Banishing BUT

by Tanya Monteiro on 03/12/2019

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A long time ago I read this book called “Fire and Water, the power of passion, the force of flow” by Mike Lipkin and Reg Lascaris. Both well known South African individuals.

In that book I learnt to question when I use the word BUT. The idea, as I remember it, was learning how to pay attention to our own negative speak. After all the first person we have to learn to communicate with is ourselves.

They go on to say that ‘BUT’ should be banished from our vocabulary when we are communicating our feelings with another person. They called ‘but’, the eraser word because it erases anything that may have preceded it.

The solution is to replace ‘but’ with ‘and’. ‘And’ builds on what we have just said, it doesn’t wipe it all out.

Our words become the labels we apply to our thoughts. ‘But’ is one of those words I pay a whole lot more attention to these days. Try it,



used to introduce something contrasting with what has already been mentioned.
synonyms: yet, nevertheless, nonetheless, even so, however, still, notwithstanding, despite that, in spite of that, for all that, all the same, just the same; More
nevertheless; however.
“he stumbled but didn’t fall”
on the contrary; in contrast.
“I am clean but you are dirty”
synonyms: whereas, conversely, but then, then again, on the other hand, by/in contrast, on the contrary More
used to indicate the impossibility of anything other than what is being stated.
“one cannot but sympathize”
used to introduce a response expressing a feeling such as surprise or anger.
“but that’s an incredible saving!”
used after an expression of apology for what one is about to say.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t pay you”
without its being the case that.
“it never rains but it pours”
preposition: but
except; apart from; other than.
“in Texas, we were never anything but poor”
synonyms: except (for), apart from, other than, besides, aside from, with the exception of, bar, excepting, excluding, leaving out, save (for), saving More
used with repetition of certain words to give emphasis.
“nobody, but nobody, was going to stop her”
adverb: but
no more than; only.
“he is but a shadow of his former self”
synonyms: only, just, simply, merely, no more than, nothing but; More
noun: but; plural noun: buts
an argument against something; an objection.
“no buts —just get out of here”

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