The argument for ‘and’ instead of ‘but’


We use the word “but” too much, Eric J. McNulty argues in Strategy+Business. “But” has become a standard conjunction to connect sentences and introduce explanations. The trouble is that it inherently shades the following words as a rejection. McNulty gives this example: “I understand you want to work from home, but I need to ensure we’re staffed.” The “but” is final, while “and” would invite collaboration to resolve the issue, he suggests. More broadly, he links the idea of “and” to the broader theme of seeking connections with employees, customers and the environment. Simply replacing “but” and “or” with “and” is the way to implement that philosophy, he suggests. No buts about it.

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