"Today"

In what should become an on-going blog, "Putting my foot in my mouth since 1963," I bring you the word, "today."

Take the phrase, "You look very nice."

A perfectly fine compliment which should alert the harassment police and still convey a warm greeting.

But, add the word "today" and trouble begins:  "You look very nice today."

What?  All of sudden the implication is all other days, or more often than not, the person in question doesn't look nice.

That's not what I meant the last time I said those words, but as they tumbled out of my mouth I felt another shovelful of dirt thrown out of the hole; the familiar taste of tootsie between my teeth.

Perhaps the lesson to be learned here is to beware of modifiers which may turn the meaning of your phrase on its ear.  

And, while we're at it, we may want to think about what we're saying before we say it.

Frankly, this last idea still hasn't taken root.