EppsNet Archive: Language

Thomas Jefferson: Animals, Not People

My fellow Americans — I heard or read the Trump sound bite — “These are not people. These are animals.” — several times this week, always with no context to clarify who or what the pronoun “these” refers to. I plan to use that line next time I visit the National Zoo. It’s going to be hilarious. Listeners and readers… Read more →

More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Work Hard, Play Hard

You work hard? Is that a boast? Maybe you have to work hard because you lack talent and finesse. You play hard? Are you a bad loser? Are you an even worse winner? How do those two words even go together — “play” and “hard”? Read more →

More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Manterrupting

I’ve only heard it once and I’m already sick of it. According to the person who said it, it means a man interrupting a woman. Is there a word for a woman allowing herself to be interrupted? I mean, men interrupt other men too, we just decide whether or not we’re going to allow it . . . Read more →

More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Signage

Like most words, the plural of “sign” is formed by adding an “s” on the end, not by adding “age.” Someone must have figured out that “signage” sounds more impressive to the clientele. “That’s a lot of money just to put up some signs.” “We’re not putting up signs, we’re putting up signage.” Read more →

Some Links on Effective Communication

Busting myths on gender differences in the brain (Article) Nora Caplan-Bricker, “The Idea of a ‘Male Brain’ and a ‘Female Brain’ Is Likely a Myth,” Slate, November 2, 2015. Challenges and strategies for creating safe communication spaces at work (Article) James R. Detert and Ethan R. Burris, “Can Your Employees Really Speak Freely?,” Harvard Business Review, vol. 94, no. 1 (January/February 2016):… Read more →

Spot the Fake News: Obamacare Subsidies

I read four news stories on the same topic — the end of Obamacare subsidies to insurance companies. The Wall Street Journal plays it straight down the middle: President Donald Trump’s executive order on health care issued Thursday marks the first major salvo in what the White House promises will be an extensive, targeted campaign to unravel the Affordable Care… Read more →

More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of

“Hacks” — when used as a synonym for “advice,” “tips” or “recommendations.” Health hacks, productivity hacks, work-life balance hacks, time management hacks, stress management hacks, creativity hacks, memory hacks, etc. . . . Read more →

To Whom it May Concern

I can’t decide if you’re more fatuous than vacuous or the other way around, but you are definitely complacently inane . . . Read more →

Lost in Translation

Via Philip Greenspun: Tel Aviv cab driver: “I told my kids that the only place ‘Success’ comes before ‘Hard Work’ is in the dictionary.” (works better in Hebrew, presumably) Read more →

He Doesn’t Know the Meaning of the Word “Quit”!

Or a lot of other words . . . Read more →

Gutsy Winds

“Gutsy performance by the winds today.” “The sign said Gusty Winds.” Read more →

More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Full-Throated

“Full-throated” seems to be used a lot lately to describe politicians and their utterances, i.e., full-throated endorsements, full-throated denunciations, etc. What a pretentious nonsense word. Instead, just say “loud.” Read more →

Fun Fact of the Day

If you try to send “Oh good” as an email reply but type “Oh god” by mistake, your spell checker will not flag that as an error. Read more →

Proofread Your Own Work

FYI, if you meant to type “invest in education” but actually typed “incest in education,” which you might do because the ‘c’ and ‘v’ keys are right next to each other, a spell checker will not catch that as a mistake . . . Read more →

Aside

I can’t wait for President Trump to outlaw “For English, press 1” on automated phone systems.

Does Anyone Else See a Problem Here?

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More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Before You Die

50 Books You Must Read Before You Die, 100 Things You Need to Eat Before You Die, 1000 Places You Must See Before You Die, etc., etc., et goddamn cetera. Why not simply say 50 Books You Must Read, 100 Things You Need to Eat or 1000 Places You Must See? We all understand that we won’t be reading, eating… Read more →

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