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 – A stitch in time saves nine.
Definition: A timely effort can prevent having to do more work later.
Example: The tailor saw a small ripped seam from the hemline of a dress that was given to him and he fixed it without prompting and at no extra cost. A stitch in time saved nine for his customer and she was able to use the dress with no further problems.
Origin: This idiom has nothing to do with sewing. It simply means recognizing when to do things ahead of time to prevent the consequences that come about from not completing a task before an established deadline. The very first people to use this expression may have literally referred to saving nine stitches for the sake of efficiency , and the expression evolved in meaning while still referencing nine stitches. This expression was first recorded in the work Gnomologia, Adagies and Proverbs, Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British by Thomas Fuller. These works also featured other like minded English proverbs focusing on the benefits of getting things done in a timely manner and not procrastinating.
Accent Reduction Idiom 2 – Prime time
Definition: That time of the day when T.V. watchers are most abundant. The best time to do something.
Example: Now is the prime time to layer on clothes because it’s winter.
Origin: The use of “prime time” in reference to television shows began after WWII. In a piece from The Wall Street Journal in January of 1947, there was a mention of the prime time for shows being around 9:30 pm. Prior to its association with television, the word prime time was used centuries earlier. Its etymological origin may be from the French word “printemps,” which means Spring. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s work The Romance of the Rose, “pryme temps” are mentioned, and a similar use is also present in Edward Hall’s 1548 work, The Union of the Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancaster and York. The word “prime” in both contexts means first or primary.
Accent Reduction Idiom 3 – Third time lucky.
Definition: Believing that trying something for the third time will bring around the luck needed to make things work out to one’s favour; getting lucky on the third try.
Example: The beggar once again spent all his spare money on that lottery ticket with the thought that this is going to be his third time lucky.
Origin: This phrase is from a belief that trying something for the third time will bring the results one desires. In Alexander Hislop’s work The Proverbs of Scotland, this phrase was specifically mentioned and is regarded as a kind of proverbial phrase. There are no definite explanations as to why the third time is considered as the luckiest, but the most common belief is that those who were able to survive three attempts at being hanged would be set free is the source of this idiom.
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