Guaranteed to improve your English

Smart-aleck Move at the Networking Meeting

At one of my networking meetings, as we went around the room giving our membership introductions (aka 30-second commercials, aka elevator speeches), a woman who already gave hers stood up and apologized for interrupting.

“I have great news,” she said, “Darren is going to have a baby!”

People applauded. People shook his hand. People slapped his back.

I stood in front of the microphone and said with a smirk on my face, “No, he’s not. He can’t. But his woman is.”

She laughed and said, “Lee Barnathan, sit your ass down!”

She’s the same woman who claims this group is like a family, but I’m not sure she meant the laughter. If this group is a family, then I’m the smart-aleck uncle.

Until next time! Use the right words!


November 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Six Years Later, Another Example of Gym Stupidity

I went to my local Crunch gym yesterday and saw every clock was an hour off.

When I finished my workout, I went to the front desk, where the general manager happened to be.

“When are you going to turn the clocks back?” I asked.

A look of recognition appeared on his face.

“Oh, daylight savings time!” he said.

“No,” I responded, “standard time. Daylight saving time ended Sunday.”

Yes, daylight saving time. Not savings.

I am reminded of how in 2011 the YMCA I worked out at put out a brochure that was titled, “Our Guiding Principal” when it meant principle and the executive director refused my offer to proofread everything. Read it here.

It obviously takes a special type of person to work at a gym.

Until next time! Use the right words!

November 7, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Only Say What You Can Back Up, Tommy

I’m not a fan of Tommy Lasorda. I find him mean-spirited, petty, two-faced, fat and incredibly phony who lost his teams more games by managing than anyone this side of Gene Mauch (look it up). So, it’s a pleasure for me to call him out.

After the Dodgers won Game 6 of the World Series, Lasorda was heard shouting at Manager Dave Roberts, “You haven’t won (bleep) until you win tomorrow!”

Easy for him to say. Lasorda never managed a Game 7 in the World Series. The 1977, 1978 and 1981 Series each went six games; the 1988 Series went five games.

In fact, only Walter Alston ever managed a Game 7 victory for the Dodgers, and he did it twice. Roberts failed in his first attempt.

Think before you speak, Tommy. Oh, wait. You don’t know how to do that, do you?

Until next time! Use the right words!

November 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Happens in Your Mouth Should Have Stayed in Your Mouth

Being sick is no fun. Here in Los Angeles, we experienced a heatwave, and having a strain of the common cold in a heatwave is really no fun.

Now that I am healthy again, here are more utterings that make me sick:

Strategic means long term — No, strategic means “pertaining to, or characterized by, or of the nature of, strategy. Strategy means “a plan, method, or series of maneuvers for obtaining specific goal or result.”

So, it could be long term or short term.

It’s Miller time — Except that he was holding a Modelo beer bottle when he said it.

I want to thank Gary for contributing to my regime — She meant regiment because Gary sells supplements and products aimed at making life better. Besides, Gary is the president of the networking group, so it’s his regime.

I want to thank you for putting in my hot-water heater — If it’s already hot, why does it need to be heated?

People are literally still talking about it — Maybe, but at that moment, no one within earshot was talking except you.

She brought a plate of Coast Guard girls for me to dance with — What is a plate of Coast Guard girls? I think he means bevy, which refers to a group of birds, as larks or quail, or animals, as roebuck, in close association. But the secondary definition at reads, “a large group or collection,” and the example given is “a bevy of boisterous sailors.”

All of a sudden, a herd of dolphins came swimming towards us — It’s a pod of dolphins. And it’s toward not towards.

You know how they say, “What happens in Mexico stays in Mexico?” — No, that refers to Las Vegas. According to, the ad agency R&R Partners came up with the ad campaign, “What happens here, stays here” for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority in 2003.

“What happens in Vegas,” is a movie that came out five years later, likely to capitalize on the bastardized catchphrase.

Until next time! Use the right words!

October 31, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seven Things Networkers Should Never Say

George Carlin had this “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.” I have these seven things networkers said but shouldn’t have.

You need to be page one of Google for better or worser — I would much rather be found on page one of Google, for better or worse. (I choose better; this writer didn’t.)

We’re donating proceeds to the devastation down South — I would much rather have my proceeds donated to the people who suffered in the devastation down South.

When there’s no traffic, the drive literally goes faster — Thank you for stating the obvious.

We’re hosting the first-ever marathon. It’s only a 5k — Then it isn’t a marathon, is it? A marathon is 26 miles, 385 yards. A 5-kilometer run is 3.1 miles. Big difference.

And first-ever is redundant.

You’re getting your ticket comped. Like Compton — No, getting your ticket comped means it’s free. No disrespect to Compton intended; I have yet to meet the person who calls Compton “free.”

I don’t think I can say free — You just did.

I represent over a bunch of insurance companies — When you don’t know, fake it.

Until next time! Use the right words!

October 5, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Problems with Texting

A networker sent me this text that he received:

“I guess you missed the e-mail I sent you that I did get the Sat. Wedding gig so I was not going to be available Sat. Or Sunday. My second boss went out of town for a week and Im doing tons of work for them at there house this week. Maybe Wed. At 3:30 Malibu Library works the Topanga is to far for now cause of all the work I doing for the writers.”

The writer is American, and English is the primary spoken language, but you’d never know it from all the mistakes. Some of the problems are because of auto-correct (the capitalization of wedding, or and at, for example), but this is an example of why one must do a better job of self-editing.

Im instead of I’mThere instead of their? To instead of too? Not to mention the missing punctuation marks after 3:30 and works, and the it/them disagreement (boss is singular, but the writer uses the plural them). These are easy-to-fix mistakes.

Last week, I spoke at a networking meeting about who one must (should?) pay a professional for communications. One reason I gave was how one’s credibility is at stake with very piece of communication one sends out.

While I’m not suggesting I should be paid to edit one’s personal texts, this is nonetheless a great example a credibility gap.

Thanks to Richard C. for the text.

Until next time! Use the right words!

October 3, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Here’s to Your Healthy?

Last week, Jews around the world celebrated Rosh Hashanah, the new year. A Jewish networking group I belong to, JNET, sent out greetings, wishing me “a Health and Happy New Year.”

Now, I know happiness and good health are important, but so is good spelling, and I know people like to wish others a healthy and happy new year.

It’s what I prefer. I also wouldn’t prefer somebody raising a glass and saying, “Here’s to your healthy.”

This weekend, Jews will observe Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. To show sincerity and a true desire to repent, many people fast on this day. I will, too, but I hope nobody says to me, “May you have an ease fast.”

Until next time! Use the right words!

September 26, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment