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You don't want your child to hold the balloon by holding itself because the balloon may get burst and it is not convenient.

You don't want your child to hold the handle of the balloon.

Is it correct to say "hold the balloon by its handle, not by itself"?

  • You do control your child rather strictly, don't you.Tom? – Michael Harvey Jun 28 '20 at 7:40
  • @MichaelHarvey, yes, I do. – Tom Jun 28 '20 at 11:48

A handle is normally a solid and rigid piece of something that is attached to the main body.

A balloon has a knot and usually a string, or sometimes a plastic stick, which are considered separate from the balloon.

So I would not say "handle" nor "itself". I would simply say:

"Hold the string, not the balloon."

or possibly

"Hold it by the stick, not by the balloon itself."

  • The balloon is held by it's tether. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tethered_balloon – Bruce Murray Jun 28 '20 at 5:57
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    Not really. A "tether" would be for a large balloon attached to the ground, not held by the hand. You can "tether" a small balloon to something though, even a body part. "Tether the balloon to your wrist." You can also hold a tether, but the end of the tether would be attached to something and you would be helping to hold it but not alone in holding the balloon down. – Jay A. Little Jun 28 '20 at 6:06
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    @BruceMurray Your link only shows examples of large balloons. I did say that small balloons can also be tethered to something, but the point is that you don't hold a tether with the hand. A tether is specifically meant to be tied down. So I don't think it fits here. – Jay A. Little Jun 28 '20 at 6:27
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    @Tom Hmmm, stick is fine if that is the style of item attached to the balloon. But "body" is less clear than just saying "balloon". So how about "Hold it by the stick, not by the balloon itself." – Jay A. Little Jun 28 '20 at 6:34
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    @BruceMurray a tether is not the right word: it comes from the from Old Norse tjóthr, from a Germanic base meaning ‘fasten’. If you are not using it to fasten the balloon to something, it's not a tether- it's just a string, ribbon, stick or whatever. – JavaLatte Jun 28 '20 at 6:50

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