A critical piece of successful business communication is developing the ability to ask for things in a direct manner without giving the impression of being condescending or demonstrative. As someone who is looking to refine their speech by speaking with an American accent, you may find yourself thinking that you must impress your listener by using big words in a written proposal or speech. While a strong vocabulary can keep you from sounding repetitive, it is more important have a thorough understanding of some of the basic concepts in your industry as well as any relevant idioms. Idioms are a great way of synthesizing complex issues into easily understood phrases that can be used with almost anyone, regardless if they work in your field of employment. They will likely appreciate your effort to talk to them in a manner free of technical and industry jargon.

Idiom: Any Port in a Storm

Any Port in a Storm-weather idiomsDefinition: Assistance or refuge in a predicament especially an unpalatable one. The metaphor concerns sailors being happy for any place of safety whatsoever when dangerous weather comes up; When one is having serious trouble, one must accept any solution, whether one likes the solution or not.

Example: As much as I hate having to live with my parents, it’s a case of any port in a storm since I can’t afford my own place yet.

Origin: The expression ‘any port in a storm’ originated in the older days when ships at sea would find themselves in the middle of a sudden, dangerous storm and needed to find shelter at the nearest harbor or port, even one that they would not normally enter. The use of this metaphor was first recorded in 1749.

Accent Pros 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