There are many aspects of life in U. S. that are not available in any guide or rulebook. This article compiles a list of practical tips shared by contributors on path2usa. com. These tips are likely to be useful for people who have just moved to the country.
What is say: What not to say!
When you are going to smoke, don’t say, “I am going out for a fag”. “Fag” in British English means “to smoke”. In American English, it means a “Gay”.
Don’t say, “Phone was engaged”, as here engaged means getting engaged. Instead say “There was a busy tone”.
Don’t say, “I’ll ring you back.” or “I’ll call you later”. Here ring is the engagement ring, rather say “I’ll call you, or buzz you”.
Don’t call a black person a “Negro” or “Black”, it is always polite to call them “African Americans”.
Also never call an “American Indian” as a “Red Indian”, they get very offended.
Do not walk or sit with arms around the shoulders of someone of the same sex. You may be mistaken to be a “a Gay” or “a Lesbian”.
There is no such thing as “eve teasing” in the USA. It is called “sexual harassment”, and one can land in jail, if caught in such activities.
At work or elsewhere if you want to say Yes, just say “YES”. Do not nod your head up and down. Moving your head side to side is very confusing, and it’s mostly taken as NO.
Avoid talking in your native language in presence of people of other ethnicities in a social gathering. It is not courteous.
In supermarkets, if the cashier asks ‘paper or plastic’ he wants to ask you if you would you like to carry your stuff in paper bags or plastic bags.
During your conversation do not say, “I have a doubt”, rather say “I have question/query”.