I was told growing up that anything proceeding the word ‘but’ in a sentence was negated. Actually, I believe the words were more along the lines of; don’t mean a damn. Who knows exactly, but memories dissolve and dilute with age.
Think about it. Take this sentence: “I love you, but you drive me crazy” and spin it. “You drive me crazy, but I love you”. You hear both sentences, but the meaning “I love you” gets lost in the first sentence. Emphasis is put on the ‘drive me crazy’ – it’s about me. I am annoyed and bothered by you. Whereas I believe ‘but I love you’; the subject to me isn’t so much me, but ‘you’ and the love I feel for you.
Now as a young parent, years ago, I taught my son this. And being the little shite that he was, I never got away with the negative intonation at the end of a sentence where I used ‘but’. Yet that went both ways and we learned to communicate the importance of a sentence part without the ‘but’.
Years later and adulthood impending, we still speak this way and ‘but?’ is now used as a question. Indicating that the listener hears but understands that the speaker may have a stronger feeling regarding the next half of the conversation.
So, please use ‘but’ sparingly. Think the order of your words. And sometimes we really do feel and mean “I love you but you’re driving me crazy”.
But – conjunction 1a. except for the fact 1b. used after a negative 1c. without the concomitant that 1d. if not 2a. on the contrary 2c. with the exception of – used before a word often taken to be the subject of a clause.
“But.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/but. Accessed 17 Jul. 2020.