[Ads-l] But-ing in: is it just me?

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 1 15:16:07 UTC 2014


I have a greater issue with the first 'but' in the first paragraph.
On Nov 1, 2014 9:31 AM, "Laurence Horn" <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: But-ing in: is it just me?
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> I think what might seem odd here is that the "topic sentence" of the =
> paragraph, that "Voters don't necessarily form neat blocs according to =
> their race", could be seen supported by the remainder of the paragraph, =
> which makes the "but" seem strange.  But the "bloc" voting that the =
> writer had in mind is "black voters tend to vote for black candidates", =
> not the one Wilson (and most of us) have as part of our background =
> knowledge, something like "black voters [like Jewish voters, Latino =
> voters, etc.] tend to vote for Democratic candidates", which is =
> supported--not challenged--by the failure of Lynn Swann et al. to garner =
> black votes (assuming Swann is running for political office and not for =
> the Pro Football Hall of Fame or Dancing With the Stars).  Or it may be =
> indirect:  Black voters tend to vote in a bloc for candidates who =
> support their interests, Republican candidates tend not to support the =
> interests of black voters, ergo=85  But the point is that the evidence =
> supports the thesis that there's no bloc voting by black voters for =
> black candidates.
>
> LH
>
>
> On Nov 1, 2014, at 3:36 AM, Spanbock/Svoboda-Spanbock wrote:
>
> > Isn't it in opposition to their running for office? Sort of like, "I =
> ran for the bus, but the driver didn't see me." ??
> >=20
> >=20
> > On Oct 31, 2014, at 10:31 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> >=20
> >> ---------------------- Information from the mail header =
> -----------------------
> >> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> >> Subject:      But-ing in: is it just me?
> >> =
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> -----
> >>=20
> >> This is a paragraph from an article on a social-psychologi site. My =
> problem
> >> is that use of _but_. _But_ is used when what precedes that =
> conjunction is
> >> *contradicted*, in some sense, by what follows, right? Am I confused =
> in
> >> thinking that nothing in the final sentence contradicts, in any way,
> >> anything in the preceding paragraph? I wouldn't bother anyone here =
> with
> >> this, except that I see it more and more often. It's as though the =
> language
> >> were undergoing a semantic shift that I'm unable to grasp. Am I =
> getting
> >> senile? Seriously!
> >>=20
> >> In one experiment, the researchers asked random white people on the =
> street
> >> to look at a video containing photos of various white and black =
> inmates,
> >> and then asked them their opinions about prison policy. The =
> researchers
> >> manipulated the proportions of white to black faces throughout, but
> >> typically included a higher proportion of black faces than are =
> actually
> >> represented in California=3DE2=3D80=3D99s prisons, where the =
> experiment was condu=3D
> >> cted.
> >> They asked everyone to guess the percentage of black inmates in the =
> prison
> >> population, and everyone guessed higher than the proportion of black =
> faces
> >> they saw, and higher than the proportion actually is in real life.
> >> _But_,
> >> the researchers also found, the more black faces they showed the
> >> participants, the more likely the participants were to sign a =
> petition in
> >> support of the state=3DE2=3D80=3D99s strict =
> =3DE2=3D80=3D9Cthree-strikes=3DE2=3D80=3D9D law.
> >>=20
> >> Jelani Cobb, despite being a native-born, black American himself, =
> writes
> >> (edited) in the New Yorker, that
> >>=20
> >> Voters don't necessarily form neat blocs according to their race. In =
> 2006,
> >> Lynn Swann, Ken Blackwell, and Michael Steele--three black =
> Republicans--ran
> >> for statewide office in, respectively, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and =
> Maryland,
> >> _but_
> >> none of them garnered more than a quarter of the black vote.
> >>=20
> >> "But"?! What "but"? As Cobb points out himself, "three black
> >> *Republicans*"! That Republicans, regardless of race, didn't get =
> black
> >> votes is precisely the expected outcome. His assertion, "don't
> >> necessarily," isn't supported by his supposed "evidence."
> >>=20
> >> IMO, no conjunction at all, let alone the adversative, is required, =
> in
> >> either case.
> >>=20
> >> Or maybe I'm completely missing the point.
> >>=20
> >> Youneverknow.
> >> --=3D20
> >> -Wilson
> >> -----
> >> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint =
> to
> >> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> >> -Mark Twain
> >>=20
> >> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >=20
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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