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 accent reduction clients will understand the meaning of an idiom, but use it in an improper context, which could potentially have embarrassing consequences. In our continuing efforts to feature only the most relevant and practical terms when helping you on your accent reduction goals, here are three idioms that have become standard shorthand in the workplace.

Accent Reduction Idiom 1 – Like a Sieve

Definition: This is an idiom used to refer to people who do not have very good memories, or those who spread gossip and cannot keep secrets.

Example: 1. You have to keep reminding her about the party or she will miss it since she has a mind like a sieve and will not remember.

  1. I don’t think it’s a very good idea to tell her your secret or everyone will know about it since she is like a sieve.

accent reductionOrigin: A sieve is a kind of kitchen tool that has a plethora of tiny holes and is very useful in separating meat from broth. Therefore, a person with a mind like a sieve or a person that is like a sieve is likely to let things slip.

Accent Reduction Idiom 2 – Memory Like an Elephant

Definition: Refers to people who have great memories and never forget anything.

Example: There really is no use arguing with her about the details because chances are she is right. She has a memory like an elephant after all.

Origin: This is an idiom that really makes people think. Not just about where it came from but whether or not elephants truly possess fail proof memories. This idiom has other variations and the closest is “an elephant never forgets.” This was first used in the U.S. by one W. Martyn. The proverb most probably has Greek origins also but according to experts, they used to say “a camel never forgets an injury.” The reason why having a good memory is synonymous with elephants is because these large mammals are very set in their ways and follow the same migratory paths year in and out. Also, it has been recorded that elephants in zoos or reserves can memorize a great number of commands from their trainers and never forget such commands.   accent reduction


Accent Reduction Idioms 3 – Jog Your Memory

Definition: A thing or action that triggers long suppressed memories, such as an event from childhood.

accent reductionExample: I can’t believe you forgot! Do you want me to slap you and jog your memory?

Origin: This is an idiom that experts agree did not initially feature the word “jog”. Some believe that it came from the word “Shoggen” which is of middle English origin. The word means to shake or move with a jerk. Regardless, the idiom in its modern form refers to anything that triggers a long lost memory.




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 accent reduction 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