“A few years ago ‘Think outside the box’ was a much overused phrase,” says Jim Firnberg.
“Here are a few of today’s words or phrases that should be banned:
“ ‘At the end of the day …’
“ ‘Back in the day …’
“ ‘Walked (or walking) it back …’
“ ‘Taking it to the next level …’
“Perhaps your readers can add to my list.”
I’ll start with one that grates on me a bit: “That being said …”
Isn’t that illegal?
While we’re on the subject of language, here’s an example of unclear writing from Victoria Atkinson, of Plaquemine.
She spotted this classified ad:
“Female Boxer. Belongs to wife, but can tie to tree for pickup. Free.”
Victoria asks, “WHO has to be tied to the tree?”
Still on the subject of words, Lee Dupuis cautions us that “LSU alumnus” does not mean a busload of former students:
“ ‘Alumni’ would be correct for more than one, but ‘alumnus’ is only for one former student.
“For example: Caesar goes into a bar and says, ‘Martinus, please.’
“The bartender replies, ‘Martini?’
“Caesar replies, ‘Hell no! If I had wanted two of them I would have asked for them.’ ”
Aggies are cool?
Marvin H. Bender says, “My grandson sent me a Father’s Day card which said, ‘You’re Cool, I’m Cool. (Apparently it skips a generation.)’
“He’s right. His dad went to LSU. I went to Texas A&M.
“Gig ’em, Aggies!”
Mona Cancienne, of Donaldsonville, wrote about the sarcastic redbird who called “Pree-tee, pree-tee, pree-tee” when she came out in the morning to get her paper, in her robe with a bed-head hairdo, not feeling particularly “pree-tee.”
She says, “I was listening to him this morning and got to wondering: How does a bird with no lips pronounce ‘pretty’ so clearly?”
A jambalaya fundraiser Saturday at the Denham Springs Wal-Mart helps the “Whippin’ Cancer” team of Janie Kinnison, Pamela Jones and Jeanette Wasom take part in a three-day, 60-mile walk for breast cancer research Nov. 2-4 in Dallas.
The event, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., also features baked goods and a raffle.
Melinda Marks says each participant in the walk must raise at least $2,300 to take part:
“I am a 24-year cancer survivor. I will not be doing the walk again this year, but will be in Dallas to cheer on our team.”
She says the team will have a 300-recipe cookbook, “Whippin’ Cancer,” available in late August.
Contact Melinda at meme
firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 252-5695.
Looking for homes
Carole Whitesell says six Spanish boys, 14-17, will arrive in Baton Rouge on June 30 and spend 25 days taking part in a language program. Families willing to share their homes with them are needed.
Kathleen thanks the young man who called to tell her he had found her wallet in the parking lot of the Home Depot on Highland Road:
“I quickly retrieved it, and had a very nice conversation with the young man.”
Special People Dept.
- Margaret and Carroll Fletcher celebrate 71 years of marriage Thursday. (Daughter Kathy says, “When they were married, Mom was 15 and Dad was 18. ‘They’ said it wouldn’t last. Guess ‘they’ were wrong.”)
- Harold Milton Robinson and Wanda McQueen Robinson celebrated 60 years of marriage Wednesday. (Son Kevin says, “Dad got down on one knee and asked Mom to be his bride for another 60 years. She not only said yes, but also helped him get back on his feet. Isn’t love grand?”)
- The British Club says “fellow Brits” Phyllis and Alan Darvill celebrate their 60th anniversary Thursday.
Gerald Hubenak says, “Someone asked me how much I weighed when I realized that I had a weight problem.
“I told them 8 pounds and 6 ounces.”
Do you speak sports?
Melissa “Missy” Carroll, of Denham Springs, says, “My husband and I have succeeded in raising ‘girly girls’ in many ways, but because he is the head baseball coach and an assistant football coach at Denham Springs High School, they have spent many hours at a ballpark or in a football stadium.
“This weekend, they had their dance recital for Jean Leigh Academy of Dance at the River Center.
“I was trying to explain to Emma, my 7-year-old, that I was going to come backstage to check on her at intermission to see if she needed any help with her costume before the second act.
“I could tell she was confused by the look on her face, so I tried a different way: ‘Emma, I’m going to come check on you at halftime’ — and then the light bulb went on!”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He also can be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.