Simple words, phrases impact our lives
by Jack McNeely
Jun 03, 2012 | 550 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jack McNeely
Jack McNeely
We all hold close those special words and phrases that have been cultivated by life.

Baseball legend Yogi Berra, in fact, is perhaps better known today for his “Yogi-isms” — word crafting gone awry. He coined, “It ain’t over till it’s over,” “This is like déjà vu all over again,” and “You can observe a lot just by watching.”

Yogi may have a knack for misdirection, but many of us have our own phrases that have passed the test of time.

While I may not have crafted it, I subscribe to the phrase “It is what it is” more often than I care to admit.

My top phrase originated in my dermatologist’s office nearly a decade ago as he carved out a golf-ball-sized, pre-cancerous piece of flesh from my right cheek. After noticing that I was about ready to lose my breakfast, his assistant said, “Breathe in your nose and out your month.” It worked.

Today, when I see someone falling under the burden of a stressful situation, I’m quick to quip, “In your nose and out your mouth.”

Another phrase that has passed the spaghetti test for me is, “Nothing is ever as good as it seems, nor is it as bad as it seems.” In other words, life has a way of leveling itself.

Jerry Geddings, our advertising manager here at the Daily Mountain Eagle, unwittingly came up with a unique phrase this week after suffering a Brown Recluse spider bite. He said, “Don’t let the wound get bigger than the gauze dressing.” Well said.

I met Keith Kappes in 1999 when I became publisher of his hometown newspaper, The Morehead News. He was vice president of public relations at Morehead State University. After retiring from MSU he fittingly became publisher of the Morehead News Group.

Keith also has a way with words. Following is just a few of his borrowed favorites:

“Bad breath is better than no breath at all.” His way of consoling someone who complains about not having enough material possessions.

For someone facing a temporary physical ailment, he says, “I had no shoes and I complained and then I met a person who had not feet.”

For those of us who struggle with weight, do not forget the royal eating plan, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.”

And if you are in your golden years, he suggests, “Spend more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.”

For those who are looking for an easy route to personal wealth, they need to be reminded that, “The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.”

Many politicians struggle with the adage, “The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridges to cross and which to burn.”

I will leave you with the Swedish proverb: “Fear less, hope more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more; and all good things are yours.”

Jack McNeely is Publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle and can be reached by phone at 205-221-2840 or via email at