Tuesday, October 11, 2016

And versus But

I always questioned the Symbolic Logic assertion that "and" and "but" had the same meaning. It took years to articulate the basic difference: "and" preserves good/bad value whereas "but" reverses the good/bad value of the previous statement. Similarly "although" reverses the value of the next statment.

But I encountered a more profound difference in the dynamic meaning of "and" versus "but" that is exemplified by how "Bob and Ted and Mary" makes sense where "Bob but Ted but Mary" does not make sense. It is something like this: "but" always signals it was preceded by a complete prior statement and "and" keeps the statement going - allowing it to be preceded by am incomplete prior statement. So the moving read point implementation for "and" does not trigger changes as deep as the "but".

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