Buts turn heads

My man Tyler Sullivan writes:

The former linebacker retired from the team back in 2016, but did keep a prominent presence around town as he was working an NFL analyst on NBC Sports Boston, but now is heading back to 1 Patriot Place, this time as a coach. 

Think of a sentence as a journey. When you write but, you’re asking your reader to make a U-turn, or at least turn a corner. It’s whiplash waiting to happen. One thing is true but something about it isn’t true.

But is a disturbance in the force. Don’t make your reader change direction more than once in a sentence. They’ll get dizzy.

In fact, for the most pleasing effect, if you must change direction two sentences in a row, switch from but to however or something. Maybe like this:

The former linebacker retired from the team back in 2016, but did keep a prominent presence around town as he was working an NFL analyst on NBC Sports Boston. Now, however, he is heading back to 1 Patriot Place, this time as a coach.

Fewer buts, fewer U-turns, smoother ride, lower physical therapy bills.

2 thoughts on “Buts turn heads

  1. “as he was working an NFL analyst on NBC Sports Boston” ??? Love the u-turn analogy but – (intended) still trying to figure out in what way was the former linebacker working an NFL analyst? Working the analyst out? over? or maybe just employing them? Help!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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