usingtherightwords

Guaranteed to improve your English

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

Advertisements

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

   

%d bloggers like this: