I always benefit from a refresher lesson when it comes to grammar. So here's one for you, and if you'd like to see more click on the grammar tag at the bottom of this post or on the sidebar. This post was originally published here back in April 2013.
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Admit it: You thought BUT was merely a conjunction. Right? No big deal, but wait! There's more to learn here, but first let me interrupt myself ...
This month is the A to Z Challenge, and each day (skipping Sundays) I will be posting a grammar tip for the letter of the day. So if you'd like to polish your grammar (or debate mine) come back often and share in the fun.
Since yesterday was the letter A, I chose to feature Arlee Bird, founder of the challenge, but if you'd like a grammar tip for the letter A - CHECK THIS OUT: APOSTROPHE S!
... but for today ...
The too-frequent use of but can lead to problems.
"Particulary awkward is one but closely following another, thus making a contrast to a contrast, or a reservation to a reservation. This is easily corrected by rearrangement."
AWKWARD: "Our country had vast resources but seemed almost wholly unprepared for war. But within a year it had created an army of four million."
BETTER: "Our country seemed almost wholly unprepared for war, but it had vast resources. Within a year it had created an army of four million."
(Taken from THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE by Strunk and White, page 42)
What do you think? Is the second example easier to understand? Easier to read?