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Over the last few weeks, I've noticed a personal linguistic habit that annoys me. It seems that in many emails and postings, I have a habit of writing sentences with an "X-clause-but-Y-clause structure. To demonstrated, I'll quote from an email I sent to my brother last March.

"I checked our distributor who carries Dogfish, but they indicated that they thought that the company didn't brew enough for them to be able to stock it. So then I called Westy's, and they said they didn't currently have it but were expecting some in."

Note how both sentences end with a qualifying "but clause." These qualifying clauses are not always negative. Note how the first sentence ends on a negative note and the second sentence ends on an optimistic note. So, my "but clauses" are not always expressing negativity. Nonetheless, I am annoyed at myself for employing this construction so regularly. Consequently, I am beginning to edit myself when I find myself but-ing.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 13th, 2006 04:33 pm (UTC)
You crack me up.
May. 13th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
I'll be the first to admit that my mind works in funny ways.
May. 13th, 2006 05:49 pm (UTC)
I thoroughly enjoy reading what you write whether it is linguistically but-ed or not. ;-) In fact, I look forward to reading your posts because it always gives me something to think about and occupy my mind. I like your sense of humor, too.

I wouldn't say that I edit my buts when I write, but I tend to drive myself crazy editing my thoughts, spelling, and sentence structure. I even go to the extreme of thinking of these things hours after they have been written. I am so paranoid about any errors that I may have made, that I will go back and check and make corrections when necessary. Another thing that drives me crazy about my writing is that I use the word that entirely too much.

You see, we are all obsessed. ;-)
May. 13th, 2006 11:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, I am a crazy person surrounded by crazy people. ,but tThat's a good thing.
May. 14th, 2006 01:25 am (UTC)
Yeah, that is a good thing. Crazy people make life fun and interesting.
May. 15th, 2006 02:57 am (UTC)
a, "Good thing"?
Good for what? *smile*
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )