usingtherightwords

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The Story of Secondhand Susie


It’s a one-sentence story: Secondhand Susie had a watch with a second hand that she bought second-hand.

Now to break it down.

Secondhand is an adjective. Here it describes Susie, but it really means, “acquired after being used by another,” which if you think about it, might still describe Susie. (How does the song go? If you knew Susie like I knew Susie)

second hand on a watch marks the seconds, but it also means, “an intermediary.” Again, it could refer to Susie if you knew Susie had an assistant like I know Susie had an assistant.

Second-hand (or secondhand, depending on what stylebook you’re using) is an adverb meaning, “indirectly.”

The coda to this story: It’s not second-handed or secondhanded. It’s second handed.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

 

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December 9, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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