Discussion:
"But" avoidance
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Quinn C
2018-07-10 16:36:41 UTC
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Malcolm Gladwell was the invited speaker at this year's corporate
"kickoff". Not bad. As a Canadian company, we make sure to invite
famous Canadians, but all of them seem to be working in the US ...

Anyway, he said something along the lines of:

Yes, this distinction is crude and simplified. It is also useful.

I've heard this construction numerous times; it still strikes me as
odd. There should be a "but" in there. I find myself bothered by too
many "but"s even in my own writing, but this is a place where I find
"also" misleading. There must be other alternatives.
--
- It's the title search for the Rachel property.
Guess who owns it?
- Tell me it's not that bastard Donald Trump.
-- Gilmore Girls, S02E08 (2001)
Cheryl
2018-07-10 16:42:27 UTC
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Post by Quinn C
Malcolm Gladwell was the invited speaker at this year's corporate
"kickoff". Not bad. As a Canadian company, we make sure to invite
famous Canadians, but all of them seem to be working in the US ...
Yes, this distinction is crude and simplified. It is also useful.
I've heard this construction numerous times; it still strikes me as
odd. There should be a "but" in there. I find myself bothered by too
many "but"s even in my own writing, but this is a place where I find
"also" misleading. There must be other alternatives.
I don't see it as misleading. It's just a variation in the way the idea
is expressed. Possibly, it puts slightly more emphasis on the final
option than would be there with a "but", but if there is a difference in
nuance, it is minimal.
--
Cheryl
Quinn C
2018-07-11 17:34:46 UTC
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Post by Cheryl
Post by Quinn C
Malcolm Gladwell was the invited speaker at this year's corporate
"kickoff". Not bad. As a Canadian company, we make sure to invite
famous Canadians, but all of them seem to be working in the US ...
Yes, this distinction is crude and simplified. It is also useful.
I've heard this construction numerous times; it still strikes me as
odd. There should be a "but" in there. I find myself bothered by too
many "but"s even in my own writing, but this is a place where I find
"also" misleading. There must be other alternatives.
I don't see it as misleading. It's just a variation in the way the idea
is expressed. Possibly, it puts slightly more emphasis on the final
option than would be there with a "but", but if there is a difference in
nuance, it is minimal.
For me, it feels similar to "thanks to Microsoft, I lost another two
hours". That is an ironic inversion, but so common that it passes
almost unnoticed. The "also" in the above still stands out to me. I'm
also not sure it's meant as ironic, sarcastic or the like. I suspect
it's mostly avoiding "but".

I have no issue with "while crude and simplified, it's still useful."
--
Some things are taken away from you, some you leave behind-and
some you carry with you, world without end.
-- Robert C. Wilson, Vortex (novel), p.31
Peter T. Daniels
2018-07-10 21:49:30 UTC
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Post by Quinn C
Malcolm Gladwell was the invited speaker at this year's corporate
"kickoff". Not bad. As a Canadian company, we make sure to invite
famous Canadians, but all of them seem to be working in the US ...
Yes, this distinction is crude and simplified. It is also useful.
I've heard this construction numerous times; it still strikes me as
odd. There should be a "but" in there. I find myself bothered by too
many "but"s even in my own writing, but this is a place where I find
"also" misleading. There must be other alternatives.
Could you be being bothered by the absence of an aber/sondern distinction?

As Cheryl says, it doesn't seem odd at all. Or even Canadian.
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2018-07-11 08:01:33 UTC
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Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Quinn C
Malcolm Gladwell was the invited speaker at this year's corporate
"kickoff". Not bad. As a Canadian company, we make sure to invite
famous Canadians, but all of them seem to be working in the US ...
Yes, this distinction is crude and simplified. It is also useful.
I've heard this construction numerous times; it still strikes me as
odd. There should be a "but" in there. I find myself bothered by too
many "but"s even in my own writing, but this is a place where I find
"also" misleading. There must be other alternatives.
Could you be being bothered by the absence of an aber/sondern distinction?
As Cheryl says, it doesn't seem odd at all. Or even Canadian.
I don't seem to have Cheryl's post, but no matter, I agree. Nothing odd
about it.
--
athel
Jack
2018-07-11 06:18:18 UTC
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On Tue, 10 Jul 2018 12:36:41 -0400, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
Malcolm Gladwell was the invited speaker at this year's corporate
"kickoff". Not bad. As a Canadian company, we make sure to invite
famous Canadians, but all of them seem to be working in the US ...
Yes, this distinction is crude and simplified. It is also useful.
I've heard this construction numerous times; it still strikes me as
odd. There should be a "but" in there. I find myself bothered by too
many "but"s even in my own writing, but this is a place where I find
"also" misleading. There must be other alternatives.
I don't find it misleading. The author is asserting the aptness of all
three epithets; the first two are concessions, and the third gets its
contrast from the meanings of the words and by being in a separate
sentence. It's a rhetorical device.
--
John
Quinn C
2018-07-11 17:37:32 UTC
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Post by Jack
On Tue, 10 Jul 2018 12:36:41 -0400, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
Malcolm Gladwell was the invited speaker at this year's corporate
"kickoff". Not bad. As a Canadian company, we make sure to invite
famous Canadians, but all of them seem to be working in the US ...
Yes, this distinction is crude and simplified. It is also useful.
I've heard this construction numerous times; it still strikes me as
odd. There should be a "but" in there. I find myself bothered by too
many "but"s even in my own writing, but this is a place where I find
"also" misleading. There must be other alternatives.
I don't find it misleading. The author is asserting the aptness of all
three epithets; the first two are concessions, and the third gets its
contrast from the meanings of the words and by being in a separate
sentence. It's a rhetorical device.
If you say it's a rhetorical device, you seem to at least partially
agree with me. It's not just a straightforward use of those words, as
in:

This car is clean and shiny. It's also rather new.
This car looks battered and rusty. But it's actually rather new.

Compare:

This car looks battered and rusty. It's also rather new.

Does it work in this case?
--
Pentiums melt in your PC, not in your hand.
Madrigal Gurneyhalt
2018-07-11 17:52:56 UTC
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Post by Quinn C
Post by Jack
On Tue, 10 Jul 2018 12:36:41 -0400, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
Malcolm Gladwell was the invited speaker at this year's corporate
"kickoff". Not bad. As a Canadian company, we make sure to invite
famous Canadians, but all of them seem to be working in the US ...
Yes, this distinction is crude and simplified. It is also useful.
I've heard this construction numerous times; it still strikes me as
odd. There should be a "but" in there. I find myself bothered by too
many "but"s even in my own writing, but this is a place where I find
"also" misleading. There must be other alternatives.
I don't find it misleading. The author is asserting the aptness of all
three epithets; the first two are concessions, and the third gets its
contrast from the meanings of the words and by being in a separate
sentence. It's a rhetorical device.
If you say it's a rhetorical device, you seem to at least partially
agree with me. It's not just a straightforward use of those words, as
This car is clean and shiny. It's also rather new.
This car looks battered and rusty. But it's actually rather new.
This car looks battered and rusty. It's also rather new.
Does it work in this case?
It doesn't have to work in that case. It only has to work in
the stated case and, for me, it does.
Quinn C
2018-07-11 18:39:20 UTC
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Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
Post by Quinn C
Post by Jack
On Tue, 10 Jul 2018 12:36:41 -0400, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
Malcolm Gladwell was the invited speaker at this year's corporate
"kickoff". Not bad. As a Canadian company, we make sure to invite
famous Canadians, but all of them seem to be working in the US ...
Yes, this distinction is crude and simplified. It is also useful.
I've heard this construction numerous times; it still strikes me as
odd. There should be a "but" in there. I find myself bothered by too
many "but"s even in my own writing, but this is a place where I find
"also" misleading. There must be other alternatives.
I don't find it misleading. The author is asserting the aptness of all
three epithets; the first two are concessions, and the third gets its
contrast from the meanings of the words and by being in a separate
sentence. It's a rhetorical device.
If you say it's a rhetorical device, you seem to at least partially
agree with me. It's not just a straightforward use of those words, as
This car is clean and shiny. It's also rather new.
This car looks battered and rusty. But it's actually rather new.
This car looks battered and rusty. It's also rather new.
Does it work in this case?
It doesn't have to work in that case. It only has to work in
the stated case and, for me, it does.
One also doesn't have to answer in a hostile manner to an open question
from someone trying to understand.

I'm not here to teach better English to the natives. It seems that this
usage of "also" is generally ok with native speakers, whereas it's not
for me with the straightforward German translation "auch". I'm trying
to figure out if there's a better translation, either generally, or in
certain cases, e.g. "außerdem" (which I usually connect more with
"besides" or "moreover".)
--
... their average size remains so much smaller; so that the sum
total of food converted into thought by women can never equal
[that of] men. It follows therefore, that men will always think
more than women. -- M.A. Hardaker in Popular Science (1881)
CDB
2018-07-11 20:22:44 UTC
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Post by Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
Post by Jack
Post by Quinn C
Malcolm Gladwell was the invited speaker at this year's
corporate "kickoff". Not bad. As a Canadian company, we make
sure to invite famous Canadians, but all of them seem to be
working in the US ...
Yes, this distinction is crude and simplified. It is also
useful.
I've heard this construction numerous times; it still strikes
me as odd. There should be a "but" in there. I find myself
bothered by too many "but"s even in my own writing, but this
is a place where I find "also" misleading. There must be
other alternatives.
I don't find it misleading. The author is asserting the aptness
of all three epithets; the first two are concessions, and the
third gets its contrast from the meanings of the words and by
being in a separate sentence. It's a rhetorical device.
If you say it's a rhetorical device, you seem to at least
partially agree with me. It's not just a straightforward use of
This car is clean and shiny. It's also rather new. This car looks
battered and rusty. But it's actually rather new.
This car looks battered and rusty. It's also rather new.
Does it work in this case?
It does for me, FWIW. The period indicates a full stop -- maybe a bit
longer than the usual interval between sentences -- and that is enough
to permit a contrasting statement to follow.

This talk of timing makes me think it might be a form used more in
speech than in writing.
Post by Quinn C
It doesn't have to work in that case. It only has to work in the
stated case and, for me, it does.
One also doesn't have to answer in a hostile manner to an open
question from someone trying to understand.
I'm not here to teach better English to the natives. It seems that
this usage of "also" is generally ok with native speakers, whereas
it's not for me with the straightforward German translation "auch".
I'm trying to figure out if there's a better translation, either
generally, or in certain cases, e.g. "außerdem" (which I usually
connect more with "besides" or "moreover".)
Madrigal Gurneyhalt
2018-07-11 21:02:39 UTC
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Post by Quinn C
Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
Post by Quinn C
Post by Jack
On Tue, 10 Jul 2018 12:36:41 -0400, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
Malcolm Gladwell was the invited speaker at this year's corporate
"kickoff". Not bad. As a Canadian company, we make sure to invite
famous Canadians, but all of them seem to be working in the US ...
Yes, this distinction is crude and simplified. It is also useful.
I've heard this construction numerous times; it still strikes me as
odd. There should be a "but" in there. I find myself bothered by too
many "but"s even in my own writing, but this is a place where I find
"also" misleading. There must be other alternatives.
I don't find it misleading. The author is asserting the aptness of all
three epithets; the first two are concessions, and the third gets its
contrast from the meanings of the words and by being in a separate
sentence. It's a rhetorical device.
If you say it's a rhetorical device, you seem to at least partially
agree with me. It's not just a straightforward use of those words, as
This car is clean and shiny. It's also rather new.
This car looks battered and rusty. But it's actually rather new.
This car looks battered and rusty. It's also rather new.
Does it work in this case?
It doesn't have to work in that case. It only has to work in
the stated case and, for me, it does.
One also doesn't have to answer in a hostile manner to an open question
from someone trying to understand.
You think that's hostile? Geez.
Richard Yates
2018-07-11 18:05:28 UTC
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On Wed, 11 Jul 2018 13:37:32 -0400, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
Post by Jack
On Tue, 10 Jul 2018 12:36:41 -0400, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
Malcolm Gladwell was the invited speaker at this year's corporate
"kickoff". Not bad. As a Canadian company, we make sure to invite
famous Canadians, but all of them seem to be working in the US ...
Yes, this distinction is crude and simplified. It is also useful.
I've heard this construction numerous times; it still strikes me as
odd. There should be a "but" in there. I find myself bothered by too
many "but"s even in my own writing, but this is a place where I find
"also" misleading. There must be other alternatives.
I don't find it misleading. The author is asserting the aptness of all
three epithets; the first two are concessions, and the third gets its
contrast from the meanings of the words and by being in a separate
sentence. It's a rhetorical device.
If you say it's a rhetorical device, you seem to at least partially
agree with me. It's not just a straightforward use of those words, as
This car is clean and shiny. It's also rather new.
This car looks battered and rusty. But it's actually rather new.
This car looks battered and rusty. It's also rather new.
Does it work in this case?
Sure. The essential meaning of both constructions is identical. They
both assert two facts. The "but" form emphasizes the contrast between
them; The "also" also form emphasizes that they are equally true.

In most cases it is clear from the context and subject matter how much
contrast or similarity there is. New cars are not usually battered and
rusty, and readers know this so either form works.

In some contexts it might not be known that there is a contrast or
apparent contradiction and so "but" might be preferred.
Hen Hanna
2018-07-12 00:44:03 UTC
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Post by Quinn C
Malcolm Gladwell was the invited speaker at this year's corporate
"kickoff". Not bad. As a Canadian company, we make sure to invite
famous Canadians, but all of them seem to be working in the US ...
Yes, this distinction is crude and simplified. It is also useful.
I've heard this construction numerous times; it still strikes me as
odd. There should be a "but" in there. I find myself bothered by too
many "but"s even in my own writing, but this is a place where I find
"also" misleading. There must be other alternatives.
I can totally hear that sentence in his voice.

And I think this is because he uses that construction a lot in his books.

It sounds trendy.


The [Blink] book in a nutshell: A split-second judgement is crude and simplified. It is also useful.

HH

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