How about an update on some recent Speakeasy themes?
I suggest we take a few minutes today to revisit some of our favorite topics over the past few weeks and see what’s new. Here are ten rather interesting random “updates” I encountered quite by accident:
1. I saw a glimpse of The Essential Hillary Clinton which included video from many years ago. Guess what: She has been mispronouncing “a” throughout her entire career! She was saying “ay” instead of “uh” way back before the tsunami of messages hit. Well, there goes that theory!
2. I've been researching rural health clinics in Oregon on behalf of a client. Visiting web site after web site, I’ve discovered that they almost all use “preventive” correctly! I looked at 42 web sites. Now, they didn’t all use “preventive” or “preventative” on their sites, but most did use those terms. Of those that did, only one used it incorrectly! Now I’m seriously thinking of moving to rural Oregon.
3. I’ve been keeping my eyes open for the correct use of “might.” Nowhere! Nada. Everywhere I turn, I hear and read “may” to express possibility or likelihood. But I continue to believe that, when I move to rural Oregon, I’ll find mighty little “might” still in use. If they can get “preventive,” by gosh, I think they might use “might” too.
4. Oh no! I heard a double-whammy on MSNBC, again regarding the use of “might.” Malcolm Nance actually used it correctly - but then he also incorrectly used “may” in place of “might” - all in the very same short sentence: “The information they may release might contain damning details.” Amazing! Well, at least he got it right once; there’s hope.
5. I have been asked to write posts on two words that have never given me pause: “irony” and “condolences.” Can anyone enlighten me as to whether these words cause problems and, if so, how? (I am feeling so inadequate.)
6. A reader has intimated that Sr. Mary Madonna, pictured on the Tamarack Communication Facebook page in relation to the choice of “was” or “were” (subjunctive mood), looks uncannily like me. I have two things to say about that: a) As virtuous as I am, I’ve never been a nun; b) Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, is purely unintentional and in the mind of the reader. (Take that, Steve!)
7. Recently I attended a day-long training with Center for Nonprofit Leadership. It was about soliciting major gifts, which I’ve never done and am not likely to be asked to do. I did hear something so fundamentally accurate, though, that it bears repeating: Just because someone has money, that doesn’t mean that person is a likely prospect to donate it to you! Use the “CAP” rule: The prospect is capable of giving, aligned with your mission, and philanthropic by nature and history.
8. Found this on the web site of a Green Bay, Wisconsin ABC TV affiliate: “The school is reminding students about taking preventative measures such as handwashing, reminding them not to share water bottles and to be on the lookout for symptoms of the disease.” Humph! Really hurts when it comes from my own Badger state!
9. OMG! Now I am researching Illinois health centers, and look at this paragraph I found on the web site of one of them: “We strongly believe in preventative medicine and encourage annual physical exams, gynecological care, immunization updates and cancer screenings. We are always happy to discuss lifestyle issues that may improve your health. Your care is performed and managed by a medical professional in collaboration with other health professionals, and utilizing consultation or referrals as appropriate.” Three consecutive sentences, three horribly chosen words! We need to establish an award for this level of verbal incompetency, like the Golden Fleece Awards for ridiculous Congressional spending. Was it Senator Proxmire of Wisconsin that started that award? I think it was. What shall we call our new award for maxing out poor word choice?
10. Well, that does it. I know I’ve seen this (and ignored it) many times on Facebook, but now, in the context of our recent Speakeasy discussion, it galls me: “People You May Know See All Friend Suggestions.” People you MAY know? So Mark Zuckerberg is giving me permission to know these people? Seriously, if you catch someone using “might” to mean possibility or likelihood, would you please post it here? I think it might have been banned, and I just haven’t been informed. I cannot recall hearing that word – might – used in the past two weeks.