usingtherightwords

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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

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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

YES, YES, YES!!!


Last week, I bemoaned how people misspeak when they could hire me to fix their problems. Here are some examples of people using language in ways I deem clever.

  1. A chiropractor was speaking. Someone asked him, “Can you use chiropractic tape in the shower?” Came his reply: “Yes, but I use soap.”
  2. A networker talked a little about himself: “English is my second language. Baby talk was my first.”
  3. A networker’s slogan (people familiar with Los Angeles will understand this): “Our pricing policy is top-notch. We sell Bel-Air quality at Van Nuys prices.”
  4. A plumbing company: “We drain your sinks, not your pockets.”
  5. A Massage therapist: “If your back is aching, a massage appointment you should be making.”
  6. Finally, mine: “If you have a story to tell, I’ll tell it well, and I’ll give you the WRITE stuff.”

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

July 3, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NO, NO, NO!!!


Sometimes I get so angry. Why do people misspeak? Why do they use the wrong words? If they’d only hire me, I could fix their problems (and get paid regularly, which would make me happy).

Her financial advisor literally screwed her and took most of her money — NO, NO, NO!!! Her financial advisor figuratively screwed her and took most of her money. If it was literal, it would mean something different altogether.

Official unlicensed bootleg merchandise — NO, NO, NO!!! Merchandise can’t be official and unlicensed. Plus, unlicensed and bootleg could be synonymous.

One cockroach is a hundred too many — NO, NO, NO!!! One cockroach is one too many. A hundred cockroaches are a hundred too many. And so on.

Thank you for all the informative information — NO, NO, NO!!! That’s redundant.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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

An Unbelievable Email


I received the following email. There just is no way this is real.

I am Mr.Donald Trump the president of the united states of america and I am written to inform you about your Bank Check Draft brought by United Embassy from the government of Benin Republic to the white house Washington DC and has been mandated
to be deliver to your home address on Friday, being June 02, 2017 as soon as you get back to me with your below information.

Receiver's Name_______________
Address: ________________
City _______________
Country: ____________
Next Of Kin_____________
Phone Number: _____________
Age_____________
Nationality_____________
Text Question And Answer___________
Attach Copy Of Your ID _____________
  
You check is containing the sum of $60 million USD.
Here is my number.(253)336_8597) and (202) 852-3953) E-mails is
(mrdonaldtrumpthepresident@gmail.com) OR (mrdonaldtrumpthepresident@yahoo.com) you can call me or send me an sms, but i prefer sms because I'm always busy in the white house and i can't be able to pick calls all the time.
 
I will be waiting to hear from you immediately, thanks and God bless you.
 
Sincerely
Mr.Donald Trump
The president

How unreal can this be? There are too many ways to count. It boggles my mind.

The email address is phony; Trump wouldn’t use a gmail or yahoo email address. The capitalization errors are numerous. There has been no news that the president has had anything to do with the African nation Benin in his 100-plus days in office.

I actually want to call the phone numbers but am afraid to.

Please, please, please, nobody believe this.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

June 1, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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