usingtherightwords

Guaranteed to improve your English

Art Linkletter Would Be Proud


If I were to create a TV show, I would call it (and apologies to Art Linkletter and his heirs) “Networkers Say the Darndest Things.” (Also, apologies to word snobs everywhere, as darndest is not really a word.)

Put your hands together — Think about it: If you put your hands together, you’re not really clapping your hands.

Keep your eyes out for … — I’d rather keep my eyes in their sockets, thank you very much.

I was a child of a single mother — Now, follow me on this. In its most technical sense, everyone has a single mother (egg donor) and father (sperm donor). I know people will say, “What about same-sex families?” But when it comes to creating a new life, everyone has one biological female parent and one biological male parent. There is no other way for humans.

Fun fact, earthquakes — Earthquakes are not fun.

What’s the one good thing about getting kicked off a Delta Airlines flight? — The recent news story was about a person who got kicked off a United Airlines flight, so the joke doesn’t work.

We now have two mikes — and three Larrys.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

May 30, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The New Yorker also got it Right


When I was a teenager, I recall seeing a commercial for the magazine The New Yorker that raved, “The New Yorker is the best magazine in the world today, possibly the best magazine of all time.” Or something like that. Regardless, it is a highly respected publication.

Wikipedia’s entry about The New Yorker says it’s known for, among many things, “its rigorous fact checking and copyediting.” Even if “copyediting” is two words.

So, imagine my surprise when a networker showed me a copy of the April 24, 2017 issue. On page 72, the sixth page of an article about a South Carolina family that has a tradition of barbecue and white supremacy, a sentence reads, “He explained that he’d got into barbecue as a challenge.”

Whoa. He’d got? Does New York have different rules regarding past participles? It’s he’d gotten.

Or is it?

I typed the sentence into an online grammar check. It came back error-free, but it also flagged it for plagiarism. Funny. It also didn’t flag copyediting as wrong.

I went to grammarist.com and looked up got vs. gotten. It said that gotten is correct in American and Canadian usage, but in England the past participle is usually got.

It continues, “That gotten is primarily used in North America has given rise to the mistaken belief that it is American in origin and hence new and inferior. But gotten is in fact an old form, predating the United States and Canada by several centuries.”

So, I’m right. The New Yorker is right. I can live with that.

Thanks to Richard C. for the idea.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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

I Have no Friends in Paris or Thailand


I received the following email. I have no idea what this person is talking about, since I never received any past email, and why am I being thanked for something I didn’t do? How does this convince some sucker to get scammed?

Hello friend, 

Did you receive my last email which i sent to you from Thailand? Anyway, the message was to inform you that I have successfully moved the funds to Paris, France. I am using this opportunity to thank you for your great effort, time and concern you showed to help me out, even though we did not succeed following one reason or the other best known to you. It was with the help of a French business tycoon who was capable of assisting me in this great venture via a diplomatic means. 

For your effort, sincerity, and trustworthiness, you showed at the beginning of the transaction, I have decided to compensate you and show my gratitude with the sum of $750,000. I have authorized my new lawyer who is now also my legal adviser in Bangkok, Thailand to issue you an International certified bank cashiers check which I signed in your favor before leaving Thailand for Paris. I will like you to contact the lawyer for the collection procedure of this international certified bank check, and below is the contact information's of the lawyer:. 

Barr(Mr): Richard Morgan 
e-MAIL: info.ricdmrr@consultant.com
Bangkok Thailand 

At the moment, I'm very busy here because of the investment projects which I and my new partner are having at hand in Paris France. Finally, remember that I have forwarded instruction to the Lawyer on your behalf to send the bank Check to you as soon as you contact him without delay. 
  
Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart. I wish you a strong and successful new year. 

Thanks and God bless you and your family. 

Regards, 
Mrs. Rose George 

Capitalization makes it clear that this is not written by someone whose first language is English. I also wonder if the names are real. Probably not.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

May 25, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mistakes, She’s Made (More Than) a Few


I received the following email. Let’s just say that I won’t be responding, and neither should you. The number of mistakes boggles my mind.

Hope you caught the song-lyric reference in the title.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

Attn: Beloved,
Good morning,


Greetings in the name of humanity, I am Mrs. Deborah Calvert Herman a citizen of Australia but presently in the Malaysia,used to beworking for the federal government, I am 50 years old, I am now anew Christian but from all indication, my health condition is really deteriorating and it is quite severe because i been suffering for a long time from cancer of the Lungs, from obvious diagnosis,I won't live more than 1 year, according to my doctors, this is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage.

My late husband died last five years ago, and during the period of our marriage we couldn't produce any child. My late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited all his business and wealth.

The doctors has advised me that I may not live for more than 1 year, so I now decided to divide the part of this wealth to contribute to the development of the church in Africa, America Asia, and Europe.

I selected you after visiting the website and I prayed over it. I am willing to donate the sum of $25,000.000.00u.usd (twenty five million United States dollars) to the less privileged.

Please I want you to note that this fund is lying in a security company in Malaysia. Once i hear from you, I will forward to you all the information you will use to get fund released from the security company and to be transferred to your account.

I honestly pray that this money when transferred to your account will be used for the said purpose, because I have come to find out that wealth acquisition without humility, all is vanity.

Please provide me with the following information so I can forward it to a church attorney who used to work at times for my late husband's lawyer.

He is diligent and a Christian so I am confident he is going to handle the transaction with you and lead, advice you on how to secure the funds in your favor.

Information needed:
Full name...................................
Full address......................................
Company and address:...........................
Marital status:...............................
Religion:..........................................
Sex:...................................................
Fax no..............................................
Phone no:............................................



I await your urgent reply. (debh0mmh@gmail.com)
Your sister
Mrs. Deborah Calvert Herman

May 23, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shakespeare Would Not Be Proud


My daughter currently performs as Hortensio in William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” I believe that if you can do Shakespeare, you can do anything on stage.

Unfortunately, that does not extend to the actor bios in the program, which had the following typos in it:

“She would like to thank William Shupespeare…” Who? You mean Will Shupe, the director? Oh.

“(name of performer) is excited to be apart of this production! I’d rather be part of it.

“She loves Shakespeare and the character Katrina …” Both the original text and this program list the character name as “Katharina,” although it is pronounced “Katrina.”

“She would like to thank Will Shupe and the other co-assistant directors…” Will Shupe is the director.

Perhaps I should not nitpick. This is a student performance, and the students wrote their own bios. But still, someone should have edited it.

And no, my daughter’s bio does not contain any typos, even though she didn’t let me see it until it was in the program.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

May 18, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Networking Nonsense, Part (I Lost Count)


I belong to many networking groups. One in particular makes fun of me every time I  speak. I say in my member introduction that when you work with me, I use the fewest words as necessary because the fewer the words, the more powerful they are. But I speak for 30 seconds when everyone else speaks for 10-15 seconds.

“I find it funny,” people tell me, “that you say you use the fewest words, but then you speak the longest.”

My response: The words I use are the fewest I need to get my ideas across. I spend my 30 seconds explaining some of my various services so people know they can come to me for a wide variety of services.

I might speak for 15-20 seconds longer, but don’t misspeak like in the following examples:

I want to thank Bart for my sister — I think you should thank your parents.

I don’t need a microphone. I’m a grandma — One has nothing to do with the other.

Hepatits C, the miracle drug — I don’t know of any drug called hepatitis C, but I know the disease, and it’s no miracle.

You get to see some great singing — You actually hear the singing and see the singer.

We teamed up together — Just your basic redundancy. We teamed up is all that’s needed.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

May 9, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment