Oh, He’s Just Bat-Sh&t Crazy, Bless His Heart…

That statement (in the subject line) was the response that I got from a co-worker when I asked her to explain one of our goofier colleagues that I’d just met. This was my introduction to gracious Southern modifiers, shortly after moving to Little Rock, Arkansas for a job years ago. You can say pretty much anything about anybody if you followed it with, bless his or her heart which softens the insult. I’ve always enjoyed that because it works for the charm of the genteel South. So let’s have “fun with words.”



We are living in a time of constant outrage contrasted by political correctness run amuck with euphemisms, modifiers and descriptors. Language reflects the political mood of the country. At one extreme, people who watch and listen to info-tainers yelling on radio and TV learn that it’s OK to act like an ass in public. At the other extreme, political correctness has some people speaking in tongues and we have no idea what they really mean. Euphemisms are really useful until they’re not…


Them Are Fightin’ Words…  

Elaine Boosler once said, “When women are depressed, they either eat or go shopping; men invade another country.” Gender differences also speak to how words either work or don’t depending on the audience. Guys typically use lots of sports and military metaphors that may not work well with women or specific cultures.

The following advice comes from Down Under and, although it’s a little hypersensitive for my taste, it’s worth considering:


But, if you just can’t shake military lingo, at least get it right:


No, totally!  Here’s what that means and where it comes from:


And apparently abstract language conveys power. Who da thunk…


Making Sister Mary Mercy Proud  

Here’s a list of 40 words that we use wrong. It makes me wish that I’d paid attention in class instead of worrying about whether we’d get tater tots with the Sloppy Joes for lunch…


Sister also was a real stickler for pronunciation:


A Simple Answer Formula for Tough Questions  

Most of the communication work that you do with the public involves their mistrust of you and concerns about your intentions. For their tough questions, here’s a really nice, simple formula for constructing good answers:


Deeper Thoughts  

What it might take to defeat ISIS…


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