EppsNet Archive: Language

More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of

Whenever I hear Let’s be clear or Make no mistake, it’s never followed by something clear or unmistakable, but always by some completely unsupportable hallucination . . . Read more →

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

If “thought leader” is a title you can bestow upon yourself, then what is the difference between a thought leader and a crackpot? I am a thought leader, a proponent of unconventional ideas. You, on the other hand, are a crackpot. I am a visionary. I have visions. Sometimes I have them when I’m driving and I have to pull over. It’s a real burden . . . Read more →

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 were invited to apply the broadest possible interpretation, i.e., Trump said immigrants are animals. He was reviled by people who relied on the short, skewed attention span of the American public to avoid facing the regrettable fact that they use the same “dehumanizing” language themselves. This doesn’t work as well as it did before Twitter became an online memory bank for better or worse. For example, here is CNN “journalist” Ana Navarro: Once it became widely known that Trump was referring specifically to MS-13 gang members, Nancy Pelosi and other… 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): p. 80-87. Communication comes in all shapes and sizes (Video) Nancy Lublin, “Texting That Saves Lives,” TEDvideo, 5:24, February 2012. Do men and women communicate differently? (Article) Deborah Cameron, “What Language Barrier?,” The Guardian, October 1, 2007. Find out the meaning behind emojis (Website) “Emojipedia.” Game-changing communication developments (Article) Amber Leigh Turner, “5 Trends Disrupting Communication,” TNW News. How the medium of communications can change what we say (Article) “Tweets From Mobile Devices Are More Likely to Be Egocentric,” International Communications Association press release, October 1, 2015. Leaders can change their power… 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 Act administratively. As does Bloomberg: President Donald Trump said he is moving “step by step” on his own to remake the U.S. health care system because Congress won’t act on his demand to repeal Obamacare. The Trump administration took its most drastic measure yet to roll back the Affordable Care Act Thursday evening, announcing it would cut off a subsidy to insurers hours after issuing an executive order designed to draw people away from the health law’s markets. See if you can spot the fake news in the Politico version:… 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.

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