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I have moved to a new job in a new country. One of my old colleagues send me an email asking "what are you new coordinates?". Does he/she mean what is your new contact information? Or it is an idiom and he/she means how things are going at the new country/workplace?

Sorry if my question seems silly, but I am not an English native speaker.

  • It will be them asking for your location. Are they quirky? – Dog Lover Jul 24 '17 at 8:36
  • Is the old colleague a non-native English speaker or a native speaker of, say, Indian English? If they are a native speaker of a dialect then this use of coordinates could be an expression common in that dialect, but most of us from the UK or US wouldn't recognise it. – BoldBen Oct 21 '17 at 12:31
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The relevant literal sense of "coordinates" is geographic coordinates, specifically latitude and longitude, nowadays sometimes called "GPS coordinates".

But it's really just a humorous way to ask where you are now; (s)he's not really expecting coordinates back. You can either reply with a normal-person description of your location (such as "I'm in Paris", or "I'm in a suburb of Washington, D.C.", or "I'm in London, near the Eye", or "I'm in a secret bunker in an undisclosed location"), or double down on your colleague's joke by looking up your coordinates and sending those instead!

Or it is an idiom and he/she means how things are going at the new country/workplace?

That's not what (s)he means, but it would be very reasonable to say a bit about that (such as "It's been an adjustment — did you know that some Americans walk barefoot in the street? — but overall I'm really loving it!").

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  • Although I cannot find an authoritative definition for this, I have seen it used in the sense of "contact details" too (e.g. when recruiters message me on LinkedIn, asking for a way to get in touch with me personally). Though not yet defined, it does seem to be in active use. – Flater Aug 7 '17 at 12:56
  • @Flater: Interesting! I haven't run into that one. But in the OP's case, the old colleague apparently still has the OP's contact information, so that doesn't seem to be the intended sense. – ruakh Aug 7 '17 at 14:47
  • It's not impossible that he e.g. only has the OP's current email address, and is looking to find out his new phone number and/or address (since the OP moved to another country, it stands to reason that his phone number and address have changed, while his email address has not). – Flater Aug 7 '17 at 15:07
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I have heard it before in India and suspect it may be in common use. For example, I have been CC'd an email asking someone to "upload their coordinates" where it definitely meant to upload their contact details.

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    Welcome to English Language & Usage! Please use the Post answer button only for actual answers. With a bit more rep, you will be able to post comments. – NVZ Oct 21 '17 at 8:38

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