Task: Come up with 4 scenarios where using comparatives would be detrimental, and explain how further detail could be more beneficial.
A: “We think that the American economy is worse than it was before.”
B: -___- “Oh no! The economy is ‘bad’. Let’s come up with some solutions. I think we could lower costs of things, but that means we have to have more demand and supply. So, our capital needs to be bigger… etc… (boring economy talk)…
Saying the economy is “worse” than it was yesterday, or even saying the DOW is down 40 points is too general a statement to make any real impact. Though, people seem to accept this as “God”. When we hear something like: “Gas prices are higher than they were before!” we make assumptions as to WHY the gas prices are higher. Listening to money reports, we should be careful on what exactly they mean when they say that something is up or down. There’s always a reason for that. But, investors don’t think in terms of “why” very often. They think in hard figures. But, people DO think in terms of “why”. And, it’s important to know the reason. Either they will say it and you won’t pay attention, or it will take a little online research. Knowing why something is “up or down” can greatly impact your finances.
A: “Could you proofread my paper?”
B: “Sure!” *proofreads and marks a sentence: ‘could be better’… or ‘could be more clear’…
It’s a pet peeve of mine, but English teachers and peer editors do it ALL THE TIME. They say: “this sentence could be better.” I know what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to make me fix it on my own. But, saying a sentence “could be better” is not something that really means anything without knowing what’s BAD about the sentence. Try: “The syntax could be more understandable…” or “The vocabulary could be more varied”.
A: “Did you see that new show at the theater?”
A: “Will I like it? How was it?”
B: “Oh! I liked it. It was very good.”
-____- Of course, I go and see the show, and there’s a bunch of unnecessary sex.. At least now I know what B likes. But, on a more serious note.. don’t tell somebody a show is just “good”. At least, tell them it’s got sex in it. They don’t seem to advertise that the same way they do with movies. There’s no “rating” system.
A: “Did you enjoy the basketball game I just played in?”
B: “Yes! I did.”
A: “Were you watching me?”
B: “Of course.”
A: “How was I?”
B: “Oh! You were pretty good.”
Never leave a statement with “pretty good”. The person will, most likely, take it as an offense that you did not provide specific criticism nor praise. Of course, it falls on A to ask for specifics. So, ASK for specifics in a scenario like this one.