Pet peeves and bugbears in cross-cultural communication

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When you communicate with people from other cultures, be careful about expressions that your audience may not understand.

Expressions such as pet peeves!


I’m currently in Singapore helping writers communicate effectively with people from different language backgrounds. My participants need to use English to communicate with people who have limited English.

This post applies to written messages AND live presentations.


When I train people, I always encourage them to ASK me to explain and clarify if I use an expression they are not familiar with.

In a recent session, someone asked what I meant by “Pet Peeve”. While most people in the session were familiar with the expression, the participant who asked thought Pet Peeve had something to do with animals.

I can understand why!

A Pet Peeve is: some annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly annoying to himself or herself. A Pet Peeve is particular to a person…

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