To be understood, don’t mince words

As writers, sometimes we try to think of the most eloquent way to convey a message. Sometimes, the most direct way is the best way.

I was at the supermarket with a friend who was a college English instructor. He was a person who usually spoke as though he taught English. He wanted to buy a freshly grilled chicken from the meat department. There were no foil bags on hand to keep the chicken warm. My friend asked the butcher, “Ain’t ya’ got no bags for these here chickens?”

The butcher grabbed a handful of foil-covered sacks and said, “Oh, sorry, we ran out. Here,” and he slipped the chicken into the foil bag and sealed it.

I said to my friend, “Ain’t ya’ got no bags?”

He shrugged and said, “I wanted attention. I got what I wanted.”

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