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Small Talk Conversation Starters: Halloween

Trying to identify the right small talk conversation starters for Halloween is made easy with the wide range of ideas in this post. The small talk conversation starters in this post can be used at the water cooler, in the break room or over lunch to make small talk about Halloween, which falls on October 31 […]

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What Does ‘Turn Down’ Mean?

What does “turn down” mean? Today I heard someone say, “I was turned down some 40 times before I was hired at this company!” I did not understand what “turned down” meant!  Help me understand this American English idiom! This was said by a person who applied for 40 different positions at the same company […]

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Back to School – Small Talk in the USA

“There’s 104 days of summer vacation, and school comes along just to end it…” The title song lyrics to the Disney cartoon Phineas and Ferb sums up the feeling that most American kids have between early August and early September.  To clarify, no, kids do not have 104 days of summer vacation! School kids (grades 1-12) […]

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Presidents Day – A February Holiday

This “floating Monday” holiday, which falls on the third Monday of February, is officially known as Washington’s Birthday. However, as Washington’s Birthday (February 22) and Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12) fall close to each other, these two days were combined into one holiday colloquially known as ‘Presidents Day.’ Presidents Day is both a federal holiday, and […]

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What’s Up with so Many 3-day Weekends?

“Why are there so many 3-day weekends in the US?” This was a question asked as we wrapped up an expat preparation program for assignees readying to move to the USA. The 3-day weekend is typically known as “the long weekend” in conversational English. Some new to the US may think the 3-day weekends is […]

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Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a well-known festival in the US. Mardi Gras is a traditional holiday celebrated across many Christian cultures and in the southern regions of the United States. It is particularly famous in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. The festivities include elaborate and colorful parades, family picnics, costumes, music, and […]

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Sample Emails to Decline Party Invites

Expats adjusting to life in the US often ask us to help them write sample emails to decline party invites or invites for other social functions. While they are honored to be asked, in some cases, they are receiving too many invites or they have a conflict in their schedule that prevents them from attending […]

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Veterans Day: A Patriotic Day in the US

Veterans Day is a public holiday held on the anniversary of the end of World War I (November 11) to honor US veterans and victims of all wars. It replaced Armistice Day in 1954. How does Veterans Day impact global teams? Let’s see.    What is Veterans Day?  This short video made by the History […]

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Talking About Politics: Dos and Don’ts in the USA

In Small Talk training programs in India, Indian professionals are divided on whether or not talking about politics is acceptable at work. While my personal experience as an American working in India has shown me in general that Indians are more comfortable talking about politics at work, there are definitely certain people, even in India, […]

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My Clock Didn’t Change for Fall Back – What Happens?

Most people’s phones automatically change the time during the daylight time saving season, however other clocks need to be manually changed. There are times even my clock didn’t change for fall back – and I get a bit anxious if it did or not and would I be late or early if I have the […]

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