Leslie's Omnibus

Rules of the Road

There's a difference between "serving" someone and "servicing" someone. Be sure you know which one you really mean before opening your mouth to a reporter.

serve   [surv] Show IPA verb,served, serv·ing, noun
–verb (used without object)
1. to act as a servant.
2. to wait on table, as a waiter.
3. to offer or have a meal or refreshments available, as for patrons or guests: Come early, we're serving at six.
4. to offer or distribute a portion or portions of food or a beverage, as a host or hostess: It was her turn to serve at the faculty tea.
5. to render assistance; be of use; help.
6. to go through a term of service; do duty as a soldier, sailor, senator, juror, etc.
7. to have definite use: This cup will serve as a sugar bowl.
8. to answer the purpose: That will serve to explain my actions.
9. (in tennis, badminton, handball, etc.) to put the ball or shuttlecock in play with a stroke, swing, or hit.
10. to be favorable, suitable, or convenient, as weather or time.
11. Ecclesiastical. to act as a server.
serv·ice   [sur-vis] Show IPA noun, adjective, verb,-iced, -ic·ing.
–verb (used with object)
32. to make fit for use; repair; restore to condition for service: to service an automobile.
33. to supply with aid, information, or other incidental services.
34. (of a male animal) to mate with (a female animal).
35. Finance. to pay off (a debt) over a period of time, as by meeting periodic interest payments.
See? BIG DIFFERENCE. (Especially if you're referring to your relationship with your daughter, which one memorable article quotation did recently.)

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