usingtherightwords

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“Naked Photographs” and Other Misspoken Words


A guy walked up to me at a networking meeting and told me the words of the day were “naked photographs.”

Given the fallout from Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Louie C.K., John Conyers — the list keeps growing, doesn’t it? — Bill O’Reilly, Al Franken, Donald Trump, Roy Moore and Charlie Rose, I thought the words of the day (week? month? year?) were “sexual misconduct.” But I listened.

He explained that it the photo itself isn’t naked; it’s the person in the photo.

I’m guilty of using the term “naked photos,” too. It never crossed my mind that I’m really looking at “photos of a naked person.”

I’m also sure that it never crossed the minds of the people who spoke the following that they were misspeaking.

I like to say … — And then you did.

They may not be able to resuss you — The person meant resuscitate. “Resuss” isn’t a word, although there is a British-English word suss, which is slang for “investigate or figure out.” It usually is followed by the word “out.”

Like many have said, it’s December — He spoke this on Nov. 30.

Thanks to Richard C. for the words of the day. Later, he emailed a question, “How do you separate yourself from the competition?”

I responded, “I usually walk away. Sometimes, I drive.”

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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December 5, 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

I Hope You Stay Stuck in That Airport


This is not about President Donald Trump’s travel ban that caused people to be unable to leave various airports. If you read the latest scam email I received, you will see why I hope this con artist stays stuck in some unnamed airport.

As this is a shorter letter, I counted only 12 mistakes. Don’t make it 13 by calling the phone number. It’s a Columbus, Ohio area code.

Dear Card Owner,
This is to notify you today that I Mr. Rex Anthonio have already arrived to your
country yesterday with your ATM CARD which is valued at $1.5 million united state
dollars Sent from European Union branch Turkey. Kindly send your information for
reconfirmation, to avoid wrong delivery. below is my telephone numbers; (614)559
-8308
(1)Your Full Name:
(2)Mobile Phone Number:
(3)Current Home Address:
(4)Fax Number:
(5)Country:
(6)City:
(7)Nearest Airport :
Note that am in an airport right now waiting for your e-mail, so kindly send your
complete delivery information as I have directed you,to avoid misplacement.
I am,
Rex Anthonio
AIMES DELIVERY COMPANY

I typed “Aimes Delivery Company” into Google. No such name came up.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

February 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Call It What it Is: Propaganda


I don’t usually get political in this space, but when it comes to words, I’ll go there if something happens in the political arena.

Last week, President Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, blasted the assembled media for their “shameful and wrong” reporting that the crowd for Trump’s inauguration wasn’t the largest ever. This was in spite of photographic evidence that showed Barack Obama’s first inauguration was vastly more attended.

During a “Meet the Press” interview two days after the Trump inauguration, adviser Kellyanne Conway, when pressed during the interview with Chuck Todd to explain why Spicer “utter[ed] a provable falsehood,” Conway said, “Don’t be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.”

I say, call it what it is: propaganda, “ideas, facts or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause.”

Incidentally, Todd responded by saying “Alternative facts are not facts. They are falsehoods.”

I say, isn’t that partly what propaganda is?

It’s going to be a long four years.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

January 26, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Simple Folk Speaking Simply … Wrong


Ah, networking people. They’re so simple. They don’t know how to use the language correctly. More examples follow.

“We’re under new management the past three years” — Actually, that’s a sign of bad management. Either that or someone doesn’t know the meaning of the word new.

The correct statement: “We’re under the same management for the past three years.”

“I was walking down the street and I could see the wind” — No, you couldn’t. You could only see the signs of the wind: the trees waving, your hair flowing, the leaves blowing, etc.

“I’m down the street” — No, you’re standing in this restaurant where the networking meeting is taking place.

“Whoever becomes president next month…” — Putting aside the incorrect whoever for the moment, I went through this last week: No one becomes president next month. Barack Obama will still be president for all of November. The new president, whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, takes over Jan. 20. Between Nov. 8 and Jan. 20, someone will be president-elect.

The correct statement: “Whomever is elected president next month …”

Until next time! Use the right words!

It’s here! My début book, “If You Experience Death, Please Call: And Other Fatal Mistakes We Make With Language” is available on Amazon for only $14.95.  Order here.

leebarnathan.com

October 18, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Overheard (It Never Gets Old)


I love networking meetings. You hear some great stuff.

1. A skin-care professional planning an event said, “See me for your cell phone number.”

Don’t you already have your number?

2. Someone else said, “The holidays are coming. It makes a great gift certificate.”

The holidays make a great gift certificate?

3. The guest speaker, talking about himself, said, “I came here when I was young. I don’t remember when. I was a baby.”

None of us remember such things. We rely on our parents or relatives to tell us.

4. Somebody talking about the upcoming election said, “Whoever is president on Nov. 9, we have to get ready.”

I can easily predict who will be president on Nov. 9: Obama. Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be president-elect and won’t become president until taking the oath of office on Jan. 20.

Until next time! Use the right words!

It’s here! My début book, “If You Experience Death, Please Call: And Other Fatal Mistakes We Make With Language” is available on Amazon for only $14.95.  Order here.

leebarnathan.com

October 6, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking at “Native American” Differently


I was struck by something Donald Trump said on Monday. Because Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) appeared with Hillary Clinton, Trump attacked Warren and her listing herself as a Native American minority in Association of American Law Schools (AALS) directories from 1986-95.

“She used the fact that she was Native American to advance her career,” Trump said. “Elizabeth Warren is a total fraud.”

Now, I could write an entire blog based on everything Trump says and fact-check and correct his usage. In this case, Warren said she had self-identified as a minority in the directories to meet others with similar tribal roots. Her brothers defended her, stating that they “grew up listening to our mother and grandmother and other relatives talk about our family’s Cherokee and Delaware heritage.”

Whether you believe Warren or not, or whether you side with Trump or not, it makes no difference to me. The point I want to make is, if you break down the words, you’ll see that Warren, millions of others and I are, in fact, native Americans.

Native means “belonging to a particular place by birth.” Warren was born in Oklahoma City (notice Trump doesn’t question her birth as he did with President Obama in 2011). The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution begins, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” This makes Warren an American.

And a native American.

Until next time! Use the right words!

It’s here! My début book, “If You Experience Death, Please Call: And Other Fatal Mistakes We Make With Language” is available on Amazon for only $14.95.  Order here.

leebarnathan.com

June 30, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Dentist: Master of the Obvious


Yesterday, I went to the dentist for my semiannual checkup/cleaning. Dentists have never been a problem for me. I’ve only had two cavities in my life, plus one time an old filling had to be refilled.

I also like talking to my dentist because he takes some very clear stands on issues, usually to the right of my views. But on this day, we agreed that Donald Trump is making a mockery of the Republican Party and Oscars host Chris Rock did well in his monologue.

At one point, while he was using sound waves to knock the plaque and tartar off my teeth, someone from behind us asked if he had seen a story about a person with no arms excelling at archery.

“If he could do that, it can be done,” my dentist remarked.

Duh, I thought.

I didn’t know my dentist doubled as hotels.com’s Captain Obvious.

Until next time! Use the right words!

It’s here! My début book, “If You Experience Death, Please Call: And Other Fatal Mistakes We Make With Language” is out and available on Amazon. Order now for just $14.95. Contact me on my website to reserve your copy or Order here.

leebarnathan.com

March 1, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sorry, Date, You’re Not Getting Inaugurated


I attended a Rotary meeting last week. As it was Jan. 20 and this is an election year, the speaker had fun with political-related dates, saying that it’s 139 days until the California primary, it’s 180 days until the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and it’s 187 days until the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia.

Then he said, “And since it’s a leap year, it’s 366 days until the inauguration of Jan. 20, 2017.”

There’s just one problem: Jan. 20, 2017 isn’t getting inaugurated. A person is.

We don’t yet know who, of course. Could be Donald Trump. Could be Hillary Clinton. Could be Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. Could be Bernie Sanders. Or someone else.

But I am 100-percent certain that Jan. 20 isn’t getting inaugurated. According to the U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, Clause 8: “Before he enters the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Note the italics, which I added to demonstrate that a person must be the one being inaugurated.

Until next time! Use the right words!

It’s here! My début book, “If You Experience Death, Please Call: And Other Fatal Mistakes We Make With Language” is out and available on Amazon. Order now for just $14.95. Contact me on my website to reserve your copy or Order here.

leebarnathan.com

January 26, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s About Time This Word Appears


A word such as stadium is singular. In the purest sense, the plural would be stadia, but almost everybody uses stadiums as the plural (though I learned in writing this that stadium referred not only to the large arena in which the ancient Olympics were held in Greece, it also referred to the length of that edifice, about 200 meters).

I have accepted that stadiums is the plural we use, so imagine my surprise to read this week’s Time magazine and see the word gymnasia, plural for gymnasium.

Time’s cover story on Donald Trump mentions that “… after standing for two hours in single-digit temperatures, locals filled the equivalent of two high school gymnasia on the Vermont-New Hampshire border to catch Trump’s revival show.”

In ancient Greece, a gymnasium (a Latinization of the Greek word gymnasion meaning “gymnastic school,” which is derived from the Greek gymnos meaning  “naked;” ancient athletes competed sans clothing) was a training facility for public games. Its plural is gymnasia. These were typically large structures containing spaces for each type of exercise as well as a stadium, wrestling school, baths, outer porticos for practice in bad weather, and covered porticos where philosophers and others gave public lectures. All Athenian gymnasia were located outside the city walls due to the large amount of space required for construction.

I had mixed feelings on seeing gymnasia. I was thrilled because I didn’t think I ever would see the plural form of -ium words used correctly, but at the same time, I admit it stuck out and made me pause.

Until next time! Use the right words!

It’s here! My début book, “If You Experience Death, Please Call: And Other Fatal Mistakes We Make With Language” is out and available on Amazon. Order now for just $14.95. Contact me on my website to reserve your copy or Order here.

leebarnathan.com

January 12, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment