Jun 252008

Some people shouldn’t be allowed to use the word “but.”

In the July Smithsonian magazine’s “From the Editor” section, there are some words from Andrew Curry, who wrote the feature article in the issue:

People have this perception of Vikings as bloodthirsty barbarians, killing people and then hopping on their ships and sailing away. They could be brutal, but what that stereotype overlooks is the organization and the willpower they had.

Nonsense. It overlooks nothing of the sort.

Does Curry think that most bloodthirsty brutes are slackers? I wouldn’t be surprised if there are such people, but those aren’t the ones we hear about.

Hitler and the Nazis were brutal. Does anyone find this to contradict the fact that the Nazis were also well organized and that they celebrated “The Triumph of the Will.”

And what about gentle people? They can be willful and organized, or they can be lazy and disorganized.

There is no “but” to it.

I call Curry’s kind of talk one of my “but peeves.”