usingtherightwords

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It Makes Sense Only in Context


It has been awhile since I’ve gone to a networking meeting, but last week, I returned. This time, I bring examples of words people said that made sense — if you were there.

I’m not in the closet because I’ve been in the business 50 years — Of course, plenty of people in the entertainment industry, including some who have been in the business 50 years are gay. Others are gay but don’t feel they can come out.

And then there is the person who said this: She really sells closets.

He helped defeat Prop 8 so we have gay marriage in California — This speaker told of a relative that was an outspoken opponent of Proposition 8, the 2008 initiative that banned any marriage in California that wasn’t between a man and woman. Unfortunately, the voters approved Prop 8; it wasn’t defeated.

Later, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it unconstitutional because it violated the Equal Protection Clause (Fourteenth Amendment), so had the relative been an attorney who argued the case, the speaker would have been correct. But he wasn’t.

As we celebrate your nephew’s life and his passing — The networking group’s president expressed his sympathy for a member whose nephew died at a young age. But I don’t think anyone was celebrating his passing.

You want to live for free, you go to Oklahoma. That’s what Oklahoma’s for — Can you really live for free in Oklahoma? I doubt it. The speaker actually made a point that land in Oklahoma is far less expensive than in California.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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January 23, 2018 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

   

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