Syncope Accent Reduction Pronunciation

Syncope Accent Reduction Pronunciation: Syncope  The word "every" is pronounced ev'ry. The second e sound is eliminated. The technical words for the elimination o...

Interview for Economics Graduates - Job Employment

Practice speaking for employment job interviews

Part A – Justification for Application and Hiring

1. Why did you choose to study economics? What made you choose to study economics?
2. Why did you choose to apply for employment at this company?
3. What skills will you bring to our organization?
4. How would you apply and utilize your skills and knowledge in this position?
5. Given that there are other economics graduates that are, also, eligible for this position, why should we hire you? What do you have that other economics graduates do not have? What’s special about you?
6. What are your career goals?

Interest Rates Words on Chart

Part B – Analysis and Explaining

1. Talk about a time you used quantitative reasoning to prove your point.
2. How would you manage costs for home health services?
3. What is transfer pricing? What are the different TP methods?
4. What is the difference between net present value and present value?
5. How would you budget money for a marketing research department?
6. The operations manager of a restaurant equipment supplier claims the department needs a 20% budget increase. How would you investigate the accuracy of this claim? Talk about how you would begin. What information would you gather, and how would you use it?

E-Commerce Word on Chart

Part C – Interpersonal Profile

1. Are you the type of person that likes to work alone or with a team? Please, explain.
2. How do you feel about interdepartmental communication?
3. Are you passive, assertive, or aggressive? Why would say so?
4. How do you deal with conflict? Describe a time that you had to deal with conflict. What was the outcome?
5. Describe a challenging situation and how you dealt with it.
6. Justify this statement: It’s good for departments in a company to exchange information.

Guy holding sales chart picture  

Part D – Worldview

1. How does the free flow of information on the internet affect local economies?
2. What’s your analysis of the economy? What are your feelings about the current state of the economy?
3. Do you feel that the removal of trade barriers and customs tariffs is good for the world economy? Why?
4. Talk about how the removal of customs tariffs was good for a country’s economy.
5. Talk about how maintaining customs tariffs is good, or was good, for a country’s economy.
6. What do you think about the latest reports on US jobless rates?
7. Do you think that a decrease in applications for unemployment benefits is a genuine indication that the economy is getting better? Why would you say so? Please, explain.
8. In which direction do you feel the economy is heading? Why do you say this?
9. In economics terms, what comes to mind when you hear, “Think globally, and act locally?”

Intercultural English and Cultural Context By: Wayne K. Johnson, Dr. Jana Silver, and Craig Sower

"I just published my latest paper in the Journal of Shujitsu English Studies, Shujitsu University, Okayama, Japan. Journal # 30, January 2014, p. 167-187. It is called: "Intercultural English and Cultural Context" My co-authors are Dr. Jana Silver, and Japan expert Craig Sower" Wayne Johnson

Intercultural English and Cultural Context By: Wayne K. Johnson, Dr. Jana Silver, and Craig Sower

Japanese Flag Intercultural Article

Japanese Sun in front of Mountains Intercultural Article

Japanese Sun over Mountains Intercultural Article

English Conversation with Eponyms

English Eponyms 45 is in the English Box Online.  

What is an eponym? Find out here: eponym

I chose these eponyms for the list because they're popular, well-known, or common. Many people know what these words refer to. The names are familiar to many people. They'll make good topics for conversation or discussion. Be creative.

English Box Online provided by Professional English Skills and Language, Boston

English Loanwords - Pronunciation and Vocabulary

At the request of one of my accent reduction clients, I compiled a list of English loanwords. These words are from other languages and are common in English. Most native speakers of English will be familiar with these words. Here's a link to the list:

Loanwords List - PDF Download 

Some non-native speakers of English might not know how to pronounce loanwords, and some non-native speakers of English might not know what they mean, which is why I label them as a topic for both pronunciation accent and vocabulary and expressions.

Mandy Egle of the Seattle Learning Academy features some of the loanwords on this list in a podcast at Pronuncian.

194: faux pas, chauffeur, fiance, and more

Hi everyone, and welcome back to Seattle Learning Academy's American English pronunciation podcast. My name is Mandy, and this is our 194th episode.

I was talking to my friend Steve from last week and he was kind enough to share a list of loanwords...

Here are some of the loanwords on this list with the spelling from the International Phonetic Alphabet.

amateur /ˈæm ə ʧʊr/
bouquet /bu ˈkeɪ/ (or /boʊ ˈkeɪ/)
debris /də ˈbri/
debut /ˈdeɪb ju/
faux pas /ˌfoʊ ˈpɑ/
fiance /ˌfi ɑn ˈseɪ/
genre /ˈʒɑn rə/
liaison /li ˈeɪz ən/ *
motif /moʊ ˈtif/
resume /ˈrɛz ə meɪ/
sabotage /ˈsæb ə tɑʒ/
silhouette /ˌsɪl u ˈɛt/
venue /ˈvɛn ju/
encore /ˈɑn kɔr/
chauffeur /ʃoʊ ˈfɚ/

Maybe, "parmesan" is just a cheesy version of "parmagiano-reggiano".

What's the difference between "parmesan" and "parmagiano"?

So, Does "Imitation" Parmesan Taste Good?

A cheese labeled as Parmesan in the US that is not genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano still can be a tasty cheese. Many artisanal cheesemakers are making high-quality cheeses that are inspired by Parmigiano-Reggiano. Many large cheese producers sell decent Parmesan. Is the flavor as complex as genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano? You be the judge. Buy both and taste them side by side.

How to succeed at an employment interview

Ten tips to succeed at an employment Interview

Employment Interview Job Interview
Prepare for interviews.

The purpose of an employment interview, or a job interview, is for you to convince an employer to hire you. To do this, you have to tell an employer how the company will benefit from hiring you. Your cover letter and résumé are marketing documents. The employment interview, or job interview, is your sales call, and you have to be convincing.

1) Speak with confidence about yourself. Speak in a way that sounds as though you are 100% certain of what you say. Do not use weak phrases if you want to come across as confident and competent. For example, do not describe your ability to do anything as “pretty good”. This sounds weak. I would, also, steer clear of using “try”. Don’t talk about what you tried to do, have tried to do, or try to do. Talk about what you did, have done, and do.

2) Do not use uptalk. Speaking with uptalk means that you make your statements sound as if you were asking a yes-no question. This does not communicate confidence to the interviewer. Intonation for yes-no questions rises in a certain way, but it should not rise in this way for statements. Uptalk makes it sound like you are asking a question, not making a statement. Your statements have to sound certain. Speak with certainty.

3) Do not talk about something that is expected of you as if it were special or as if it were a strength. For example, being reliable, or dependable, is not special and it is not a strength. Do not say something like, “I’m hard-working”. Anyone and everyone would say that, and it’s something that an employer expects you to be in the first place. Being a team player is something an employer expects you to be. So instead of just saying “I’m a team player”, you should provide examples that demonstrate that you are a team player. Tell a story about a time that you worked with others as a team to accomplish something or solve a problem.

4) Do not repeat what’s on your résumé in reply to questions or speaking prompts. However, keep in mind that the interviewer might ask you about specific information on your résumé, so be able to talk about what’s on your résumé. If you use information on your résumé as a reply to a question or a speaking prompt, provide more information or expand on it in some way. For example, if on your resume, you included something like, “created a more efficient customer service process”, you should tell about how you did this. Provide specific information to explain how you “created a more efficient customer service process”. Don’t limit your replies to only the information that is on your résumé.

5) Be prepared to tell stories. Tell stories about how you solved problems. Tell stories about how you reached an objective or achieved a goal. Tell stories about how you succeeded in doing something or accomplishing something. People refer to these types of stories as vignettes. Organize your information, and practice being direct and to the point.

6) Do not start your reply to a question or a speaking prompt with filler words or phrases that lack substance. Here are some examples of the types of phrases I would avoid: that’s a good question; that’s an interesting question; yes, I can tell you a lot about that; I’m interested in. Those are just a few examples, and there would be more, but I think you get the idea. Whether you're interviewing to work as a consultant, to be a marketing manager, to enter an MBA program, or to be accepted to medical school, do not use phrases that lack substance. When you reply to a question or a speaking prompt, start with something that provides information that the interviewer wants to know.

7) Be prepared to support everything you say with examples and reasons. If you cannot "explain why" or "explain how", don’t say it.

8) Be sure that your enthusiasm and your passion for what you do or want to do come through when you speak. This does not mean that everything you say must be dramatic or filed with emotion, but it does mean that you are not simply conveying information. It does not mean that you have to make people believe what you are saying. It DOES mean, however, that people have to believe that YOU believe what you are saying. You have to come across as sincere and genuine.

9) A manager or a company will hire you for what you know. Do not be timid or shy about telling people that you know something. Don’t talk about what you know as if it were an opinion. Tell the interviewer what you know, not what you “think you know”. However, if you are truly answering an opinion question, here are some phrases you can use to start your reply: In my opinion; I think that; I believe that; I would say that; as I see it; the way I see it. Still, remember that if you are speaking about what you know, do not start with phrases like these. A manager will hire you because of what you know, can do, and will do. A manager employs you because you are confident, certain, and sure of yourself in every way. You are skilled and knowledgeable. However, you have to come across as a self-assured and confident person.

10) The key to succeeding at an employment interview is to be able to speak confidently and competently about your work and your experience in as many ways as you can. You have to be aware of your experience, skills, and knowledge, and you have to be excellent at talking about them. An employment interview is a conversation about you: your experience, skills, and knowledge. And you do most of the talking at an employment interview. Finally, to succeed at an employment interview, or a job interview, and get the position that you want, you have to practice, practice, and practice.

Employment Interview in the USA International
Get ready for interviews

Schwa Vowel in Con Com

Some vowels in English are neutralized, or they become schwa vowels. This is an important point for English pronunciation and accent. Using schwa vowel sounds helps with accent reduction or accent modification.

15 Con Com Prefixes - Sound Link at 

In these words that begin with “con” and “com”, the /o/ is neutralized, or it is schwa. The syllable that follows “con” and “com” in these words receives stress. For example “contain” is pronounced “cəntain” and “compare is pronounced “cəmpare”.


1. contain 2. conserve 3. condition 4. condone 5. concern 6. concede 7. conceit
8. conceal 9. connect 10. conduct 11. confirm 12. conform 13. confront 14. consent 15. consume 16. construct 17. construction 18. consumer 19. continue 20. convince
21. condition 22. conclude 23. consider 24. control 25. concise 26. convention 27. convenient 28. contribute 29. conventional


1. compare 2. commission 3. combine 4. commit 5. command 6. compile 7. computer
8. commend 9. complete 10. compatible 11. compassion 12. compete 13. complaint
14. communicate 15. community 16. companion 17. compress 18. compression

Schwa Vowel for Accent Reduction

Speaking of why you need not say that

Auxiliary Snob English
Auxiliary Language Snob 
Question: Why would anyone say “need not” or “needn’t”? I heard someone say, “You need not say that”. I know what this means, but why would someone choose to say, “You need not say that” instead of “You don’t need to say that”?

You need not say that.
You needn't say that.
You don't need to say that.

It's interesting that you ask. Some people say that “need not” sounds posh, but that’s not how I view it. First, it’s necessary to point out that “need not” is very uncommon, but it does not sound entirely unfamiliar. It’s very seldom that anyone would say or hear “need not”, but there' a slight chance you might hear it.

Saying "need not" sounds more formal, more serious, or socially distant. Though much of this depends on tone of voice, which means "need not" or "needn't" can occur in contexts that are informal or casual, as well. Saying "need not" does not have to sound formal or serious, but, as "need not" stands alone, it is a more formal or more serious form of expression. Remember that it’s not just language that is formal. Situations and circumstances are formal, and formal situations and circumstances can be marked by formal types of expressions or language. But that's not always so, of course.

Still, "need not", or "needn't", can carry, to some degree, a bit of a snob factor. But, again, this depends on tone of voice and what someone wants to communicate. It's not usual, or typical, to say or hear "need not". I would call it a marked form: it sounds serious or formal. It's not ordinary language. If I were to say “need not”, I would say it to add either a serious tone or a more formal tone to my expression. It certainly would not be to sound like a snob because I need not sound like a snob. And I need not sound posh either, as it goes against my grain. Anyway, you need not say “need not”, as it’s very uncommon. Just the same, if you find reason to say “need not”, go right ahead and say it. You need not receive permission to do so.

Usage Note for Need When used as an auxiliary verb, need does not agree with its subject, does not take to before the verb following it, and does not combine with do

Read more:

If need be, read more about need: Usage Note for Need - The Free Dictionary 

"When used as an auxiliary verb, need does not agree with its subject" < This means that "s" is not required for third person singular. 

Writing classes do not solve your problem

I'd like to clue you in on something. I know it's disappointing, and most people probably don't want to hear it. But the truth is that writing classes don't work. Here's why.
  1. Everyone's writing ability is different. 
  2. Everyone has a different purpose in writing. 
  3. Everyone makes different mistakes in writing. 
  4. Everyone's understanding of the English language is different. 
  5. Writing often needs revisions, not corrections, and because of this, everyone needs to improve their writing skills in different ways. 
You might ask about mistakes. What kind of mistakes could there be? Do you mean grammar mistakes? What is a mistake anyway? What is an error? Well, mistakes aren't really the problem. The problem is writing, and here are some problems with writing:

Writing might have grammatical errors. Much of the time grammar errors are the easiest part of writing skills to deal with because they are easy to identify and isolate. You can refer to a grammar error by name. Grammar forms are more concrete because they represent identifiable patterns: someone can always explain grammar forms. Quite often, grammar is what people think about when it comes to improving writing skills. But grammar is easier to deal with than other writing problems because, unlike grammar, other writing problems do not represent identifiable patterns. So if grammar is not the real problem, then what is?

A sentence or a phrase may be correct, but it might not mean what you want it to mean. Now, if a sentence doesn't mean what you want it to mean, people can, often, still understand what you mean to say. But you should understand that they're being cooperative by not misinterpreting your sentence. Also, it could be that they don't recognize the other meaning: the meaning you did not intend for the sentence. Still, isn't it better to write sentences that mean what you want them to mean?

Here's something that's really difficult to work with sometimes. It's not so much that this is difficult to work with, however. The problem is that it's difficult to explain. Sometimes phrases are grammatically correct, but that's all they are: grammatically correct. So what could be wrong with a phrase that's grammatically correct? I mean that despite being correct, a phrase might not communicate a thought or an idea in a way that is typical or usual for English. Phrases can sound strange or awkward at times even when they are correct. Now, if that's not enough to complicate matters, here's something else. Strange or awkward sounding phrases sometimes occur in combination with sentences that are packed with too much information. Please, read the next paragraph.

Sometimes writers try to pack too much information into one sentence, which then makes a sentence difficult to follow and understand. To compound the problem, the phrases and the clauses may all be correct, but, somehow, they just don't go together in a logical way. I refer to this as having to untie a knot, and it's not easy. Sometimes writers have no idea what they're doing or what's going on when it comes to sentences like this. However, some writers might not take the time to really notice and think about what they've typed. You have to read what you've typed and decide whether your thoughts and ideas are connected well. You have to decide whether your sentences really make sense and whether they mean what you want them to mean. After assessing your writing, you have to make it better. It could be that you have to fix it. Taking these steps may not be easy. However, you need to take them, or you just might be forever in need of someone to revise, correct, and edit your writing. A good writing tutor will tell you what you need to do and will tell you the steps you have to take to improve your writing skills. Your progress depends on this. Maybe, "tutor" is not the right word. Maybe, writing guide, writing coach, writing consultant, or writing advisor are better words for this.

What about punctuation and capitalization? Some writers seem not to care much for paying attention to punctuation and capitalization. This can, however, be deadly. Before you click "send", check your email for punctuation and capitalization. Do you know how unprofessional your business emails look when you ignore proper punctuation and capitalization? You don't? Well, that makes two of us. I don't know either. But I'll bet the people who receive your business emails know. Maybe, it's best to talk to them about this to get an idea of just how unprofessional business emails can look when there are some very basic mistakes in punctuation and capitalization. You know that this is something that usually just requires writers to proofread: it takes a little more time, a little more effort, and some thought. Maybe, writers should just be a little more careful about punctuation and capitalization. It's well within their grasp to do so, and the readers probably see it that way, too. By the way, do you know who reads your business emails? Of course, people send email, and they forward email. They copy people on email, too.

What about register? Have you heard of that? Register refers to how formal or informal language is. It has to do with how serious or casual language is. Register refers to how you speak to the person who reads your communication. Remember that being too formal could make a writer (a person) seem, to some degree, unapproachable or too distant. Then again, communicating in a way that is too informal could cause a minor offense. Writers have to be aware of who their readers are. Writers have to be sure that they understand the people who read their writing, and this means that writers have to speak to their readers in the right way. After all, no one wants to be too formal, too informal, too serious, too casual, too direct, or too indirect.

It's important to use the right degree of politeness. For example, if you need someone to complete a task, it could be better to, somehow, tell the person to do it, or it could be better to ask the person to do it. Or maybe a combination of telling and asking is better. How direct should you be when speaking to someone in a business email? When you write to someone, you are really speaking. How much force should you use to make the reader understand what you mean to say? It could be that the answers to these questions are not that complicated. Still, each situation is different, and each writer is different.

Here are some relevant comments on this idea from Rod Mitchell.

"In written language, there is always going to be the difficulty of understanding language in the same way we understand spoken language - paper just does not give us the other cues (intonation, tone of voice, emphasis) - though it can give us another important clue - context.

It is amazing how well we can predict tone of voice from the context built up in a written context. Or maybe not really that amazing, but simply a product of our automatic desire to transfer the written word to the spoken understanding - to read context into words on paper." Rod Mitchell - linguist/EFL teacher/teacher trainer/Director of Studies

So what I would ask is this: Can you be sure that you don't write anything that someone might transfer to an understanding of spoken language in a way that you do not intend? Simply put, are you sure that no one will take something you write the wrong way?

This sort of thing might come up from time to time, and I might find myself saying something like this: Look, I don't know the relationship you have with the people you work with, but this "phrase" could be taken the wrong way. Maybe, it's a good idea to change it, and then again, maybe, it's not. Does your question sound as though it has a tinge of impatience to it? Are you making a request, or are you telling someone to do something? Maybe, it's a combination of both. How forceful, or strong, do you think your language should be in order to be clear about what you want to say?

So grammar does not rank high all the time. It's better to not offend even just a little than to watch out for every preposition or every article (the, a, or an). Still, of course, grammar is important. Good communication is about balancing perspective and taking everything together.

Writers must know what is important. And this does not mean, for example, that writers should be concerned about splitting infinitives. Yes, I'm well aware that, to some people, I've made a serious error by splitting infinitives in this article. Let me assure you that the so-called "split infinitive" is not an error. At least, read the usage note in the American Heritage Dictionary so that you can have a balanced viewpoint regarding the idea of the so-called "split infinitive".  Now, then, if your writing tutor is paying too much attention to so-called "split infinitives" and not giving enough attention to more important matters about your writing, that could be bad news. Has anyone ever told you to not split infinitives? Well, either way, that's not really the bad news.

The bad news is that writing is not always easy to deal with. In fact, it can be downright difficult to deal with. The good news is that people who want to improve their writing can, in fact, improve their writing, and they should improve their writing. It's just that a writing class with six to twelve other writers in it might not be the best way to go about doing it. People who want to, and have to, improve their professional writing skills need one-to-one professional training to make it happen.

Is your writing tutor overly aggressive about the passive?

Have you ever heard anyone say, "Do not use passive voice"? If you think this merited any real attention, I recommend thinking again. In the US, I think the anti-passive voice sentiment gained some of its momentum from a popular book called the Elements of Style. In the article, "50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice", the author, Geoffrey K. Pullum, tells about the reference to passive voice in this popular book.
"Use the active voice" is a typical section head. And the section in question opens with an attempt to discredit passive clauses that is either grammatically misguided or disingenuous." 
"Strunk and White are denigrating the passive by presenting an invented example of it deliberately designed to sound inept."
Still, it's important to maintain a balanced perspective. Here's what I mean: I have seen writing in which people use a passive voice sentence when it really seems that an active voice sentence is better. In such cases, an active voice sentence is better because a passive voice sentence seems to, somehow, make the writing, or the communication, less effective. With this in mind, I should say that I recall reading formal business email writing in which the writer used passive voice so many times that the writing seemed, at least, a little strange. I brought this to the writer's attention, and while the writer agreed that the use of passive voice was excessive, the writer, also, said that this is a regular way of communicating at the company because, at the company, sometimes it's not good to say "who does what" or "who did what", especially if whatever someone did seems not to have been the best thing to do. So she was compelled to use passive voice more often than should have been necessary so as to not draw attention to individuals. This, of course, is an artificial use of passive voice, and such use is brought about by people having to be careful about what they say and how they say it.

"So she was compelled to use passive voice more often than should have been necessary so as to not draw attention to individuals."

There's nothing wrong with using passive voice in the above sentence even though it's possible to use active voice. The reason passive voice comes about is that there seems to not be a way to identify "who compels her" or "who does the compelling". The circumstance compels her. The circumstance does the compelling, and that's abstract. People do the compelling, also, but there's no way to really identify specific individuals who compel someone to use passive voice. Therefore, it easily, and without any thought, occurs to me to use passive voice in that sentence, and there's nothing wrong with it at all. Just the same, here's the same sentence with active voice, but it just does not seem to have the same effect as passive voice, which, in this sentence, is better.

"So the circumstance compelled her to use passive voice more often than should have been necessary so as to not draw attention to individuals."

Starting in paragraph seven of "50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice", the author, Geoffrey K. Pullum, tells about the reference to passive voice in the popular book, The Elements of Style.
"Use the active voice" is a typical section head. And the section in question opens with an attempt to discredit passive clauses that is either grammatically misguided or disingenuous." 
"Strunk and White are denigrating the passive by presenting an invented example of it deliberately designed to sound inept."
"They give good examples to show that the choice between active and passive may depend on the topic under discussion."
"Sadly, writing tutors tend to ignore this moderation, and simply red-circle everything that looks like a passive, just as Microsoft Word's grammar checker underlines every passive in wavy green to signal that you should try to get rid of it. That overinterpretation is part of the damage that Strunk and White have unintentionally done."
Remember that there's nothing wrong with using passive voice. You just have to use it when it's appropriate and logical to do so.

Passive Voice Definition