Think back to the last time you said to someone you’d just met, “Let’s grab a coffee sometime.” What were your feelings about that person? If you’re like many Americans, the true meaning of your words lay unspoken, yet perfectly conveyed through your invitation: you liked that person. Like, a lot — enough that you would be willing to adjust your schedule to fit them in on short notice.
Reddit user TheYoungGriffin posted an infographic dissecting the way Americans talk. If you had told that person to simply “Stay in touch,” it may have actually signaled a slight disaffection.
The list itself is brief, but in true Reddit fashion, the rest of the internet has chimed into the comments and really brought the post to life. A few of our favorites:
“Wow that’s crazy = I wasn’t paying attention to anything you just said.”
“Maybe is more like No, but I wanna keep my options open just in case at the last min I decide I do wanna do that.”
Sometimes, American lingo tends to go down a rabbit hole of each phrase actually meaning slightly worse than it sounds. This thread sums it up perfectly:
- Surprisingly accurate = not far off
- Not far off = needs improvements
- Needs improvement = failing
- Failing = don’t even bother anymore
User Haicra asks, “Are these ones just California? ‘Yeah, no’ = ‘no,’ ‘No, yeah’ = ‘yes,’ ‘Yeah, for sure = yes,’ ‘No, for sure’ = ‘yes’.”
The moral of the story? Next time you’re chumming it up with an America, read between the lines. They may be trying to tell you something that they’re not actually telling you.