March 16 2014 by Alix Vazeux
When I first moved to the US, a member of my team wrote a report for me. It wasn’t very good. In true British style, I told her that it was “quite good.” She thanked me profusely for the positive feedback. I was confused as I was trying to tell her it needed more work. It took a while to realise that American English uses “quite good” to mean “very good.” Once the penny dropped, we laughed and started working on the report together.
Reading this article reminded me of the challenges of understanding the underlying meaning in what people are trying to tell you – even when you think that you are speaking the same language…
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