usingtherightwords

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Did I Really Lose That Money?


One of my many jobs is to officiate youth sports such as volleyball, softball and soccer. I find it a great financial supplement and it helps me get my sports fix.

One of the drawbacks of such a job is that games sometimes get canceled or postponed due to rain, fire, excessive heat or a school not having enough players to field a team. When that happens, and I can’t work the rescheduled date, I lose money.

Or do I? People tell me that I really don’t lose money because I never had it. And it’s true that lost means “no longer possessed,” among other definitions.

Yet although I never had it, I had an agreement that if I showed up and officiated, I would get paid. Circumstances beyond anyone’s control interfered with that agreement, so I did not work and did not get paid.

Maybe what I should say is, “I lost the opportunity to make the money.” Good thing I never spend the money until I get it.

Furthermore, to lose means “to suffer the deprivation of,” and I certainly feel like I suffer when I don’t get the money. My wallet is deprived. Yet the examples given with this definition are “to lose one’s job” and “to lose one’s life.” In those instances, a person would have had a job or a life before losing it; I never had the money, only an agreement.

To the wordsmith, it might seem clear that I have not lost any money. I can assure you that to the self-employed person scrambling and hustling and trying to make a decent living in a city where it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a living wage, it feels like I lose money every time.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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March 20, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Accidentally Introducing Sex into a Networking Meeting


From the “If We Stopped And Listened To What We Said, We’d Laugh” Dept.:

Certain networking groups pride themselves on how much business they do and refer to their members and their members’ networks. At such a meeting recently, the treasurer stood up and announced that this group has brought in “over $200,000 since insemination.”

That got my attention. First, because over is a preposition, which refers to location. I assure you she was not standing over a pile of money totaling $200,00. But I’ve harped on this before, so let’s move on.

Since insemination, huh? I have a feeling this woman didn’t realize what she had said, for if she had, she would have laughed, I suspect. Insemination means “to introduce semen into the genital tract of a female.” Now, this group is only two months old, so maybe she really meant to say that — but I doubt anyone had ever brought a turkey baster.

Yeah, I went there, so let’s move on.

She wanted to say inception, which means “an act, process, or instance of beginning.”

Still $200,000 in two months impresses me, and I had no idea a turkey baster could lead to so much.

Yeah, I went there again, so let’s move on.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

July 16, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

He Wasn’t “Loitering” or “Panhandling;” He Might Not Have Been “Begging,” Either


The other day, as we drove to our supermarket, my daughter noticed a man standing with a sign asking for money. She asked my wife, “Is he loitering?” My wife responded, “Yes.”

That got me thinking. I always thought loitering meant standing around doing nothing. This guy clearly was doing something.

So I checked the dictionary. The appropriate definition of loiter here is “to remain in an area for no apparent reason.”

This guy was definitely there for a reason: to get people to give him money. I thought he was panhandling, but just to be sure, I checked the dictionary.

Panhandling means “to stop people on the street and ask for food or money.” This guy was just standing there. He wasn’t knocking on car windows asking for anything. He simply held a sign.

OK, I thought, he must be begging. To beg is to “ask for alms.”

But my dictionary has a usage note. To beg implies earnestness or insistence in asking for a favor. The guy might have been doing that. But he also might have been beseeching, which implies great eagerness or anxiety. Or he could have been imploring, which is beseeching but with greater urgency.

I didn’t bother to ask him if he was begging, beseeching or imploring. Had I, he probably would have looked at me funny and said, “I don’t know. Just give me money!”

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

November 26, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Do You Keep Your Money?


I’m sure many people performing Google searches clicked here thinking this is some sort of banking blog. Sorry.

But all of you can stick around and discover the various places people keep their money. I’m not talking about long-term investments or property. I mean the places we keep money that’s readily available with no penalty.

We use the term “bank” to refer to all sorts of institutions that deal with money, but not every bank is a bank.

There are four major ones. The first is a bank. A bank holds, issues, exchanges or loans money and establishes credit.

The second is a savings and loan. It is not the same as a bank. An S&L is a cooperative  association organized to hold members’ savings in the form of dividend-bearing shares that get invested in home mortgage loans.

The third is a credit union. It is similar to a savings and loan in that it’s a cooperative, but it’s owned by the members and operated to promote thrift, and offer competitive credit rates and other financial services to its members.

The fourth one is your mattress.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

October 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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