Accent Reduction Tips

Many of our clients at Accent Pros who come in for accent reduction sessions have advanced degrees and have excellent command of the English language. Given the evolving state of the English language; however, they may not understand informal slang and phrases that are regularly used in the workplace, and on various popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Occasionally our clients will understand an idioms meaning, but use it in an improper context or the wrong situation, which could potentially have embarrassing consequences. In our continuing efforts to  feature only the most relevant and practical terms when helping you on your goals, here are three idioms that have become standard shorthand in the advertising world.


Word-Of-Mouth Advertising

Description: Word-of-mouth advertising refers to when a satisfied customer recommends a product or service to another person because that particular product/service exceeded her expectations.

Example: Through word-of-mouth advertising alone, the latest mobile app designed to maximize time management for executives has been downloaded over 5,000 times in just one day.

Origin: Credit for this idiom goes to the psychologist George Silverman. While  conducting focus groups designed to involve physicians in a dialogue about new pharmaceutical products, he noticed an interesting event that occurred. Doctors who had good experiences with a certain product could convince other doctors of the product”s effectiveness.  Doctors with positive experiences with the pharmaceutical product could even change the minds of a dissatisfied group who had negative experiences with the same product.

Today, word-of-mouth advertising is a credible form of endorsement, because people stake their reputations when recommending a product.


Corner The Market

Accent Reduction therapy will make it easier for you to sell a company

Description: To dominate a market niche with a particular product by having a big market share which enables you to have a competitive advantage over other suppliers/producers.

Example: With its dominant local presence, Brent and Sons, Inc. cornered the market for affluent housing in our city through smart negotiations, beating chains of real estate developers.

Origin: The idiom, corner the market, traces its history back in 6th century BC when Thales of Melitus cornered the market on olive oil presses. He rented presses off season (winter) and let them out at a price he chose when the season arrived. That cornered the buyers into accepting his terms, and allowed the philosopher to make a profit.

Throughout history, the term referred to the concept of monopoly. An individual or firm acquires the majority of a market share in an industry through legal or manipulative means. This happens when products are better than the competitors, or when they buy out competitors’ suppliers, and gain competitors’ customers.

Straw Poll

Getting feedback from others is vital to the Accent Reduction process

Description: A straw poll is an unofficial survey or vote to indicate how people feel about a specific issue. It has no real authority and is considered insignificant.

Origin: This idiom was used to show that straw goes in the same direction the wind blows. The term originated from the author John Selden (1584-1654) when he wrote “Take a straw and throw it up into the air – you may see by that which way the wind is. More solid things do not show the complexion of the times so well. . . .” As an early poll of public opinion regarding a certain political candidate, a more recent usage of this idiom came about in the Cleveland Leader in 1866, when it wrote about the results of a straw vote taken on a train with the following results: Andrew Johnson 12, Congress 47.Example: As an acting operations manager, Henry’s straw poll on increased employee benefits delivered no definite results other than stirring discontent among underpaid workers. 

Accent Reduction: Idioms Series

Accent Pros has a continuing series on accent reduction tips, including common English phrases and American idioms.  Be sure to check out other blog posts to find your favorites.  Ready for a complimentary accent reduction tutorial or a free accent screening?  Check out our on-line accent reduction courses  available to students with accent reduction goals all over the world. For consistent access to our idioms series and other Accent reduction tips Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter