Topics: Linguistics, Culture, Sentence Pages: 3 (502 words) Published: April 18, 2014
“You Don’t Say”
Insert Name
Interpersonal Communication
In our American culture, we tend to say many things that do not make much sense to other cultures. We have numerous silly expressions known as idioms. If someone from a different culture came to America and heard our idioms, they could definitely become confused. There are so many idioms that could be completely misunderstood. For example, Johnny and Gina were arguing and Johnny always brings up old grudges while they fought. One could say Johnny adds fuel to the fire by bringing up old grudges. It could be misinterpreted as literally throwing fuel on a fire while arguing. The actual meaning is, is that he makes the problem worse. Another common saying is “I heard it through the grapevine.” When we say this, we mean that we heard a rumor from someone who got their information from another person, basically gossip. This could be misinterpreted as some crazy person listening to a grapevine. When someone has to “get something of their chest,” they need to say something that has been on their mind or has been bothering them. If taken the wrong way, this could mean the removal of something on their chest. When I am driving down the road and someone cuts me off, I am screaming in my car, “I’m gonna give you a piece of my mind!” This expression means to tell someone how you really feel. This statement can be easily misinterpreted as someone taking a chunk of their brain and handing it to you saying, “Here, you can have this.” A boss gives you a report for you to look at and he says, “Go over this with a fine-toothed comb.” Naturally we, Americans, would understand that we are supposed to scrutinize the report very closely and carefully. I can just imagine someone who did not know what that phrase meant, sitting in their cubicle brushing the report with a comb. Emily is trying to tell her husband about a guy hitting on her, but when she tries to approach the subject she shuts down. Her...
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