement with the first.
There's nuance there. There's an acknowledgment that two statements or opinions can be valid under different conditions or from different perspectives.
The importance of acknowledging and understanding that conditions change perspective, and that multiple perspectives do not necessarily mean one will be "correct", seems to grow daily.
So maybe try it out. It's good brain training for well-intentioned humans.