Six American language habits worth borrowing
There are several language habits in American everyday life that - if not make life easier - then at least add positiveness to it.
The first is compliment. In the United States, it is customary to give compliments to complete strangers - on the street, in a store, in the subway, in a word, anywhere, writes Ksenia Turkova for VOA... Anyone passing by can smile and say, “Cool bag” or “Great shoes. Where did you buy them? ”
Here, compliments are scattered, not sparing. Almost every day I hear something good from strangers to me: about the beautiful color of the dress, which I really like; about hair; about clothes and shoes; about your son.
“Almost every day I hear something good from people I don't know.”
To some, this may seem like something forced, like an alleged “fake American smile”. The other is breaking boundaries: why on earth would an unfamiliar aunt praise my shoes? But I see only good things in this genre of everyday micro-praise. You rush to work in the morning in a bad mood - and suddenly you see a smile and hear something pleasant about yourself. It warms up!
Another language habit is wish you a good day... In general - any time of the day. It is no coincidence that when saying goodbye, Americans often say: "Have a good ONE!" It's like “good afternoon”, but without “day”. That is, it is not specified which period of time, event or type of pastime is in question. Whatever you do - let everything be fine!
The language habit number three in the list is called conditionally. "connecting link"... When you have a “small talk” - a small, everyday conversation - the other person often tries to find something in common between you. If, for example, an Uber driver asks you where you are from, and you say: “from Ukraine”, you can be sure that he will immediately find something in common: his neighbor or colleague will be from Ukraine, or maybe he himself was once there ... In this language habit, very common in America, I see a manifestation of interest and empathy. The person shows: that which is close to you, at least a little close to him.
Another habit is similar to the "connecting link" - Review... If you tell something to an American, he will definitely demonstrate that he is listening, and literally every few seconds utter the signal words: “Cool!”, “What, really?”, “Wow!”, “Great!” , "Oh, what a pity." The arsenal of these words-signals for reaction in a conversation is very large. This language habit allows you not to feel lonely in conversation.
“A casual fellow traveler or neighbor will not prove to you why you need to love this or that politician.”
But perhaps even more important. what is silent... It is difficult to call this a language habit - rather, its absence. This is a habit of not asking tactless questions that violate personal boundaries: how much do you earn, why you are still not married, why you have no children or when you have a second, why is your child without a hat, why do you allow him something harmful and how do you raise him at all ?
An accidental fellow traveler, or a neighbor, will not splash saliva to prove to you why you need to love this or that politician, whom, as he just discovered, you dislike. In general, one of the most valuable language habits of Americans, paradoxically, I would define as silence.
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