usingtherightwords

Guaranteed to improve your English

Couldn’t Pass up this Chance to be a Smartass


Last week, my wife and I decided to stop at Baskin-Robbins for some ice cream. After perusing the flavors and sampling a few, we made our choices and paid.

As I received my change, the guy behind the counter wished me well — at least, I think that’s what he meant.

“Have the rest of your day,” he said.

I paused to make sure I heard him correctly. Then, being who I am, I responded.

“Thanks, and have the rest of your day too,” I said. Then, referring to his co-workers, I said,  “And since I’m feeling so generous, have the rest of his day, too. And her day!”

He laughed. So did my wife.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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October 3, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Who is This “Other” You Mention?


I find attorneys do not make good clients because most of them know how to write. But someone sent me the following ad.

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If your name is “Other” and you’ve committed wrongdoing, watch out! This guy’s coming for you!

Thanks to Richard C. for the ad.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

October 2, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Time Using the Right Words Didn’t Work


Last week, I wrote about how using the right words nonetheless got me in trouble.

Read it here.

Well, it happened again, and at the very same networking meeting.

This time, I needed to give a testimonial to a woman who occasionally massages my back and shoulders. But I couldn’t just thank her for the massages because this group has just one person per category, and it already has a massage therapist (in fact, it was the massage therapist who was too busy and recommended this woman to me).

The woman who massages me does skin care. She spoke at a recent meeting and asked me to say something nice about her services in a general way.

I wasn’t sure what to say until somebody else talked about how her treatment relaxed her. So, I stood up and said the same thing, “Thank you, Franni, for your treatment. It really relaxed me.”

Immediately, I heard snickers from the audience. And there was nothing I could do or say.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

September 26, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clever Church Sign


I was in a bad mood recently. I had just lost out on a good payday because of a scheduling snafu that wasn’t my fault. As I drove home feeling poorer, my eyes caught a church sign that I found so clever, I had to mention it. The photo below is not the actual sign from the actual church, but it says the same thing with one exception: It didn’t answer the question.

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Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

September 25, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

When Using the Right Words Still Got Me in Trouble


At a recent networking event, I gave a testimonial in which I thanked the owner of a gym for “letting me use his facility one time.”

Immediately, people started snickering and snidely remarking, “only one time?”

I stood my ground. I said, “I meant to say that. I did use his gym one time. You guys are emphasizing the wrong words.”

It was true that I was shopping for a new gym, and I checked his out but decided not to join there. Could my words have given that away?

I’m known as a wordsmith at that networking group. Could it just be an example of people needling me because of my specialty?

The guy seemed to appreciate that I thanked him. But I was little taken aback. I’m sure by now it has been forgotten by everyone but me.

Maybe I’ll bring my t-shirt that says, “I am silently correcting your grammar” to the next meeting.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

September 19, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Coughing Just Thinking About It


As I filled up my car’s tank with gasoline, I saw this sign.20190914-173828.jpeg

Many thoughts went through my head, including as opposed to regular-priced smog?

I think there was enough space to include the word “check.”

I went to the website. There’s another photo that’s correct:

WARNERCENTERpic3.jpg

Go figure. Just don’t let your eyes burn.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

September 18, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Another Example of Putting Your Credibility at Stake


As I’ve said before, one’s credibility is at stake every time one sends any form of communication. When we’re talking amongst friends, it doesn’t matter if we misspeak. Maybe someone will point it out, humorously, and everyone will have a good laugh.

But when it comes to business, you simply cannot make a mistake. If you do, maybe you’ll lose business, as perhaps this guy is.

Apple today is announcing the new Mac OS Catalina. Do NOT upgrade your computer until you have checked with the manufactures if their current version of software will work with it. If you do, you have the protential of breaking the software that you use and you will be dead in the water until the software manufactures updates their software to work with the new OS. Some companies will give the green light today others might be a few months. My tech support has created a page to pull all of that information together, so you do not have to goto every manufacure’s website.

My question to you: Would you use this guy for tech support?

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

September 12, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nude Pictures, or Pictures of Nudes?


I am obviously nitpicking here, but consider this.

Attached is a photo of an article from The New Yorker, about convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.586546544001002003.jpg

Within the drawn oval is the parenthetical sentence “He often took nude pictures of girls…” We always take this to mean the pictures are of nude girls, but if you closely examine the words, the author is saying the picture is nude. Of course, it’s not nude — it has an image of a nude girl on it!

This is an example of how language evolves into shortcuts that we all understand but are technically incorrect. Even I have uttered the term “naked pictures” when referring to the people in the photos. However, it would be much more correct to say, “He often took pictures of nude girls…”

Something to consider the next time you take a picture. Thanks to Richard C. for the clipping.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

September 5, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Newspaper Double Entendres


Not only must you ensure you’re using the right words, you must ensure that you’re using them to convey the exact meaning you intend, as these newspaper headlines fail to do. Read them a certain way, and they make sense; however, read them another way …

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

Miners Refuse to Work After Death

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

Red Tape Holds up New Bridges

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Thanks to George G. for sending me these.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

September 4, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get Your “Led” Out With This Résumé-Killing Word


Writing résumés is one of the many jobs I do. I make sure that the document tells the story about one’s work history and carries this message: “This is what I’ve done in the past, and I can do the same for you.”

One thing I tell all résumé clients: READ YOUR DOCUMENT CAREFULLY! You do not want anything misspelled because your credibility is at stake. Indeed, a 2014 survey found that 63 percent of employers would reject a job candidate who had just one or two typos on their résumé.

And using a spellcheck program might not work because you might have the word spelled correctly, but it’s the wrong word.

Example: lead and led.

The four-letter word is present tense, the other is past tense.

So, if you are in charge of something now, use lead. If you were in charge of something in a previous job or of a project that has ended, use led.

And if you’re referring to a pencil, it’s lead.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

August 28, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

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