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 – Goody two-shoes
Definition: Someone who is uncommonly good.
Example: This man has no mean bone in his body, so he is known by a lot of people in the office as “Goody two shoes” John.
Origin: This idiom is derived from the children’s nursery tale called “The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes.” The literary work is a retelling of the story of Cinderella which extols the Christian values of doing good, which will let a person reap the rewards in heaven. In the nursery tale, “Goody Two-Shoes” was the name given to the orphan whose actual name was Margery Meanwell. Born poor and having only one shoe on her person, she was delighted when a rich gentleman gave her two, thereby giving her reason to shout repeatedly she had two shoes. She was known as having a good work ethic and was eventually able to make a good life for herself.
Accent Reduction Idiom 2 – If the shoe fits, wear it
Definition: If something applies to your situation, then accept it. This expression is most commonly used when a person is complaining about something, but that something is actually applicable to him.
Example: Estella is always prying into everyone’s life. Carla eventually told her, “I don’t like busybodies.” Estella replied, “Are you calling me a busybody?” Carla responded, “If the shoe fits, wear it.”
Origin: Usually, this idiomatic expression is just shortened to “if the shoe fits…” and then people who hear it just fill in the blank or understand immediately that it means one must deal with the situation at hand. In the literary work “The Dyet of Poland” by Daniel Defoe, this phrase was used in a similar situation. The excerpt reads: “Gentlemen, and if the Cap fits any Body let ’em wear it.” This is a variation where “cap” is substituted for “shoe.” The origin of “if the shoe fits…” may be taken back to the expression “if the cloaketh sittehth fit” or “if the cloak fits well” which has been seen published in 1593 in “Of the Lawes of Ecclesiasticall Politie.”
Accent Reduction Idiom 3 – Put oneself in someone’s shoes
Definition: Putting oneself in someone else’s shoes means imagining oneself in another person’s situation. It is often used to mean that the other person’s situation isn’t a pleasant one.
Origin: The origin of this phrase is not clear. However, standing in someone else’s shoes may mean appreciating one’s position in life. Not to demean other people’s situation, but to merely accept that there are times when one’s situation is actually easier than another’s when taken into close consideration. It may also be referring to another person’s feelings or contemplating things from someone else’s perspective.
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