usingtherightwords

Guaranteed to improve your English

Networking Nonsense, Part (I Lost Count)


I belong to many networking groups. One in particular makes fun of me every time I  speak. I say in my member introduction that when you work with me, I use the fewest words as necessary because the fewer the words, the more powerful they are. But I speak for 30 seconds when everyone else speaks for 10-15 seconds.

“I find it funny,” people tell me, “that you say you use the fewest words, but then you speak the longest.”

My response: The words I use are the fewest I need to get my ideas across. I spend my 30 seconds explaining some of my various services so people know they can come to me for a wide variety of services.

I might speak for 15-20 seconds longer, but don’t misspeak like in the following examples:

I want to thank Bart for my sister — I think you should thank your parents.

I don’t need a microphone. I’m a grandma — One has nothing to do with the other.

Hepatits C, the miracle drug — I don’t know of any drug called hepatitis C, but I know the disease, and it’s no miracle.

You get to see some great singing — You actually hear the singing and see the singer.

We teamed up together — Just your basic redundancy. We teamed up is all that’s needed.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

May 9, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Well, but the Words Make Me Sick


It’s never fun to get sick. It saps my energy, makes me lazy and prevents me from being productive. But now that I’m better, let’s dive in and make fun of the following utterances at networking events.

It’s going to cost $15 and $5 for kids up to 12 — Do you mean up to age 12 or do you mean up to 12 children? If it’s 12 children, how much does the 13th and every subsequent child cost?

The crabfest was a big crabfest — To paraphrase “Animal House,” Circular reasoning is no way to go through life, son.

If you’re on the list, you’re on the list — See above, although maybe you don’t want to be on the list. In that case, you’re not on the list.

We specialize in pest control, including agricultural gophers — There are 25 types of gophers indigenous to North and Central America, but I can’t find “agricultural” as one of them.

We’ve been blowing up dance floors for years, and we’ll blow yours up, too — No need to get violent. We just want to have a good time.

Thank you for my continuing shirts — Wouldn’t it be cheaper to wash the shirts?

And finally…

Person one: I’m a handyman.

Person two: Can you fix the crack of dawn?

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

April 18, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Words Get in the Way of Networking


When it comes to networking, I find it funny that a person who needs to use the right words to sell himself or herself often says things that make me wonder. Following are actual words I heard networkers utter.

funny hanky panky — I don’t usually find anything funny about hanky panky, unless it’s like something from the “American Pie” movies.

cleaning maids — Is there any other kind? (NOTE: I know a maid is “a young unmarried woman,” but that is a shortening of the original word, maiden.)

protect against free radicals — as opposed to paid radicals?

We’re holding a Shakespearean meeting: on the Ides of March — First of all, the Ides of March (March 15) predates Shakespeare’s play. S0 does Julius Caesar’s assassination — by about 1,600 years .

I got married to my wife — No, you got married to a woman who then became your wife.

It costs just $8,000 a month, $100,000 a year — No, it costs $96,000 a year.

I have a prosthetic shoulder, which some of you know about and some of you don’t — That about covers it.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

February 28, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Networkers Say the Darndest Things


Whenever I go to a networking event, I make sure I bring either writing utensil and paper or my phone’s notepad app so I can record the “golden utterances” of certain people.

After an earthquake, water turns into gold — I would prefer if water stayed water. I can’t drink gold.

Some of you are in this room right now — The rest of us are out to lunch. Or disguised as empty seats.

I know this little documentary filmmaker — How tall is this documentary filmmaker? is he as tall as Verne Troyer (2 feet, 8 inches)? Warwick Davis (3-6)? Kenny Baker (3-8)? Danny DeVito (4-10)?

Or, how little are the documentaries? To qualify for Academy Award consideration, they’ve got to be no longer than 40 minutes.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

February 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Networking Nonsense Again


When I attend networking meetings, I make sure I have either pen and paper or the notepad function on my phone handy. That way, I can document the silly, dumb and annoying  things people say. These include the following:

I got a call from my daughter. She was on vacation in Hawaii with her husband and my granddaughter — While there is nothing grammatically wrong with this sentence, I’m always annoyed that people tend to skip a generation and make it all about them. I find it more correct to say, “…with her husband and their daughter, my granddaughter.”

Maybe it’s because I don’t have any grandchildren, but I don’t understand this line of thinking and, therefore, this line of language.

I wrote a strong letter — How do you know it’s strong? Did it bench-press 200 pounds? Did it run a mile in less than four minutes? Of did you write a strongly-worded letter?

I went and got my family pictures taken and I said, “You can’t put hair on my head,” and he did. He airbrushed some on — No, he hair-brushed some on.

Thank you for people who sent condolences for my mom — The problem is, it’s the mom who died. I doubt she got the condolences.

She made everything from scratch — When I hear this, I always imagine somebody scratching their fingers across a surface, and the food suddenly appears. Too bad that’s never worked for me.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

December 6, 2016 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

As Opposed to “As Late as Possible?”


Once again, a networking meeting provides me with fodder.

This time, it’s a report of a fellow networker suffering from cancer. The group president announced that a member has cancer and he’s fighting it, and “We’re sure he will be back as soon as possible.”

To which I thought, No, he’s going to be back as late as possible. I don’t mean “late” as in “dead,” either. It’s just that it seems obvious to me that someone will be back as soon as possible if he wants to be there in the first place, which he does.

So, duh.

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

September 27, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

The Good, the Bad, and the Funny of Networking


More networking meetings means more crazy word choices. But here also are some that I think are really good.

Good: A massage therapist’s tag line: If your back is aching, a massage appointment went you should be making.

Bad: A networking group was having a lip-sync contest. One man got up and said, “Guess what I’ll be singing?” (Uh, nothing, it’s a lip-sync contest.)

Good: A plumber’s tag line: We drain your sinks, not your pockets.

Funny: A man showed me a picture of a sign on a door of a medical doctor of “Adult and Robotic Urology.” He told me, “I didn’t know robots needed a urologist!”

Good: A realtor’s tag line: Everything I touch turns to sold.

Good: Another realtor’s tag line: If you have a realtor, great. If you want a great realtor, call me.

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 21, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ham and Eggs Green, a Tempest and a Dream


Apologies to Dr. Seuss and Shakespeare, but…

And to think I heard it at a networking meeting!

A construction worker spoke about flipping houses. I wondered how strong one has to be to physically do that.

The man continued, talking about how he can build a home “from the ground up.”

As opposed to, “from the sky down?”

Oh, the words I have heard!

At a different networking meeting, a printer started speaking about what be does for his clients. The guy next to me whispered, “He’s not flat, so he must be a 3D printer.”

I rolled my eyes.

Lord, what fools these mortals be!

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 7, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment