I’m a realist and not much really bothers me but once in a while I have to vent and ask what’s wrong with people?
I saw the following in a tweet recently and simply shook my head. Then I thought I have to stop this, stop the insanity, stop the reduction of language into good and bad. What I saw in a tweet that set me off was this: “the word But not only shuts down a conversation, it also opens a confrontation.”
I’m an adult and I think I can handle when someone uses the word but. I don’t shut down, I don’t get upset, and I don’t believe they’re being confrontational. It’s like the word blame, I’ve written why blame is not a four letter word and now I can add that but isn’t a bad word either.
This is part of the “Yes, and” movement or the “yes, and” cult as I call it. My employer hired a person to teach us how to use language to build people up instead of tear them down (something we should be doing anyway) but (oh did that word offend you) instead it dishonors language and makes the people sound foolish.
In a meeting we were discussing which technology to use to solve a certain problem. One person in the room had a strong opinion and was at odds with several others in the room. Being a good listener and having just gone through the “Yes, and” bull…I mean training, his response when someone suggested a technology that had no chance of working was to say, “Yes, and we should probably use technology B since it has a much better chance of working.”
The “Yes, and” was totally disingenuous and completely out of place (yes would indicate agreement when clearly this person didn’t agree and the word and indicates an addition when really it was a replacement). Instead, in a room full of adults, he should have said, “No, that won’t work and here are the reasons, but this will work and here are the reasons.” The only reason the conversation would have been shut down is because the solution was found.
If you are unable to handle someone saying “no, but…” and need to hear “yes, and…” maybe you’re the problem, not the words the other person used. It’s just a thought but I could be wrong.
PS: I’m prepared for and can handle the comment flame this might create. Bring it on.