usingtherightwords

Guaranteed to improve your English

Proper Speaking is Sometimes an Illusion


I find networkers by nature to be self-starters and very motivated, which you have to be if you want to make any money through networking. But I really wish people would come to me first and ask, “Does this sound right?”

Chances are, the answer would be yes, except in the following cases.

I will go to the ends of the Earth — Recently, I’ve been watching “The West Wing” on Netflix, and a character said something similar about “the corners of the globe.”

The problem is, there are no ends of the Earth and no corners of the globe.

All the wine you can drink. All the food you can drink, too — If I want a liquid diet, I’ll call the hospital.

Tom Hanks was the emcee in the beginning — And who took over for him at the end?

We raised over $4 million for breast cancer awareness — I’ve written about this before. I think people are really, really aware of breast cancer. But we need to raise more money to find a cure.

Also, and I’ve written about this, too: It’s more than, not over.

I want to thank Harold. I have pestilence bad — Harold runs a pest control company. I don’t think he has enough spray and traps and bait and whatever else he has to combat a worldwide epidemic, such as bubonic plague.

I want to thank Jason for helping my Millennium son — Wow. You son is a thousand years old? Impressive.

I asked my millennial daughter what would she say if someone called her a millennium, and she responded, “Time is an illusion.” Apparently, that is something millennials say.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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September 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

People Are At It Again


After being sick for most of a month, I have returned to networking meetings and have heard the nonsense that comes out of people’s mouths. I had hoped the world had changed in my absence; sadly, I knew better.

I do bald hair — Is there such a thing?

Leave a message and leave your phone number. Please repeat it twice — The message, the phone number, or both?

My favorite movie is “Hear No Evil, See No Evil” — Really? The name of the movie starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor is “See No Evil, Hear No Evil.”

His favorite movie should be “Liar” with Jim Carrey — I’m guessing his favorite movie really is “Liar Liar” with Jim Carrey.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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

Crazy Sentences that are Grammatically Correct


At a recent networking meeting, a fellow networker approached me and said he had seen online something called “The Worst Sentences in the English Language.” Naturally, I was intrigued and wanted him to send it, which he did.

However, the following sentences really aren’t the worst. Instead, they appear to be grammatically incorrect but in fact are just fine.

One day I shot an elephant in my pajamas.  We start with a famous one, spoken by Groucho Marx in the movie “Animal Crackers.” Ignoring the second part of the joke (How he got in my pajamas I’ll never know), it can be understood two ways: That I shot an elephant while in my pajamas or I shot an elephant who was wearing my pajamas.

The horse raced past the barn fell. The main verb is not raced but fell. We often leave out a word and the sentence still makes sense (The speech given this morning was well received leaves out the words “that was”). Here, this sentence also omits a word: The horse that raced past the barn fell.

The complex houses married and single soldiers and their families. If you realize complex is a noun (and the sentence subject) and houses is the verb, the sentence makes perfect sense.

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. This one is fun. Buffalo is a city in New York. A buffalo is a bison. To buffalo is a verb meaning “to intimidate.”

So, Bison from Buffalo, New York (that’s the second and first words), who are intimidated by other bison in Buffalo, New York (that’s the fifth, fourth and third words) also happen to intimidate other bison in their community (the final three words).

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

August 29, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hope They Repair Better Than They Spell


While vacationing in Lake Tahoe, I saw this road sign indicating that repair work would begin Aug. 14. I don’t know what else to say. Glad I was already gone.

IMG_20170807_195743

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

August 17, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Medical Terms I’ve Come to Know Personally


To my followers: I’m sorry I’ve been gone for more than a month. It wasn’t because of my not having anything to write about. It’s because I’ve been ill, and as a result, there are medical terms I’ve now come to know personally. These are below in bold type.

On July 6, I awoke, turned over in bed and immediately felt like the room was spinning. It felt like being on a playground merry-go-round that never stopped. And because it never stopped, the nausea I felt — and the vomiting that went with it — was as terrible as any nausea and vomiting I’ve ever experienced. I couldn’t keep anything down, not that I was hungry. But anything I drank came up, and so did the bile.

The only time I didn’t feel sick was when I laid flat on my back, and that made any kind of moving nausea-inducing. I couldn’t get down the stairs to get to the car to go to the doctor without several times looking down into a bucket. I had to lay the passenger seat flat so I could lay flat while my wife drove me to the hospital.

At first, the general practitioner diagnosed my condition as benign paroxysmal positional vertigoa condition in which crystals (real name: calcified otoliths)  in the inner ear move, causing dizziness. These episodes typically last an hour, and since I was suffering for longer, the doctor put in for a CAT (computerized axial tomography) scan and a magnetic resonance imaging test.

The CAT scan revealed nothing, but the MRI revealed a two-centimeter lesion in my cerebellum, the part of the brain that deals with balance. I was admitted to the hospital and stayed there for four days. In that time, I slowly learned how to live with my head spinning, which I experienced because my left eye was jumping in my head. I learned how to eat, drink and go to the bathroom while spinning. I took meclizine, which helped with the nausea. I could hardly read or watch TV, and when I read, I needed my reading glasses at all times instead of just early in the morning or late at night. When I watched TV, I needed my head to be pinned against a pillow. I likened it to an infant who can’t keep his head up.

Doctors gave me prednisone, a steroid that could speed up the healing (blood tests showed an elevated white-blood-cell count, so I was trying to heal myself). It has a side effect of elevating one’s blood sugar, so several times I was given insulin. I now know what a diabetic experiences.

Also in that time, the neurologist recommended I meet with a more specialized neurologist, one whose expertise was in multiple sclerosis. This was set for July 20th.

I wanted to stay in the hospital until the spinning stopped, but on the 10th, I came home still spinning. When I was able to read, I looked up MS and found it was a  demyelinating disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain (the myelin sheaths) and spinal cord are damaged, probably because of the failure of the myelin-producing cells.

I was weeks away from my 49th birthday. All I cared about was how to get the spinning to stop. I’d deal with the diagnosis later.

On the 17th, I met with my general practitioner who recommended I try scopolamine, the drug people take by putting a patch behind their ear before going on a cruise ship, to combat the spinning. All that did was make me spin faster, so the doctor suggested lorazepam (better known as Ativan). This did nothing.

On the 20th, I met with the neurologist and learned I had clinically isolated syndrome and not MS because I had only one lesion, so it isn’t multiple. I joked that I had S and not MS. The neurologist explained that only 15 percent of people with CIS ever get MS. I’ll take those odds. He also said there would always be scarred brain tissue. My wife said she didn’t care because she couldn’t see it.

Over time, the spinning got slower and slower until on Aug. 4, the day before I was to leave for a vacation in Lake Tahoe, it finally stopped. I posted on Facebook, “Today, for the first time in about a month, I got off the merry-go-round.” I’m not sure everybody who responded or liked the post knew what I meant.

But it doesn’t matter. I’m home, the spinning has stopped, and I’m ready to resume life. I have a follow-up MRI on Sept. 21 to make sure no other lesions have appeared. So far, it doesn’t seem so.

My wife and I started watching “The West Wing” on Netflix. How coincidental that President Josiah Bartlet has MS.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

August 15, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

YES, YES, YES!!!


Last week, I bemoaned how people misspeak when they could hire me to fix their problems. Here are some examples of people using language in ways I deem clever.

  1. A chiropractor was speaking. Someone asked him, “Can you use chiropractic tape in the shower?” Came his reply: “Yes, but I use soap.”
  2. A networker talked a little about himself: “English is my second language. Baby talk was my first.”
  3. A networker’s slogan (people familiar with Los Angeles will understand this): “Our pricing policy is top-notch. We sell Bel-Air quality at Van Nuys prices.”
  4. A plumbing company: “We drain your sinks, not your pockets.”
  5. A Massage therapist: “If your back is aching, a massage appointment you should be making.”
  6. Finally, mine: “If you have a story to tell, I’ll tell it well, and I’ll give you the WRITE stuff.”

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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

NO, NO, NO!!!


Sometimes I get so angry. Why do people misspeak? Why do they use the wrong words? If they’d only hire me, I could fix their problems (and get paid regularly, which would make me happy).

Her financial advisor literally screwed her and took most of her money — NO, NO, NO!!! Her financial advisor figuratively screwed her and took most of her money. If it was literal, it would mean something different altogether.

Official unlicensed bootleg merchandise — NO, NO, NO!!! Merchandise can’t be official and unlicensed. Plus, unlicensed and bootleg could be synonymous.

One cockroach is a hundred too many — NO, NO, NO!!! One cockroach is one too many. A hundred cockroaches are a hundred too many. And so on.

Thank you for all the informative information — NO, NO, NO!!! That’s redundant.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

June 29, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Unbelievable Email


I received the following email. There just is no way this is real.

I am Mr.Donald Trump the president of the united states of america and I am written to inform you about your Bank Check Draft brought by United Embassy from the government of Benin Republic to the white house Washington DC and has been mandated
to be deliver to your home address on Friday, being June 02, 2017 as soon as you get back to me with your below information.

Receiver's Name_______________
Address: ________________
City _______________
Country: ____________
Next Of Kin_____________
Phone Number: _____________
Age_____________
Nationality_____________
Text Question And Answer___________
Attach Copy Of Your ID _____________
  
You check is containing the sum of $60 million USD.
Here is my number.(253)336_8597) and (202) 852-3953) E-mails is
(mrdonaldtrumpthepresident@gmail.com) OR (mrdonaldtrumpthepresident@yahoo.com) you can call me or send me an sms, but i prefer sms because I'm always busy in the white house and i can't be able to pick calls all the time.
 
I will be waiting to hear from you immediately, thanks and God bless you.
 
Sincerely
Mr.Donald Trump
The president

How unreal can this be? There are too many ways to count. It boggles my mind.

The email address is phony; Trump wouldn’t use a gmail or yahoo email address. The capitalization errors are numerous. There has been no news that the president has had anything to do with the African nation Benin in his 100-plus days in office.

I actually want to call the phone numbers but am afraid to.

Please, please, please, nobody believe this.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

June 1, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment