IN our everyday interactions with others, we sometimes tend to be very casual that we don’t pay attention to our use of certain expressions. Inevitably, such ways of speaking tend to creep into our formal situations when we have to be professional.

I’m going to use letters to demonstrate the right ways to pronounce the words I’ll be sharing here. Note that the capitalised part indicates that you place the stress or force on that part of the word. Consider the following:

First is the word: ‘Restaurant’. As you will notice, the word has three syllables; however, only two syllables are pronounced because the middle ‘au’ disappears. So, say ‘REStront’ as in ‘I am going to the ‘REStront’.

A second word to note is the commonly mispronounced one – vegetables; oftentimes, I hear it pronounced as four syllables; however, there’s actually only three syllables here. So, let’s go: ‘VEGtable’, as in ‘Would you kindly buy some VEGtables for me?’

That makes your speaking sound quintessential, doesn’t it?

‘Chocolate’ is another word to register. Normally, the word has three syllables, but it is pronounced as two: ‘CHOKlet’, as in ‘My children love CHOKlets’! Remember where to place the stress while pronouncing this word.

A very common word used on a weekly basis is ‘Wednesday’. Because it’s a day that shows up once every week, we have a reason to talk about the day. How should the word be pronounced? As a three-syllable word? Not at all. This day of the week is pronounced as two syllables: ‘WENZday’, as in ‘I love WENZdays!’ Be different, okay? Don’t go along with the crowd in pronouncing this word as three syllables.

Finally, as controversial as some see the word ‘comfortable’, here you can find an easy way to pronounce it. It is naturally a four-syllable word. The controversy lies in some persons pronouncing all four syllables, and others three. Americans particularly do the former.

I discovered that some British pronunciations have it as three as well, while others keep to four, hence the controversy. Here, we choose to go with the three syllables just so you know what’s obtainable out there, so we say: ‘COMFtable’. In this case, the ‘or’ disappears in pronunciation. Try this to sound classy!

 Rather than say ‘goodbye’ say this

In today’s episode, we consider practical ways we can communicate with others to let them know we are about to take our leave.

We definitely do have to communicate our exit at one point in time or the other – when we attend occasions, conclude a meeting, need to relocate, finish a training, graduate from school and may not see our classmates again, or during the year end when everyone has to go on a long break from work.

What expression(s) other than ‘goodbye’ might we use to have a closure? In other words, how can we say ‘goodbye’ without necessarily having to say ‘goodbye’? That sounds tricky, but we do not always have to use the word ‘goodbye’ – I don’t know if we use this word that much in real life situations. There are other fun ways to announce our leave or to say our goodbyes:

Simply say ‘bye’. We often say this accompanied with a smile. You may choose to duplicate the ‘bye’ and say ‘bye-bye’ – this works best when relating with younger children (works best when accompanied with the right tone).

Also, you can choose to say ‘see you soon’, especially if you intend to see the person some other time, but if on the same day, you could say ‘see you later’.

Suppose you are at a function and you need to leave. You could simply announce, ‘I’m going to take my leave now’ or ‘I have to leave now’. Sometimes, that may still be accompanied with a ‘bye’ or ‘bye everyone’ (remember zoom meetings with friends or colleagues and having to take your leave?) ‘I’m heading off’, ‘I’m off’, and ‘I’ve got to get going’ are additional phrases people use when taking their leave.

What if you met someone for the first time? You could say to them: ‘It was nice to meet you’ or: ‘It was nice meeting you’. And if you wanted them to stay in touch, you could as well add: ‘Do stay in touch’ or ‘let’s be in touch’.

Stand out by using these expressions rather than just saying ‘goodbye’. Don’t take the regular and preferred route everyone else takes because it’s simpler and less cumbersome. Don’t worry about people seeing you as being weird or different because, indeed, you are different!

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