“I’m not a/an X, but…”

acilius:

Here’s a post that almost no one saw when I put it up in 2010, stumbling across it this evening I decided it was good enough to be posted again. And probably ignored again…

Originally posted on Panther Red:

For a while, I’ve been thinking about sentences of the form “I’m not a [label,] but [statement.]”  After some quick searches on LexisNexis and Google, I think I can assign these sentences to two major categories: those which are a way of saying “Please don’t dismiss me after you hear this statement,” and those which are a way of saying “Please don’t dismiss me before you hear this statement.”

1. “Please don’t dismiss me after you hear this statement” sentences seem to break into two major sub-categories.  First, those where the form is “I’m not a [person who is hostile to group X,] but [idea that might be unhelpful to members of group X.]”  Second, those where the form is “I’m not a [person who stands to benefit from policy Y,] but [endorses policy Y.]”

Examples of the…

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2 Comments

  1. will you care if I post this on twitter?

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