Tuesday, January 27, 2009

American English Idioms Using the Word "Up:" What's Up with That?

Idioms are expressions that mean something completely different from the literal translation of the words, and as we all know, American English is full of them. Many idioms can be categorized in terms of categories or specific words they include. Let’s take the word “up” for example. This simple, two-letter word can be an adjective, noun, verb, preposition, or adverb. It has more meaning than perhaps any other word in English! American English incorporates this word into many, many expressions. Let’s take a look at just a few of the ways the word “up” can be used in idioms.

Most of us “wake up” early during the week so that we can “get up” and get ready for work each day. Women often “fix up” their faces and their hair and “get dressed up” for work, while others go to work in casual attire. Some of us have flexible work hours, while others with strict bosses may be “up the creek” if they are even one minute late. It really is “up to” the individual person in charge. We tend to “look up” to people we admire, and are encouraged to “speak up” at meetings. Sometimes at work, we need to “write up” reports, “call up” customers, get "tied up" in meetings, and “think up” new ideas and concepts.

Not everything goes well all the time in our daily lives. No one “signs up” for difficult situations, but they are inevitable. We sometimes “stir up” trouble when we don’t mean to, often have to “clean up” messes, "fix up" our cars when they break down, try to “think up” excuses for things when we get into trouble, "make up" with someone after an argument, "lawyer up" in a criminal case, and "tie up" loose ends. At least we can relax at lunchtime, can’t we? Well, after we “line up” to get our meals, we can sit and “chat up” our friends, and not get “hung up” with our problems.

Yes, “up” seems to be everywhere. If you “look it up” in the dictionary, you may be amazed at what you find. Go to www.dictionary.com for instance, and take a look at the lengthy page of definitions for this word. You may “wind up” needing reading glasses after you read it, because it will “take up” a lot of your time.

I could go on and on about the word “up”, but I’ll leave the rest “up to” you. See how many expressions using “up” you can think of, and don’t “give up!” Maybe you’ll “come up” with a hundred!

Please visit our website at www.speakingyourbest.com to register for accent reduction classes and improve your American English pronunciation!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Orly Katz: Life and Business Coach

I recently worked with a woman from Israel named Orly Katz, who is a life and business coach. Although she is fluent in English, she wanted to improve her American English accent, as she is preparing to promote her new book called, "Women: Decode the Law of Attraction" when she comes to the United States.

Let me tell you about her book. It is a coaching book exclusively for women and teaches them the six codes of the Law of Attraction. These codes are designed to help them achieve what they really want in life.

For all of us who feel that we are sometimes plagued with negative factors, this book shows women how to take action and start attracting positive things into their lives.

Check out her website at: http://www.okcoaching.com/eng/content.asp?PageId=112

Sunday, January 18, 2009

After you complete your accent reduction course, then what?

Many professionals who speak English as a second language come to me to reduce their accent and improve their communciation skills. Speaking Your Best works with individuals on every aspect of communication when it comes to American English. Once they complete their courses and feel confident when speaking English, they may then want to go further and improve other areas that will help them become more successful in their careers.

Other aspects of communication that professionals may also want to consider include how to create an appropriate image, how to build relationships with customers and colleagues, and developing leadership qualities, just to name a few.

If you have completed your accent reduction courses and feel confident when speaking English, you may want to consider contacting Barbara Seymour, an executive speech coach at http://www.proimage.biz/. She can take you to the next level! Please tell her that Cheryl Posey sent you!