but rather

esperanza2

Senior Member
English
Is it ok use both in the one sentence right after each other?

example:
There isn't a one-fits all solution but rather a range of measures....
 
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    It's common in speech, but a needles redundancy.


    There isn't a one-size-fits all solution, but rather a range of measures....

    or


    There isn't a one-size-fits all solution, but rather a range of measures....
     

    mary de la loma

    Banned
    USA
    English
    Yes, it's a common pairing up of the conjunction 'but' with the adverb 'rather' that expresses an opposite opinion. In your sentence, think of it as a more economical way of saying, ". . . not one solution; to the contrary and more precisely, there is a range of measures."

     

    whatonearth

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    No, I disagree with Cayuga, 'but rather' isn't a redundancy, as it has a specific meaning in itself. For me "There isn't a one-size-fits all solution, but a range of measures", feels a little abreviated and I don't feel carries exactly the same meaning. So, in my opinion, the original sentence is perfectly correct
     

    mary de la loma

    Banned
    USA
    English
    I think, Cayuga, that the editors at the New York Times have a fairly good command of the English language. Can you offer support for your claim?
     

    Cayuga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    From Merriam-Webster On-line:

    rather
    2 a : on the contrary : on the other hand : NOTWITHSTANDING -- used to connect coordinate elements <he was called but he did not answer> <not peace but a sword>

    but
    4 : to the contrary : INSTEAD

    Seems like they mean the same thing to me. So using them together would be redundant.

    On the other hand, the citation M-W gives for "but" is
    <was no better but rather grew worse -- Mark 5:26 (Revised Standard Version)>

    So I give up. :mad:
     

    Cayuga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    I think, Cayuga, that the editors at the New York Times have a fairly good command of the English language.

    Actually, mary, one of the hazards of being an editor (as my wife and I are) is that you proofread everything you see, from signs in a grocery store window to menus to whatever you happen to be reading. And believe me, I have found misspellings, bad grammar, and faulty syntax in everything, including the NY Times.

    Everybody make mistakes. Especially when they're on a deadline.
     

    Bil

    Banned
    English USA
    Actually, mary, one of the hazards of being an editor (as my wife and I are) is that you proofread everything you see, from signs in a grocery store window to menus to whatever you happen to be reading. And believe me, I have found misspellings, bad grammar, and faulty syntax in everything, including the NY Times.

    Everybody make mistakes. Especially when they're on a deadline.

    I agree with mary. I see no conflict in the usage.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    In a former incarnation as an editor, I asked writers to
    delete any words that didn't add meaning or emphasis.

    By that guideline, using 'but' and 'rather' is a belts and braces
    exercise. Nothwithstanding and despite this, I'm still smiling because nobody has taken me to task yet for "needless redundancy". I guess some redundancies have a purpose, as well as a motive, and an end.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    I'm still smiling because nobody has taken me to task yet for "needless redundancy".

    I was going to say
    "You're not one of those forer@s who think the rest of us read what you write, are you?"
    but, rather than go off topic, I'll confine myself to saying that I see nothing wrong with the occasional use of it. It was good enough for Shakespeare to use occasionally, and that's all the authority I need.

    And so, with apologies to our good friend Nun-Translator :)

    Measure for Measure: Act I, Scene IV
    ISABELLA: Yes, truly; I speak not as desiring more;
    But rather wishing a more strict restraint
    Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of Saint Clare.
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    I was going to say
    "You're not one of those forer@s who think the rest of us read what you write, are you?"
    but, rather than go off topic, I'll confine myself to saying that I see nothing wrong with the occasional use of it. It was good enough for Shakespeare to use occasionally, and that's all the authority I need.

    And so, with apologies to our good friend Nun-Translator :)

    Measure for Measure: Act I, Scene IV
    ISABELLA: Yes, truly; I speak not as desiring more;
    But rather wishing a more strict restraint
    Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of Saint Clare.

    If she do frown, 'tis not in hate of you,
    But rather to beget more love in you. (Act III, Scene I)
     

    eggplant

    Member
    english; australia
    I think, mary, that "but rather" is a redundancy, as cuch said. It's very, very, common, but incorrect nonetheless.
    Not really. Rather sort of means 'conversely' 'on the other hand' 'more accurately' 'in contrast'. I don't think it's a mistake.
     
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