Owning choice – ‘And’ not ‘But’

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    • #11967
      Shems M


      A thought occurred to me today while I was exploring owning choice, around the language we use and how much that might reinforce true owernship. So, it might sound a bit nit-picky, but it seems to make a big difference to me, so sharing in case anyone else finds it useful

      When I set up options like this…

      “I can have another helping BUT I’ll feel stuffed”
      “I can stop now AND I’ll feel comfortable”

      …that feels much less of an ownership of choice than when I set it up like this:

      “I can have a second helping AND I’ll feel stuffed”
      “I can stop now AND I’ll feel comfortable”

      I think using *but* after the less healthy/sensible choice makes it seem less of an actual option.

      Does anyone else notice the difference?

    • #11973

      Yes, I’ve noticed the same! To me, “but” feels a bit like coercion.

      I think turning “but’s” into “and’s” may be a good idea in general terms.

      “I love your drawing, but I wish it had more red” it seems like the “but” overrides the previous compliment.

      “I love your drawing, and I would love it to have more red” means the same, but sounds nicer.

      Language is a powerful thing.

    • #11974
      Sheelagh M

      Hi Shems, yes I can hear the difference, and it feels better, ‘and’ feels more like you’re choosing, but feels a bit more prohibitive for some reason. Thanks for that!

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