The Flo Effect

A while ago I was watching TV with a friend and a Progressive commercial came on. It was one featuring Flo, the uber-annoying ultra-energetic sales person who drives me insane. I had never fully accepted my hatred of her until my friend admitted that her joy in watching TV is tainted by the knowledge that Flo may pop up on the screen at any moment.

Amen, sista.

Since then the fear of Flo crosses my mind on a regular basis, usually when I'm at work. We keep the Pandora shuffle going throughout the workday, and naturally we have some commercial breaks. This is fine, you're giving me free music, but there is one ad that has the Flo effect - each time it plays my joy from the music is completely destroyed.

Here is the offending ad:
I have hesitated to post this for quite some time. I am not positive that my hatred for this ad is founded upon anything real, but I'm pretty sure the grammar is incorrect.

Is 'but' really the word you want to use there? Isn't 'but' a contradictory word? Like, "I enjoy most fruit, but not strawberries." There is no contradiction in this ad.

For your convenience, I have compiled a list of a few things I feel would make more sense:

The world needs thinkers and doers:
• We'll teach you how to be both
• Why not be both?
• You can be both.
• Nobody said you can't be both - just leave out the 'but'

If you're really into the wording you have in the second sentence you can change the first part:
• It's hard to find thinkers and doers . . .

Ok that's the only example I could come up with, but you get my vibe.

Am I right? Am I crazy? Do I know how to speak English?

In order to help my case I went on over to and checked out the official definition:

But - Conjunction*

1. on the contrary; yet: My brother went, but I did not.
2. except; save: She was so overcome with grief she could do nothing but weep.
3. unless; if not; except that (followed by a clause, often with that  expressed): Nothing would do but that I should come in.
4. without the circumstance that: It never rains but it pours.
5. otherwise than: There is no hope but by prayer.

*It is used as a conjunction here, right? Again, I am not fully confidence in my grammar diagnosis, so please correct me if I am wrong.

Looking at these official definitions, I have compiled a few sentences that use the correct grammar. Numbers correspond with the appropriate definition.

1. It is hard to find thinkers and doers, but nobody said it can't be done.
2. We produce nothing but thinkers and doers.
3. Nothing but thinkers and doers.
4. One does not succeed but that they are a thinker and doer.
5. There is no opportunity but for thinkers and doers. 

Obviously these statements are not getting their same point across, that's fine. I am simply trying to drive my point that I think they used the wrong word, and it drives me insane.

And . . . what's with a credible university advertising on Pandora??


  1. I love this. I too fear the flo effect. I can't believe she is still on TV. Does ANYONE respond well to her.

    Also, I am besieged with UVU ads, and I've been hoping Pandora would register that my IP address is in Chicago now. Does it work like that? My husband is a web developer... I should know.

    Anyways. In regard to the ad, I agree with all of my "English Teacher Know-How."

    Might I also submit another possible correction?

    "The world needs thinkers and the world needs doers. BUT come to UVU and we will make you into a weird hybrid of thinker-doer. YET you should still become a badger! AND enjoy your new life as a badger OR be a cougar, FOR Cougars do not 'think,' NOR do they 'do'. They only get married."


    PS: Those... are all the conjunctions I could think of... That took way to long.

  2. I considered switching to Progressive, until Flo came into the picture. She makes me want slap small, innocent children, for no related reason. She just irritates me that much. As for the ad you posted: I had never seen it before but had the exact same initial reaction. Why does it say "But"? Did someone say you can't be both? It's just...stupid. Anyway, I do my absolute best to ignore advertising for the reasons you listed and some others as well.

  3. Hahaha! This is great. Glad to know I'm not the only grammar snob out there ;-) Although I'm sure I'm guilty at times myself, it does bother me when professional ads/writers/etc. let such things slip by...

    Hope your day's been a good one so far!

  4. This post is awesome, I haven't seen that ad on Pandora yet but I'm going to be thinking of this when I finally see it. Glad I'm not the only flo-hater out there!

  5. Flo is horrible.
    The sentence might have constructed to imply that people are traditionally only "thinkers" or "doers," but no one has considered being both; Only then would the "but" conjunction make sense. A comma would be more appropriate that a period though.

  6. I am not defending the ad (I think it was way too confusing to get any point across)-- but, I think that if you read it as...
    "the world needs thinkers AND doers..." it makes a little more sense...