Tag Archives: grammar

Actually At Risk

Good morning Everyone!

Somewhere over the course of the last ten years or so, two phrases have steadily infiltrated American English to the point that they are becoming seriously irritating to me. especially when I hear them used by people on TV.  Those two phrases?  “Actually” and “at risk.”

“At risk” is a phrase promoted by the 24 hour news media crowd – after all, “Your child is at risk for measles” sounds exponentially more urgent than “one out of 1000 children catch measles each year.”  (None of the children in the United States should catch measles; they should be vaccinated against them instead.)  If I am told I am at risk for heart disease, flu or just catching a cold, I am instantly more concerned than if I am told that there is merely a chance that I could develop or catch the same thing.   What the people using that phrase don’t mention is that I am also at risk for winning the lottery, flying to the moon and winning the Nobel Peace Prize – but I’m not holding my breath for any of those things to happen soon, either!

“Actually” has become an overused meaningless filler word.  Most of the time, I hear “actually” in sentences such as “I actually went to the store and bought groceries.”  Well, yes, I assumed you did “actually” go to the store; I didn’t think you sent your evil twin instead.  I suppose there is the argument that “actually” is meant to indicate personal presence as opposed to “virtual” which would indicate that a person viewed or did something by computer, but most of the people who use the word interminably are not trying to be that precise.  I think people use “actually” now much in the way we used to say “ummm…” when we didn’t know what to say.  I think it’s time we stopped “actually” doing things, and simply started  doing them, but then that’s just me.

I, of course, catch myself using both phrases far too often

Because I am actually at risk for having to go to work today, I better close for now.

If you have any pet vocabulary or grammar peeves, I’d love to hear about them!

Here’s hoping that all of you are actually at risk for having a great day today!


Cleaning, Petting the Dogs, The Longest Walk Revisited, Braces and Grammar

Isn’t it great to know that we have made it to another Friday?  Although we have nothing spectacular planned for this weekend, it’s nice –

excuse me while I go retrieve a handkerchief from Bad Dog, who just saw me looking at her and has decided to lie on the handkerchief and pretend that it’s not really there –

 to know that a chance to sleep in and have some additional family time is right around the corner! 

  • Cleaning

Our first activity of the weekend, however, will occur tonight when Miss Kayla gets to clean her bedroom and bathroom once we arrive home.  I don’t think she’s too happy with that itinerary, but it is necessary! 

  • Petting the Dogs

I got the chance last night to sit down with each of the dogs and pet them for a couple of minutes.  Darwin started it, really; I was going over to him to get him to stand up and go out for the last time before we went to bed, and he looked up at me from his dog bed, which is on one side of our fireplace in the den and his tail started wagging furiously.  Darwin’s dog bed is about two sizes too small for him – we have tried buying bigger beds, but he refuses to have anything to do with them – and it constantly amazes us that he can even fit in there!  So, when he started wagging his tail, rather than make him get up right away, I sat down by him and loved on him for a minute.  While I was doing that, Mandy looked up from the dog bed she was using on the other side of the fireplace with kind of a grumpy “Are you really going to wake me up now?” look, so I went over to her to pet her, too.  Petting Mandy is always a sweet experience; for all her foibles in the chewing and counter departments, she is a very loving dog and has the softest hair I have ever felt on a dog.  In my opinion, it is as soft as an angora cat’s hair would be, but less fluffy and infinitely less likely to send me into a sneezing fit!   Having petted the other two dogs, it just wouldn’t do, of course, to leave Tyra out, so I went over to her (she was on the couch, guarding “her man”, ie., Mark, from all comers except me) and stroked her for a while, too.  I got several tail thumps from her for that one.  It just was a sweet moment. 

  • The Longest Walk, Revisited

I was getting ready for bed last night, when my eyes fell upon the pair of shoes I had worn yesterday sitting by my bureau.  I thought about what I wrote yesterday, and decided it couldn’t be too hard to take them to the closet, so I went ahead and picked them up and carried them through the closet door – at which time I pitched them on the floor two inches from the shoe rack where they still remain, along with most of my other shoes.  Oh well, Rome wasn’t built in a day and two inches beats a whole room as a distance to conquer!

  • Kayla’s Braces

I was on the phone with my mom last night, and had just finished telling her that Kayla’s braces weren’t hurting her anymore, when screams started to erupt from her bathroom – the kind of screams that let you know that something is wrong.  I raced in there, got off the phone with my mom, and then got to play the “Stop screaming long enough to tell me what’s wrong” game – any mother will tell you that if you’re not frazzled when you first hear the screams, you will be by the time you finish playing twenty questions in between the screams.  I usually don’t make it to question 9 before my eyes start flashing and smoke starts coming out of my ears, because it is so frustrating to need to help and not be given any information about how to do so.  It turned out that a wire in the back of her mouth had poked into a very tender place in her cheek and stuck there.  It wasn’t in very deep, and we got it pulled out fairly quickly but there was quite some excitement for a minute or two!  After Mark got home, he insisted that Kayla put some wax on that wire, and put on the Canker-X medicine the doctor gave her, and that helped, too. 

  • Grammar

I have tried to use English correctly in these posts, but”lie” and “lay” defeat me – I have a 50/50 shot at it, but usually get it wrong.  So, if anyone knows, did Mandy “lay” on the handkerchief, or did she “lie” on the handkerchief, and is there a good way to remember the difference? 

Have a great weekend everyone and I will talk to you on Monday!