usingtherightwords

Guaranteed to improve your English

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

Ever Visited a “Dry Rainforest?”


In his book The Miracle of Language, Richard Lederer wrote, “English has never rejected a word because of its race, creed, or national origin.”

Sometimes I think English should have been more picky in what words it welcomed.

Today, I speak of a new oxymoron I recently heard. Somebody was telling me about a trip to Costa Rica and a “dry rainforest.”

I thought that by definition, a rain forest was two words and meant, “a tropical woodland with an annual rainfall of at least 100 inches and marked by lofty broad-leaved evergreen trees forming a continuous canopy.”

I must live in a dry rainforest. We’re not getting any rain where I live.

A Costa Rica information web page (http://costarica-information.com/) calls it a “dry forest,” but it turns out that there are many such dry rainforests in Australia, and I found a page on The Royal Botanical Gardens & Domain Trust website (http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au) that lists characteristics.

These include:

–small to large number of tree species forming the low to medium canopy layer,
–scattered larger trees or emergents rising above the canopy including semi-deciduous species or conifers
–small average leaf size of canopy trees. Leaves are often hard and blunt-tipped
–palms absent
–large vines common and diverse
–vascular epiphytes rare or common, but with few species
–mosses and ferns scarce

I don’t pretend to know what all of these mean. But I do know that what these don’t include is:

correct use of English

logical sense

In fact, we already have a perfectly good synonym for dry rainforest.

It’s called a desert. 

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

July 13, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Just Look on the Damn Menu!


Good or bad, right or wrong, just about everybody goes to Starbucks or Coffee Bean, right? And many of us buy coffee that’s brewed by forcing steam through finely ground darkly roasted coffee beans — also known as espresso.

So why would I ever come across expresso? I usually hear people mispronounce espresso as expresso, but Grammarist found it in writing in two Australian publications.

There is a simple way to avoid misspelling or mispronouncing espresso: LOOK AT THE DAMN MENU!!! The word figures prominently on each menu at each coffee house. It’s not difficult to say ESpresso instead of EXpresso. You don’t say S-ray when you get an X-ray, do you? You don’t say EXtimate when you say EStimate, so say espresso.

No, I am not hopped up on caffeine as I write this. I drink decaf.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

August 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Did you “Emigrate” or “Immigrate?


Some people won’t bother saying it, but I’m  Master of the Obvious, so I will say it: Our country is great in that it brings together people from probably all other countries of the world. Yet people don’t always know the correct terms for these people.

Are they immigrants or emigrants? Did they emigrate or immigrate? I usually see (or hear) people write (or say) that a person emigrated or immigrated to this country.

Here’s what’s correct: One who leaves a country is an emigrant, and that person emigrates from that country.

One who comes to a country is an immigrant, and that person migrates to that country. “Immigrates” is not a word.

I hail from California.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

November 17, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment