Friday, November 30, 2007

An abridged list of 50 things to know by 50

There's a list out there of 50 things you need to know by 50. It's emailed from person to person, supposedly on or close to their 50th birthday. The stuff may be copyright protected, but I have chosen to list a select few - with my own comments. (Of course my own comments. It's my blog.)

No matter how many times you bring your mitt to the game, the manager will never gaze out into the stands, land his eyes on you, and say, "Hey, how about that guy?"
  --Dude, I bring my mitt to the game to catch that foul ball and sell it on eBay!!!

Find the Bathroom in Five Languages
  --I'll give you the universal one: Point your toes together, stick your knees together, crouch slightly, put your hands over your abdomen, and look desperate!

What to Do if You Get a Letter From the IRS
  --(These days, confirm that the IRS sent it, not some spammer looking to steal your ID.) In my case, I'll bring my stack of CDs, my laptop and a portable printer. I've scanned *everything*. And a recent court case confirms that scanned documents, under certain conditions, qualify as proof. (Don't ask me the conditions, I don't have that yet.)

How to Navigate the Company Picnic
No good can come of a company picnic.
  --No good can come from missing it, either. They *will* know and remember, come raise time.

If someone says "Smell this," don't.
  --Actually, there's a safe way to do this. You stand back from the item, then use one hand to waft fumes in the direction of your face, gently. Wafting becomes more vigorous as required, but always starts very gently.
The other way to handle this is to say, "Have you?" followed by "show me." Cuts down the exposure to bad smells by a lot without missing the good ones.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

How do non-natives ever learn all the nuances of English???

When I was in high school, we had a foreign exchange student from Norway. She did pretty well here, having taken five years of book English before attempting Southern California spanglish-speckled English. She got most idioms fairly well, but was forever stumped on uh-Huh (yes) and Uh-uh (no). She couldn't hear the difference between them. It came to mind when I got the following piece in email. I don't know who wrote this, but if that someone wants to get in touch, I will be more than happy to give credit.

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is "UP." It is listed in the dictionary as being used as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ?

At a meeting, why does a topic come "UP ? Why do we speak UP , and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends and we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has a real special meaning. People stir up trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special. And this up is confusing:

A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP

We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP . When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP . When i t rains, it wets UP the earth.

When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on & on, but I'll wrap it UP , for now my time is UP , so ....

Time to shut UP .....! more thing:
What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night?