The word "just" has several meanings, but it has become a cancer among cooking-show presenters. For them, it seems that it's a way to convince their viewers that something is so simple and easy to do.


Try watching episodes of cooking shows like "Alex's Day Off," "Barefoot Contessa," and "Mad Hungry". Count the number of times each of the hosts tells you to "just…". It's annoying. You can't count that high. It's as if they don't have many more words in their vocabulary. Sure, "just" jump over the moon; it's a piece of cake.


But for others, it refers to something that recently happened…just married, just opened, just started, etc. Does "just married" mean that it was easy, so everybody should do it?


It also refers to justice…a just decision, for instance. Or for a policeman questioning a suspect or "person of interest" in the old "Dragnet" television series…just tell me the facts.


"Just" is also a key element in the Nike advertising campaign "Just Do It," probably encouraging people to go ahead and extend themselves…it's worth the effort, it's easy, no big deal.

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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Uncategorized


“What we’re gonna’ do…”


This sentence beginning has become so common — and so stupid — I don't understand its popularity.


Famous chef Emeril Lagasse is a constant practitioner. While demonstrating the preparation of some recipe, he starts by saying, "What we're gonna do is we're gonna…".  That's nothing more than saying, "What we're gonna do is we're gonna do."


Why can't Emeril and others simply say something like, "Now we're going to roast this chicken"? Instead they say, "What we're gonna do is we're gonna roast this chicken." Wasted words — and crappy grammar.


Beginning every sentence — regardless of the subject, not just cooking — with a "What we're gonna do…" is ridiculous.


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Posted by on March 3, 2012 in Uncategorized


“me” vs. “I” and “we” vs. “us”



There's something in the spoken English language that baffles me more than anything else. It's the mis-use of "me" and "I" when talking about something that happened.  

At the risk of sounding like a seventh-grade English teacher…"Me" is an object word; "I" is a subject word.

This means that you can give or tell things to "me"…you can't give or tell things to "I".

For some strange linguistic reason, legions of well-educated Americans think that proper English must include "I" when paired with someone else. For example, people who say, "Our parents invited Tom and I for a barbecue." If Tom hadn't been included, would that same person say, "Our parents invited I for a barbecue"?
Of course not…"Our parents invited Tom and ME for a barbecue."

One of the major NFL sportscasters, describing the action during a game, said "Between he (the quarterback) and the receiver…." Totally wrong. Correct version is, "Between him and the receiver…."

The same principle applies to "we" and "us"…"we" is a subject word, and "us" is an object word.

A prominent PBS radio host recently said, "You know, the eel is not the most appealing fish, especially for "we" Americans. OMG…bad grammar on public broadcasting!

She should have said "us" Americans. The word "we" is a subject word (like he, she, they, or I) that starts a sentence. The word "us" is an object word (like him, her, me, or them) that completes a sentence to finish a thought or statement.

It's stupid. Why can't well-educated people get this simple bit of grammar right?

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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Uncategorized


A blue ribbon for our effort!


The "Editor's Choice" award from CBS


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Posted by on December 31, 2011 in Uncategorized


RPW Finale


This is it…farewell.


I started this blog because I believe strongly in the importance of maintaining the accuracy and integrity of our English language…grammar, pronunciation, punctuation, and other matters that help us communicate clearly.


Unfortunately, the Google Analytics results that I see indicate that the audience for this subject hasn't grown as much as I had hoped.  RPW has had thousands of visits — and many regular visitors. We were also graced with an award by CBS…Editor's Choice as "Most Valuable Blogger, Minnesota".  But perhaps most people don't care about our language as much as I do. Or maybe I haven't made the blog sufficiently exciting or interesting.


Thanks to my many regular fans; your support has been flattering. If you have any ideas how we can clean up the bad English language we hear every day, please give me a holler. I'm always willing to come out of retirement, a la Bret Favre. Otherwise, I feel like I'm shouting into the windy gusts of a hurricane.


The RPW blog's life has been short; but it has also been lots of fun.  Godspeed.

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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in Uncategorized


Four words we can live without!


They're overused, but we don't need them.






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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in Uncategorized



Tactics4Success: short version


Skills: you must be able to speak, write, walk, and sit…all with articulation and confidence, with style. The impressions you make are critical. Personal wardrobe is secondary.


Content: your ideas, the way you think, and what you think about things provide critical insight into your character and your abilities. 


Personality: consider taking advantage of unique or edgy personal characteristics and interests that might be controversial. They attract attention and media exposure.


Publish: distribute your ideas…concepts, editorials, commentary…so they can be re-distributed and quoted. This provides further insight into your thinking and enthusiasm.

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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in Uncategorized




It's not even a word!


It's a lazy, dumb-sounding mispronunciation of the real word…HUNDRED.


"Hunnert" has been fairly common talk among children; but what sort of adult talks like this?!  Even worse…using the term for the name of an auto festival and exhibition is even more ignorant and irresponsible.

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Posted by on December 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


Real words and their trash versions


We hear this every day!


Regular, everyday words are trashed all the time…mispronouncing them to satisfy our laziness.


probably — "probly"

family — "faamlee"

different — "diffrent"

thinking — "thinkin"

supposed to — "spos'd to"

doing — "doin"

sophomore — "soffmor"

national — "nashnle"

jewelry — "jewlery" and "jewlry"

seasonal — "seeznle"

familiar — "fermillyer"

nuclear — "nuculer"

the — "da" and "duh"


I can't count the violations…the list is endless!

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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Uncategorized



Joy to the World



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Posted by on December 23, 2011 in Uncategorized