usingtherightwords

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Is Collusion About Russians a Crime?


You probably think I’m going to get political with this post, but I’m simply dealing with words.

A couple of days ago, Rudy Giuliani was quoted on CNN as saying, “I don’t know if that’s even a crime, colluding about Russians.”

It’s not. Colluding with Russians might be, but colluding about Russians isn’t.

To collude is “to act together through a secret understanding, especially with evil or harmful intent” and “to conspire in a fraud.”

Acting together through a secret understanding about Russians makes no sense. Nor does  conspiring in a fraud about Russians.

Say what you want about Giuliani’s intellect. Say what you want about Trump and the company he keeps. Heck, say what you want about whether you think collusion with Russia is a crime and if the House of Representatives should impeach the President as a result.

But if Trump and his cronies were only guilty of colluding about Russians, there’s no crime as far as I can read.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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July 31, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hey, Gang, You Don’t Have to be Violent


It’s too bad we live in a society that causes us to associate a perfectly good word with something evil. Today’s case in point: gang.

When I was a child watching “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” the character Fred often referred to Daphne, Velma and Shaggy as “gang:” Well, gang, it looks like we’ve got another mystery. So, I knew a gang was “a group of persons working together,” which is one of my dictionary’s definitions of the word.

The word actually goes back to the 12th century and means “a combination of similar implements or devices arranged for convenience to act together.”

But somewhere along the way, gang developed a bad rap. Blame the Crips and Bloods if you must (though there are so many others), but gang too often means “a group of persons working to unlawful or antisocial ends, esp. a band of antisocial adolescents.”

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

April 18, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Date in Misusing Words History


Many people enjoy studying history; others find it boring. But when it comes to the words historic and historical, people make history, either by using them correctly or mangling them.

First, the mangling: People often refer to an historic event. They’re wrong. It’s a historic event.

A word that begins with “h” takes the an article when the h is silent. Since you pronounce the h in historic and historical, the word takes the a article.

Now for the correct usage: a historic event is an important occurrence. These include Dec. 7, 1941, Sept. 11, 2001, July 4, 1776, the day the music died (Feb. 3, 1959), and the day Mark David Chapman murdered John Lennon (Dec. 8, 1980). Any past occurrence is historical. It can include any historic event or something as mundane as your birthday.

My daughter’s birthday is the same date as Mozart’s. Historic and historical.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

October 14, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Going to “Prison” or “Jail”


Believe it or not, prison and jail are not synonyms.

Prison is a generic for penitentiaries (maximum security institutions), correctional institutions and reformatories (medium security institutions) and work-oriented facilities (minimum security institutions), all of which confine people serving sentences for felonies.

A jail confines people serving sentences for misdemeanors or holds people awaiting trail on any charge, awaiting sentencing for any conviction, or to hold persons for civil matters such as failing to pay alimony or contempt of court.

In short: prison is for people convicted of felonies, jail is for everything else.

Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

July 11, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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