WHAT'S A HUNG JURY? Or a lame duck president? Or a political landslide? Why does someone say "Sorry, Charlie" when talking to someone named Mary? And how does someone "Put it on his tab?" For most Americans such questions present no problem. But for foreigners, otherwise well versed in English, they can be incomprehensible. So the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, has come up with an "American English" course designed to provide answers for, among others, German business executives, French interpreters, Sri Lankan Embassy employees and Bolivian housewives.

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