usingtherightwords

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Proper Speaking is Sometimes an Illusion


I find networkers by nature to be self-starters and very motivated, which you have to be if you want to make any money through networking. But I really wish people would come to me first and ask, “Does this sound right?”

Chances are, the answer would be yes, except in the following cases.

I will go to the ends of the Earth — Recently, I’ve been watching “The West Wing” on Netflix, and a character said something similar about “the corners of the globe.”

The problem is, there are no ends of the Earth and no corners of the globe.

All the wine you can drink. All the food you can drink, too — If I want a liquid diet, I’ll call the hospital.

Tom Hanks was the emcee in the beginning — And who took over for him at the end?

We raised over $4 million for breast cancer awareness — I’ve written about this before. I think people are really, really aware of breast cancer. But we need to raise more money to find a cure.

Also, and I’ve written about this, too: It’s more than, not over.

I want to thank Harold. I have pestilence bad — Harold runs a pest control company. I don’t think he has enough spray and traps and bait and whatever else he has to combat a worldwide epidemic, such as bubonic plague.

I want to thank Jason for helping my Millennium son — Wow. You son is a thousand years old? Impressive.

I asked my millennial daughter what would she say if someone called her a millennium, and she responded, “Time is an illusion.” Apparently, that is something millennials say.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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

People Are At It Again


After being sick for most of a month, I have returned to networking meetings and have heard the nonsense that comes out of people’s mouths. I had hoped the world had changed in my absence; sadly, I knew better.

I do bald hair — Is there such a thing?

Leave a message and leave your phone number. Please repeat it twice — The message, the phone number, or both?

My favorite movie is “Hear No Evil, See No Evil” — Really? The name of the movie starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor is “See No Evil, Hear No Evil.”

His favorite movie should be “Liar” with Jim Carrey — I’m guessing his favorite movie really is “Liar Liar” with Jim Carrey.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

August 31, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crazy Sentences that are Grammatically Correct


At a recent networking meeting, a fellow networker approached me and said he had seen online something called “The Worst Sentences in the English Language.” Naturally, I was intrigued and wanted him to send it, which he did.

However, the following sentences really aren’t the worst. Instead, they appear to be grammatically incorrect but in fact are just fine.

One day I shot an elephant in my pajamas.  We start with a famous one, spoken by Groucho Marx in the movie “Animal Crackers.” Ignoring the second part of the joke (How he got in my pajamas I’ll never know), it can be understood two ways: That I shot an elephant while in my pajamas or I shot an elephant who was wearing my pajamas.

The horse raced past the barn fell. The main verb is not raced but fell. We often leave out a word and the sentence still makes sense (The speech given this morning was well received leaves out the words “that was”). Here, this sentence also omits a word: The horse that raced past the barn fell.

The complex houses married and single soldiers and their families. If you realize complex is a noun (and the sentence subject) and houses is the verb, the sentence makes perfect sense.

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. This one is fun. Buffalo is a city in New York. A buffalo is a bison. To buffalo is a verb meaning “to intimidate.”

So, Bison from Buffalo, New York (that’s the second and first words), who are intimidated by other bison in Buffalo, New York (that’s the fifth, fourth and third words) also happen to intimidate other bison in their community (the final three words).

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

August 29, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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