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[Report] SENEWS-2007-12-30 Report

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I'm Susan Clock with special English program---words and their stories.

A woman from Japan was telling a friend about her trip to the United States. The woman has visited major businesses and investment companies in New York city and Chicago.

"I studyed English before I left home, but I still was not sure that people was speaking English."

Her problem is easy to understand. Americans in business are like people who are in business anywhere. They have a language of their own. Some of the words and its expressions deal with their special areas of their work. Other expressions are borrowed from different kinds of the work, such as theater and movie industry.

One such saying is get your act together. When things go wrong in a business and an employer may get angry. He may shout stop making mistakes, get your act together. Or if your employer is a cormer he may say let us get our act together. Either way the meaning is the same. Getting your act together is getting organized, in business it usually means to develop a calm and orderly plan or action. It is difficult to tell exactly where the saying began. But it is properly that was in the theater or moive industry, perhaps one of the actors was nervous and made a lot of mistakes, the director may have said calm down now, get your act together.

Word expert Jame Rodger says the expression was common by the late 1970s. Mr Rodger says the main ---newspaper used it in 1978. The newspaper said the reform policy required that the British government get its act together. Now this expression is heard often when officials of a company neat. One company even called its yearly report getting our act together.

The Japanese vistor was confused by another American expression used by an American business people. It is cut to the chase. She heard that expression whey she attended an important meeting of one company. One offical was giving a very long report. It was not very interesting. In fact some people at the meeting were falling asleep. Finally the president of the company said cut to the chase.

Cut to the chase means to stop spending so much time on details or unimportant material, hurry and get to the good part. Naturally this saying was started by people who make movies. Hollywood movie producers believe that most of Americans want to see action movies. Any of their moives show sceens in which the actors chase the other in cars or in airplanes or on foot. Cut is a director's word for stop. The director means to stop filming, leave out some material and get to the chase now. So if your employer tells you cut to the chase. Be sure to get the main point of your story quickly.

This words and their stories was written by Jerry Watson. I'm Susan Clock.






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