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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Three Big Little Words – CREDO CXLVI

Let me introduce them before we consider their power: Meet:

            and   or   but

Grammatically they are termed conjunctions because they join modifying words, phrases, or whole sentences, but their power is indisputable!

Consider “I like coffee and tea, but I like coffee for breakfast. Tea is best at tea time, but when I dine out, I like red or white wine, depending on the main course.”

These innocent little words can change meanings instantly!

Laurel and Hardy, David and Goliath.

Love and marriage – not the same as Love or marriage! or Love but marriage . . . ?

And can be healing, as in “Mommy loves you and I don’t like you chewing with your mouth open!” sounds better than “but I don’t like you chewing with your mouth open!” which is conditional.

Sounds simple but reread it as a four-year-old might hear it—subtle difference. In making it simple, I now suggest you imagine emotional confrontations between partners, employers, and employees, or political rivals!

“Shut up or else . . . !”


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Using 'and' rather than 'but' was a lesson I learned from my own therapist/mentor decades ago and it could be one of the single-most helpful and healing of devices I learned to be more accepting of aspects of me/my being that I wasn't and still have challenges synthesizing. Indeed, it makes a big difference internally. Thank you for the reminder!