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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 9, 2009 / 15 Shevat 5769

My vocabulary is just teeming with synergy

By Dave Barry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It is time once again for Ask Mister Language Person, the column that provides you with the grammar, punctuation and vocabulary skills you need to verbally crush your opponents like seedless grapes under a hammer.


Today's first language question comes from author Joyce Carol Oates, who writes to ask:


Q. At restaurants, I often order the soup du jour. My question is, what is "jour"?


A. It is a French word meaning "bat spleens."


Q. Speaking of restaurants, can you give an example of pretentious menu language?


A. Yes. We were dining recently with Mrs. Language Person at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Fla., and the menu listed the following item, which we are not making up: "Chef's Daily Inspiration of Soup." When the waiter came around, we asked him: "What is the Chef's Daily Inspiration of Soup?" And he answered, quote: "It's the soup of the day."


Q. Like many people, I am troubled by the part of "Humpty Dumpty" that goes: "All the king's horses and all the king's men, couldn't put Humpty together again." Why does it mention horses? Does anybody seriously believe that if a bunch of horses saw a giant egg broken into pieces, their response would be: "Hey! Let's try to reassemble this!"? Also, in "Cinderella," are we really supposed to believe that the prince -- this guy who danced with Cinderella all night and wants to MARRY her -- believes that the only way he can recognize her is to make her TRY ON A SHOE? As if a shoe is some kind of medieval DNA sample? So if Cinderella's foot swells up, the prince is going to say: "Well, you LOOK exactly like the woman I love, but the shoe never lies!"


A. You have given this a lot of thought.


Q. At least once a day, my phone rings, and I answer it, and the person on the other end -- the person who called ME - starts the conversation by asking: "Who is this?" Is that rude?


A. It most certainly is, because this person is committing the grammatical "faux pas" (literally, "bat spleen") of using a preemptive connubial pronoun in an infricative phrase. The proper wording is: "Whom is this?" Or, more formally: "Just exactly whom the heck is this to whom I am speaking to?"


Q. I would like to use the word "synergy" more often. What does it mean?


A. "Synergy" is one of the key words used by business professionals to indicate that they have no clue as to what business they are actually in. ("The Harbingle Organization: A Paradigm of Synergy")


Q. Is it time now for examples of actual language usage sent in by alert readers?


A. Yes.


Veronica Peterson sent a newspaper ad for a Watertown, N.Y., dental clinic offering "Personalized Dentures."


Bob Emerick sent an ad for a fund-raising dinner in Tampa, Fla., with this headline: "Shaquille O'Neal Attacks Literacy."


Ed Lacy reports that he saw a sign in the men's room of an Office Depot that said: "EMPLOYEES MUST WASH YOUR HANDS." (Ed writes: "I waited 15 minutes for someone to wash my hands.")


Susan Tudor sent an article from the Anderson, Ind., Herald Bulletin, headlined: "MINORITIES IN SHORT SUPPLY."


John Noren sent an informational document from the Internal Revenue Service containing this statement: "The definition of a child living at home is a child who lives at home."


Bill Belt sent a letter that his elderly mother received from BlueCross BlueShield that begins with this cheerful and personal salutation: "Dear Catastrophic Member:"


K. Houser sent an article on shark attacks from USA Today, quoting a shark expert as follows: "To have shark attacks, you have to have people together with sharks in the water."


Q. You need BOTH?


A. Yes. To create synergy.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.


Previously:

A brief emergency
It's time for me to come clean about my dirty ways
A ruff and ready playmate
Sticking it to bad drivers
The gravity of skiing
Warning: DO NOT READ WHILE SLEEPING!
I had fun, fun, fun till someone took my Vega away
Attack on language from Shaq to shark
Defusing the turkey bomb
Driving While Stupid
I'm living in a perpetual state of confusion
Traveling with little ones is just plane crazy
It's time to unmask a more traditional Halloween
U.S. needs to shoot for a better class of criminals
Mountain man training involves some trash talk
Ten rules for making the world a much better place
A slide down memory lane reminds me I got burned
This latest research is enough to drive you nuts
Wrestling with night critters gives me butterflies
Silly songs get this old teapot into some hot water
Kids better wise up, or they're doomed to repeat
Overweight? I'm in training for the next Ice Age
The bleu plate special proves just ducky on this trip
Just weighting for the day I can build a better body
Better to light a single gift candle than to curse your wife
These camping tips will make for some happy trails
I'm shooting the rapids with eyes wide shut
People's bad grammar is enough to make me sic
Toilet water as a weapon? That idea really stinks
The carefree days of summer begin with the ants in my pants
Heartland's moovers & shakers are an udder disgrace
I've found a guy who can do this better than I can
If you really love Dad, give him a big box of nothing
Graduates, the world is your oyster — and it's shut
How to look good in a swimsuit — no ifs, ands or butts
Trip proves I'm the king of my own castle
The writer vs. the writher beats the Hil & Obama fight
Complain about gridlock? That's just a dead end
New phone tactics help me develop new hangups
For faithful readers, a course in Journalism $1.01
How to speak English very much better
When it comes to laundry, men are all washed up
This houseguest is ready to throw in the towel
Fixing your home can truly be a bonding experience
The lies about this mammal just drive me batty
In spin cycle of love, hard to be delicate
It's just not the time to thumb our nose at bagels
Latest fitness Rx for men is a yawn
My daughter's party, I'll cry if I want to
Sanguine ride on rabid transportation
One experiment worth repeating
Nothing like a good trip to help me see the light
The lord of the dance doesn't have anything on me
Invention clearly worth the brewhaha
Safe on the slopes
Why-oh-why-oh-why-oh…
A gross national columnist
Mr. Language Person: Weird word
I (cough) was a teenage smoker!
Frogs hop into the headlines
Great American turkeys
Mr. Fixit strikes again
‘Einstein Gap’: It's all relative
Lost in space
The Trojan Twinkie Caper
MR. LANGUAGE PERSON: WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE!
Feeding your worst fears
Sock it to 'em, sartorially
The rubber band man
Does public art make sense?
Needling the birthday boy
On calamities (in the sky and on your head)
Modern medical mysteries
Bored games
Dave's Field of Nightmares
Lewis and Clark stepped here!
The ultimate water gun
Poetic license, with no rhyme or reason
Great moments in science
This won't hurt a bit
One giant leap for frogkind
My visit to Nether-Netherland
Smile and say cheese
Shooting carps in Wisconsin
The perfect storm
Stickup in aisle 3
Please don't feed the tourists
Land of the Frozen Earwax
The birth of wail
Honk if you're married and can't cope with anger
Rabbit ears get poor reception
Percentage of frogs in food jumps
Night of the living roach
Mr. Language Person: Some words of wisdomality
Mind your P's and Q's and teas
Loose lips sink sequels
NOW WE'RE COOKIN'!
The right to Bear clubs
Science: It's just not fair
Road warrior specials
Where's the beef? (Low fat)
There is nothing like a male (guys)
MOTIVATE! THEN FAIL! NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Rooting for the midgets of the Midway
Revolt of the rodents
He can drive any truck named ‘Tonka’
All bets are off
How do you spell S-A-T?
Sour grapes and mud
Pro golf: A game of non-stop boredom
Guard-dog vigilance is nothing to sniff at
Warm and fuzzy Cold War memories
The funny side of ‘Beowulf’
HOLY HEAT WAVE, BATMAN!
Abs-olute madness
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness



© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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