Accent Reduction Tips

One of the greatest challenges even a well educated person faces when trying to sound more American is the use of the confusing American idioms in the workplace. When these terms cause a an awkward pause in conversation or draw attention to an obvious inaccurate syllable stress pattern, you can still end up feeling inadequate even if you’re currently working on your own accent reduction. Along with the other accent reduction techniques taught at Accent Pros, we also strive to help you understand the meaning and usage of common American idioms.

Accent Reduction Idiom 1: Acid Test

Definition: A critical or important test that shows how someone or something will turn out.

Example: “This presentation will be an acid test for Brad to see how he handles responsibility with important clients.” 

Origin: The term originated from the gold prospecting era where gold would react and be tested with a combination of nitric and hydrochloric acid. accent reduction

Accent Reduction Idiom 2: Get Your Wires Crossed

Definition: To confuse things or become mistaken about something.

Example: “I told Carla we need to order the paper folders for Friday and the new office supplies for Monday, but she must”ve got her wires crossed because the supplies are here today and the folders must be arriving Monday.”

Origin: At the dawn of the telephone age in the 1920, operators were needed to connect calls between two requested parties. However, occasionally an operator would mistakenly cross the wires and connect someone with a person at the other end of the line who was not the intended party. Thus this prase “got your wires crossed” or “got our wires crossed” quickly entered the general lexicon as a way of describing that a miscommunication has occurred somewhere along the way between parties.

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Accent Reduction Idiom 3: Critical Mass

Definition: A certain number of people needed to maintain or meet a goal.

Example: “If the site doesn”t reach critical mass the company risks losing all the funds we”ve invested into this venture.”

Origin: This idiom refers to the smallest amount of a fissionable material necessary to sustain a nuclear chain reaction. Also defines the minimum amount of force needed to generate enough gravitational force to end the gradual expansion of the universe.

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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.