The month of September is here. Labor Day marks the last summer holiday, particularly the end of summer. And Patriot Day (9/11) serves as a remembrance of the 2001 attacks in the United States.

My contemplation causes pondering on commemorations as National Grandparents Day (September 13), First Day of Rosh Hashanah (September 19). Let us be mindful of the International Day of Peace (September 21) and Yom Kippur (the 28 th of this month). I have no idea how those four days are observed. But they are on many calendars. Oh yes, steep in my mind is September 22. It’s the First Day of Fall. Or is it the First Day of Autumn? Both are used interchangeably. However, Autumn is more formal.

Continuing my muse mood, you’re hoping to gain something concrete from this article and not read solely about my September mood. I won’t disappoint you. I am incorporating the following into my gaze as Summer sunsets and Autumn rises in 2020:

A PIN number is repetitious. PIN stands for Personal Identification Number. Therefore, you cannot say PIN number without being redundant. Similarly, CD-ROM stands for compact disc, read-only memory. DVD for Digital Video Disc. So don’t repeat the word disc in either case. The last two examples are old school. Yes, I am dating myself. Wait, how can I go on a date with myself? Oh, okay, let’s be serious.

Using could of, would of, and should of These are wrong, born of sloppy speaking styles: could’ve, would’ve, should’ve. What you want to say and write is could have, would have, should have.

You are making a 360-degree turn — as a change of direction. Let’s think about it. If you turn around so that you’re facing in the opposite direction, you have made a 180-degree turn.

Additionally, some phrases are irritating:

Have a good one. Have a good what? Day? Why not say day instead of the ambiguous one? Resolve to be specific.

Back in the day, It conflates in the old days. The phrase is not to be used in addressing a general audience unless you sense most know what it means.

First Annual. If it is the first of, hopefully, a yearly event, it’s not annual. How can the first event be annual? Stating the first (event) is better. Not applying a number to the occasion is even better.

I know, right? This one is a question to agree with the statement. It reveals insecurity, and the speaker is looking for validation, an approving nod. The speaker doesn’t believe he’s right.

Some words aren’t irritating, but tricky:

Arctic. Note the C after the R. Say /ARK-TIK/, not /ar-tik/
Asterisk. Notice the second S.Say /AS-TER-ISK/, not /as-ter-ik/.
Clothes. Notice the TH spelling and sound. Say /KLOTHZ/, not/kloz/.
Dilate. The word has two syllables, not three. Say/DI-LATE/, not/di-a-late/.
Foliage. The word has three syllables. Say /FO-LI-UJ/, not /fol-uj/.
Miniature. The word has four syllables. Say /MIN-I-A-TURE/, not /min-a-ture/.
Realtor. Three syllables. Say /RE-AL-TOR/, not /re-a-la-tor/.
Sherbet. This word has only one r in it. Say /SHER-BET/ not /sher-bert/.
Ticklish. Two syllables. Say /TIK-LISH/, not /tik-i-lish/.

I will address more tricky words and irritating slangs in a later post. My September musings need to be minimum. Otherwise, this writing could easily approach a miniature novel status, and that is a book with a different cover. I have no ambition for novel writing. Speeches, article writing, tutoring, and consulting occupy my time and efforts. Although, not much as I would like, these COVID-19 days. Akin to others in the profession and the public in general, this scribe looks forward to being on the other side of the dastardly coronavirus pandemic. Post-pandemic makes for positive musings.

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