Beginning a sentence with "but" or "and?"

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r6_philly
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Re: Beginning a sentence with "but" or "and?"

Postby r6_philly » Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:29 pm

honestabe84 wrote:But and however are not completely interchangeable imo. Sometimes one is clearly the better choice than the other.



"But" is more clear and direct. BTW I came across not only sentences, but paragraphs started with "But" in my readings today. I am going to trust the justices and their army of clerks.

honestabe84
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Re: Beginning a sentence with "but" or "and?"

Postby honestabe84 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:34 pm

notanumber wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:I think I'm going to go ahead and leave it in my PS. I've written many papers where I have began a sentence with either word, and I have yet to get a complain from any of my professor.


Awesome. Don't let the pedants destroy your prose.

EDIT: Wait.... I just realized that you're writing your personal statement months before you apply. I suppose that's cool, being prepared and all, but I'd wait a few months before you start stressing out about these things. . . Who knows, in the next 6 months you might cure herpes or win the lottery or win American Idol or something equally game-changing. . .


I was initially going to apply this cycle so I began writing my PS. Once I get started on something, it bothers me until I finish it.

270910
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Re: Beginning a sentence with "but" or "and?"

Postby 270910 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:44 pm

r6_philly wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:But and however are not completely interchangeable imo. Sometimes one is clearly the better choice than the other.



"But" is more clear and direct.


But much you may think that's true, you kind of have to admit that using 'however' at the beginning of this sentence would have made a lot more sense.

r6_philly
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Re: Beginning a sentence with "but" or "and?"

Postby r6_philly » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:07 pm

disco_barred wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:But and however are not completely interchangeable imo. Sometimes one is clearly the better choice than the other.



"But" is more clear and direct.


But much you may think that's true, you kind of have to admit that using 'however' at the beginning of this sentence would have made a lot more sense.


In this context perhaps. But this underslines the difference between the two words. I see why justices frequently use "but" and rarely "however". "However" is aimed at being persuasive, and "but" is very authoratative.

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skynet
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Re: Beginning a sentence with "but" or "and?"

Postby skynet » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:16 am

tomhobbes wrote:I guess I broke a lot of rules in my personal statement. I wrote it in a pretty casual tone, used a lot of contractions, began sentences with "but," and did some other stuff people tell you never to do, like talking about religion. It worked out well. My personal statement ended up being significantly better than it would have been if I had accepted the common wisdom of TLS.

+1

nuss3
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Re: Beginning a sentence with "but" or "and?"

Postby nuss3 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:24 pm

use whatever style fits your paper. grammar rules are for general use; if you know them and the reasons behind them, you ought to be able to safely break them and avoid ambiguity in your writing.

FWIW:

"however" typically functions as a conjunctive adverb, along with thus, therefore, nevertheless, etc. if you're going to be a grammar nazi, "however" should be used only immediately after a semicolon (e.g., "I generally hate snot-nosed pricks; however, that snot-nosed prick is particularly annoying."), or in a more substantive adverbial sense:

disco_barred wrote:
But much you may think that's true, you kind of have to admit that using 'however' at the beginning of this sentence would have made a lot more sense.



--lastly, i wouldn't trust court opinions about grammar. most of them are grammatically inept (however conceptually rich or bereft they may be).

r6_philly
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Re: Beginning a sentence with "but" or "and?"

Postby r6_philly » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:26 pm

nuss3 wrote:--lastly, i wouldn't trust court opinions about grammar. most of them are grammatically inept (however conceptually rich or bereft they may be).


I hold court opinions and briefs as the writing standard that I must strive to satisfy. If court opinions are not written in good grammar, I guess I will just have to spend the rest of my legal career writing in bad grammar. I don't see why law school will hold that against you if the standard to adhere to is set low by the career (as long as you have met that standard).

nuss3
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Re: Beginning a sentence with "but" or "and?"

Postby nuss3 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:34 am

that's pretty much how i feel. i know one law prof (who graduated from harvard magna cum laude and teaches at a T20 school) who has relatively poor grammar but can still lucidly convey her thoughts. i think that's all that matters, because like i said--just because something is grammatically poor does not necessarily mean its content is lacking. some people are just grammar whores who will look down their nose at you because you split an infinitive...

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ggocat
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Re: Beginning a sentence with "but" or "and?"

Postby ggocat » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:47 pm

nuss3 wrote:some people are just grammar whores who will look down their nose at you because you split an infinitive...

True grammar whores know that "it is perfectly appropriate to split an infinitive verb with an adverb to add emphasis or to produce a natural sound." Chicago Manual of Style 5.160.
:lol:




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