usingtherightwords

Guaranteed to improve your English

Pardon the Interruption, but I Wish I Had Thought of That


On Tuesday, I wrote about how Pablo S. Torre, Harvard graduate, used the non-standard word irregardless on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” and how I think someone with a degree from one of the top schools in the country should know better.

On that same episode, host Tony Kornheiser made a point I wish I had made.

Kornheiser was discussing how Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes made a no-look pass in practice. Kornheiser said, “We come to the term no-look pass from basketball. It’s not really a no-look pass. It’s a look-away pass. You know where the guys are.”

I recently gave a speech in which I pointed out that some words aren’t describing what they claim to. Two examples: Life insurance. It’s only paid upon death, so it should be called death insurance. And when a baseball hits the foul pole, it’s a home run, so it should be called a fair pole.

To hear Kornheiser, who like me attended a state school (in his case, SUNY Binghamton) make this point makes me wish I had thought of it.

He continued, “In football, if it’s truly a no-look pass, the first time it is returned for six points, it will come out of the playbook.”

Amen.

Until next time! Use the right words!

It’s here! My début book, “If You Experience Death, Please Call: And Other Fatal Mistakes We Make With Language” is available on Amazon for only $14.95.  Order here.

leebarnathan.com

July 21, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Would You Trust This Writing?


I get a great deal of spam email every day. Some of it is simply one line that reads, “Here is the information you requested” or words to that effect, followed by some name and an attachment. Since I don’t know these people and never requested anything, I simply delete. (If you get this email. DO NOT open the attachment. It’s probably a virus).

Then there’s spam like what’s below. What I want to know is, if you’re really trying to scam somebody, shouldn’t you at least get everything spelled and punctuated correctly? It would look much more professional, and it might just fool some people.

I’m diplomatic agent Mr.William Jack i have been trying to reach you on your email about couple of days now, just to inform you about my successful arrival in South San Francisco international airport California, with your consignment box worth $12.3millions. Which i have been instructed by d.h.l courier Delivery Company to be delivered to your home address. The airport authority demanded for all the legal back up papers to prove to them that the atm visa card ready delivery, i have presented the papers I handed to them and they are very much pleased with the papers I presented but the only thing that is still keeping me here is the airport custom yellow tag and international clearance permit certificate. Which is not placed on the package, one of the airport authority has advice that we get the custom yellow tag and international delivery permit certificate which cost $105. Contact me back on sms: +17752384004 / view email (diplomaticagent1994@gmail.com) regard diplomatic. Mr. William Jack

I counted 25 mistakes before I gave up.

Until next time! Use the right words!

It’s here! My début book, “If You Experience Death, Please Call: And Other Fatal Mistakes We Make With Language” is available on Amazon for only $14.95.  Order here.

leebarnathan.com

July 14, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Correctly Guess the Child She’s Carrying Every Time!


A pregnant woman brings out some strange qualities in people. They want to touch the belly or give unsolicited advice or offer to help with something the woman is perfectly capable of doing.

Another thing people like to do: guess what she’s carrying.

You’ve heard the myths: If you’re carrying low, it’s a boy; if you’re carrying high, it’s a girl. If the baby’s heart beats faster than 140 beats per minute, it’s a girl. If you hang your wedding ring through a strand of the father’s hair and hold it over your belly, it’s a girl if the ring spins; it’s a boy if it sways. If you mix Drano with some urine, a green color means a boy.

And so on.

Forget all of those. I have the 100-percent, guaranteed-to-be-right, never-fail prediction.

When you see a pregnant woman, you point at her and say, “Let me guess? Human, right?”

You’ll be right every time. She might even laugh because it’s not the usual answer she gets.

Until next time! Use the right words!

It’s here! My début book, “If You Experience Death, Please Call: And Other Fatal Mistakes We Make With Language” is available on Amazon for only $14.95.  Order here.

leebarnathan.com

July 12, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment