usingtherightwords

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A Taco Cart, Thank You and Other Networking “Gems”


My pointing out the foibles of language returns with these “gems” I heard at networking functions:

We have the delicious taco cart — I suspect the cart itself isn’t delicious, being made of metal and all. But I bet the tacos are.

She got me a great basket of thank you — What does “a basket of thank you” look like? For that matter, what does a “thank you” look like?

I’ve gone online and seen many baskets of flowers and products and goodies meant to say “thank you.” But I don’t know what a thank you looks like.

We got a new body shop coming in — I don’t think there’s enough room at the networking meeting for an entire body shop to come in. But I bet there’s room for a person representing a body shop.

His partner is another person — Obviously.

And before anybody thinks that a pet can be a partner, read the column here about a pet coming between you and your (human) partner. It’s on a website affiliated with Cesar Millan, the so-called “Dog Whisperer.”

To sum up, a survey revealed 14 percent of people would choose their pet over their significant other.

“Unfortunately, the survey isn’t asking the right question,” the author wrote. “It’s not ‘who would you choose?’ but rather ‘how in the world did it get to that point?’ ”

He can’t come in today. He’s under the weather — Since most weather occurs in the troposphere, which is basically from the ground to about 12 miles up, aren’t most of us always under the weather?

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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June 7, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why “From The Bottom of My Heart?”


I’ve been thinking about the phrase “from the bottom of my heart” since I heard some celebrities utter it during Sunday’s Golden Globes.

I wondered where this now-cliche originated because the human heart isn’t that big, on average about the size of your fist and nine-12 ounces in weight. So, if you thank someone  from the bottom of your heart, it’s not a great distance from the top of your heart.

As it turns out, others think the same thing — and long before I did. I found this from a post by Melissa Marchese on phrases.org.uk on Jan. 10, 2001:

What is the meaning and origin of the phrase “From the bottom of my heart”? Why is it the BOTTOM of the heart? Does anyone know?

Three days later, R. Berg responded by saying (and I’m paraphrasing here) that people feel emotion in the chest, about where the bottom of the heart is located.

Then on answers.com (and found in a few other places), I found an answer based in history. The Greek philosopher Archimedes thought that the brain channeled the blood and that the heart did all the thinking and the feeling. Therefore if you wanted to say thank you in a very deep and meaningful way, you would say “thank you from the bottom of my heart,” as that would be where all the most meaningful feelings were supposed to be.

Problem: Archimedes is much more known for his mathematics than his heart theories. I couldn’t find any text that quoted Archimedes, but I found that many classical philosophers and scientists, including Aristotle, considered the heart the seat of thought, reason, or emotion, often disregarding the brain as contributing to those functions (which could be why the phrase off the top of my head refers to some shallow idea).

At any rate, the definition of from the bottom of my heart is “with sincere gratitude,” making me think that the best way to express your gratitude is, “thank you very much.”

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

January 13, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Talking at the Car Wash


Today, I went to the car wash. The attendant welcomed me and asked, “What car wash do you want?”

Being the smart-ass I am, I replied, “This one. I’m here, aren’t I?”

He laughed and said, “Thank you, sir” and asked me what I wanted. I showed him my coupon.

Just another example of how much fun it is to listen to what others say and answer literally.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

September 4, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Do I Deserve Your Congratulations?


My daughter reached a rite of passage in her life this past weekend, causing a great many people to come up to me and say, “Congratulations.”

My gut reaction is to say, “For what? I didn’t do anything” because it was my daughter who did it all (I reached this rite of passage 32 years ago, so I’ve had my moment). But not having a dictionary handy this weekend, I simply went with society’s norm and said, “Thank you.”

Later, I looked up congratulate just to make sure I’m correct. The definition: “to express vicarious pleasure to (a person) on the occasion of success or good fortune.”

The key word in the definition is vicarious, which means “experienced or realized through imaginative or sympathetic participation in the experience of another.” People are vicariously experiencing the joy I felt at my daughter’s accomplishment, so it appears that, as the father, congratulations are in order.

To which I say, “Thank you.”

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

February 3, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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