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When Someone Uses The Word, “But” In A Sentence They’re About To Negate Everything They Said Before It!

Updated on May 9, 2011

When I was a younger gay I may have been interested in “butts” but as time goes on I find that I’m simply amazed at the amount of people who use the word, “but” in a sentence to get out of what they’ve done or said or about to do or say. I never realized how much that one tiny word could become a “get out of stupidity card” for some but see the deal is that I’m onto all of you and you can peddle it someplace else because it’s not going to work on me. When someone uses the word, “but” in a sentence they’re about to negate everything they said before it! – Don’t Get Me Started!

The first “but” that seems quite popular is the one people use during an apology. It normally goes something like this, “I’m sorry that I smashed your car but you see I didn’t think you were going to stop short like that” immediately the excuse has been put into play. Never mind that it was your responsibility to maintain control of your vehicle, the point is that you’ve just negated the entire apology and created a scenario where the blame has now been displaced on the person you’ve just hit. Now I used the car example because it has less emotion involved however I can assure you that the word, “but” is used in personal arguments or discussions in every relationship in the world. “I’m sorry, I didn’t want to cheat on you but you were never home.” That little word can change the entire situation or so some think but for me I find myself waiting for someone when apologizing to me to use that word. In most cases I think you’ll hear it. And when that happens remember what I’m telling you, they’re not really taking responsibility for their actions. Oh sure, they may be apologizing but as soon as the “but” appears the apology begins to ring more and more hollow. If you’re really sorry for something you’ve done to me a simple, “I’m sorry” will cut it – do yourself and me a favor and don’t continue the sentence.

Recently someone said to me, “I don’t want to be callous but…” there it was, that word. And believe me what came after that “but” was as callous as something akin to what’s on the side of my big toe. Or what about when people say, “I’m not a racist but…” the next words that come out of the person’s mouth will almost always be so racist that you can usually use it as a definition for “racism” in the dictionary. Of course there’s also the whole, “I’m not homophobic but…”and what follows that will help you discover that the person talking to you is so homophobic they secretly think every gay man wants every man that crosses the street in front of them.

So what is it? What is it that makes us think that the word, “but” can somehow makes anything we say or do alright? And believe me when I say that I’m including myself in this whole thing too. Although I have to say that I’m getting better and better about staying away from that word. And let me just say when it comes to someone using the word “but” it makes me suspicious, very suspicious. And take a tip from me, you should be suspicious too.

Here’s the deal, when you do something that is wrong, unless you have psychological problems or something you know it. And when you use the word “but” to excuse yourself from you own actions the only person you’re fooling is yourself (sort of). I’m officially drawing back the curtain on you and those in your life who use this as a way to push responsibility for their actions on others. It may seem like a small thing to you, it may seem as though I’m just going off on yet another nonsensical rant however I ask you to just start listening to the people around you and yourself. Does that apology feel sincere when there’s a “but” in the sentence? I think not. When someone uses the word, “but” in a sentence they’re about to negate everything they said before it! – Don’t Get Me Started!



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    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      Go on with your bad self!

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast

      Scott - I am hoping my big "old" butt gets me $50 in the old lady booty shaking contest this weekend ;)!!!

    • ladyjane1 profile image

      ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas

      I agree with you completely Scott, but I never thought of it this way before. LOl Nice rant. Cheers.

    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      Alex, yes, I think like the song from Avenue Q - "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist" and I think you're right about the degrees but people need to own it and not use the disclaimer before saying something. (in my opinion)

      Dean - you make me laugh - thank you for that.

      Triplet Mom - You say "big butt" like it's a bad thing, I think that asset could make you quite popular in the right places! ;)

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast

      As always great hub and on a topic I can appreciate. Having a big butt myself I listen out for the buts it is simply amazing how much the word is used.

    • cheaptrick profile image

      cheaptrick 7 years ago from the bridge of sighs

      I was going to Insult you BUT I think this is a Great Hub:))


    • profile image

      Alex 7 years ago

      There are also ways to say these things without the "but," that do not come of as accusatory. Unless, of course, their point is accusatory, and the but betrays them.

      “I’m sorry that I smashed your car, I wasn't prepared for a short stop like I should have been.”

      "“I’m sorry, I didn’t want to cheat on you, I was weak and I let my feelings of being neglected get the better of me."

      For the people who don't want to be callous, racist, or homophobic, some of them just are to a degree. Forgive me if I assume, but you know of Kurt Hummel's Dad's recent speech on Glee about the hate in the best of us?

      Though I will admit, I likely use but a lot more than I should!