This tag is for questions related to the English language as used in the United States of America.

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1
vote
8answers
77 views

Word/phrase for remarks which often have a dark feel to them but whose meanings are not readily apparent? [on hold]

I know someone who has a tendency to make strange remarks whose meanings are not readily apparent, remarks which often have a dark feel to them, but which are left unexplained, as if to hide ...
10
votes
1answer
601 views

Is “defensible driving” defensible?

This stems from an answer on the Bicycles StackExchange site: http://bicycles.stackexchange.com/a/28633/1464 I think many people have heard of driving (or riding) "defensively." I understand this to ...
8
votes
1answer
503 views

What does “I have no shame when it comes to ignorance” mean? [on hold]

Does it mean one chooses to be ignorant regardless of shame, or submit to shame while admitting ignorance? Interviewer: Tell me about your first felony arrest? Candidate: I have no shame when it ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Is there a RULE (not opinion) for when it's okay to substitute “is” for “'s”? [on hold]

I wrote a sentence in which instead of saying, "God is" I said, "God's". Someone saw this and corrected me that I have to write "God is". This made me scared that I might not be able to simply ...
-1
votes
2answers
27 views

Is this sentence correct? Do I need a semicolon somewhere? [on hold]

Here is my sentence: His personality shines and nothing beats seeing the sparkle in his eye when he talks about something he loves, or seeing those dimples when he smiles.
-1
votes
1answer
47 views

Are you sure to delete or are you sure you want to delete

When the user wants to delete smth on the website I am showing a message for him/her to confirm. What is the grammatically correct way to say so Are you sure to delete this item or Are you ...
1
vote
3answers
79 views

On the circuit - what does it mean?

What does on the circuit mean in the following sentence from Michael A. Stackpole's book 21 days to a novel? She wants to make it big in Hollywood or New York or on the circuit. Update 1 ...
10
votes
4answers
368 views

Do brides in church weddings go up the aisle toward the altar or down the aisle toward the altar?

Nigel Rees, The Cassell Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins (1987) has this entry regarding the question "WHY DO WE SAY ... BRIDES GO UP THE AISLE?" Sir Thomas Bazley fired off a letter to The ...
5
votes
2answers
137 views

What is the etymology of “word!” [duplicate]

Many people have begun to use the word "word" seemingly as an exclamation point or as a means to be emphatic. Where and why did this begin?
2
votes
1answer
27 views

Difference between “how you are” and “how you were”

I heard in a talkshow that someone said. "I wanted to see how you were doing after the operation" My question is what the difference is to: "I wanted to see how you are doing after the operation" ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Is this a grammatically correct sentence? [closed]

This sentence looks as if it might not be grammatically correct: Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, agrees with this, stating, “Common Core eliminates creativity in the classroom ...
2
votes
4answers
98 views

What's it called when someone is trying to end a conversation?

Everyone does the thing where while speaking to someone you'll start inching away in order to end the conversation. Or you'll say something thats a conversation ender like "time to get back to work" ...
4
votes
3answers
177 views

Is or Was when talking about a historic figure in the present?

If I ask someone the question "Who is Martin Luther King Jr." is that correct compared to "Who was Martin Luther King Jr.?" Which one is the correct sentence and how?
2
votes
1answer
84 views

The word “cooker”

According to Merriam-Webster, one of the definitions of the word "cooker" is "a person who tends a cooking process (a cook)." The dictionary provides the following example sentence: Dad was the ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

What is a word which describes something you are looking for

The word would fit within the following context: I found the ______ of my search. I know there there is a simple word which describes an object which is being searched for, but I just can't ...
2
votes
3answers
100 views

Road to English fluency for advanced speakers [closed]

I have been learning English all my life. I have been in the US for three years. I consider myself an advanced English speaker. There are many resources on the internet that are geared towards ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Difference between 'voting' and 'casting a vote'

What's the difference between them? A man was talking to another person while the elections were being held. I overheard them. But I'm confused here. English is not my mother language and I have ...
0
votes
3answers
49 views

Walk across/through/on the crosswalk?

What is the correct collocation here? Do you walk across the crosswalk, through the crosswalk, or on the crosswalk? Or can you say cross the crosswalk?
1
vote
2answers
107 views

What does the expression “Word.” mean? [duplicate]

I was watching the 1989 movie "Bill and Ted's excellent adventure" a couple of weeks back and in one scene Bill replies to some statement (I forgot whom he is replying to) with just "Word." What does ...
23
votes
7answers
3k views

How do native speakers answer questions like “what's cooking”?

I work in an office environment as a software developer in Massachusetts, USA and every so often have some colleague ask me a question like "what's cooking? anything good?" When they say that they ...
0
votes
2answers
60 views

How to avoid using lot of I's in the personal essay?

I am writing my statement of purpose for applying to grad school. When I read my statement of purpose I see a lot of I's. I did this I worked on this I want to I got to learn this ...
18
votes
7answers
6k views

Asking female employees to come to my room [closed]

I have a few female employees working at my office, and being a manager, I need to text them via Skype or Messenger to come to my room. How can I ask them politely to come? Please come to my room ...
0
votes
0answers
12 views

What is the proper usage of “The… of…” and “A … of …”? [duplicate]

I wrote an article, and will submit it soon. I am troubled in its title: "The Speedy Application of Augmented Dickey-Fuller Test for Stationarity Analysis with causfinder Package in R" I have learnt ...
-2
votes
1answer
71 views

Is there any difference between 'plaid' and 'tartan'?

It seems to me that some Americans will say plaid where we will use tartan. Whilst tartan refers to woollen cloth woven in one of several patterns of coloured checks and intersecting lines; plaid ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

When to use named and called? [duplicate]

I am writing my Statement of Purpose. I am writing a sentence such as I moved to a small town called Falmouth where I .... Should I use named or called? I moved to a small town named ...
0
votes
2answers
35 views

A term for Not Applicable in the context of UI/UX [closed]

I want to give an option to a user to check if an option is not applicable for her. However the two words in "Not Applicable" are too huge for my GUI. Suggestions Would be greatly appreciated :)
0
votes
2answers
59 views

What is a “turkey walk”?

I once read that a "turkey walk" was going to be held on a Sunday at 8.00 a.m. in a small town in New England. I tried to find it in dictionaries and I also googled the expression, but got no ...
5
votes
3answers
386 views

What does “consound” mean?

Hello and happy holidays. While reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, I came across the expression "consound it" in Huck's dialogue parts. "Consound it, Tom Sawyer, you're just old pie, 'longside ...
2
votes
4answers
90 views

Up Hill vs. Down Hill [duplicate]

The expression "It's all up hill from here!" and "It's all down hill from here!" mean that things will only get better or things will only get worst. Metaphorically going uphill can provide for a ...
2
votes
2answers
209 views

Is “I'll be John Brown” a common phrase?

The phrase: I'll be John Brown! is an occasionally-used term in North Carolina. Mostly thought to replace taking the Lord's name in vain (GD). Is it used elsewhere? How long has it been ...
2
votes
2answers
78 views

What is an Anglepoise lamp called in America?

What word do Americans use to refer an Anglepoise lamp?
0
votes
1answer
51 views

What does “even the keel in favour of ” in the sentence mean?

Even the legal framework that is supposed to provide a modicum of protection to workers is fraying. For instance, the state’s unwillingness to use the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act or the ...
0
votes
3answers
139 views

What is a “plumber's wife”?

This is about an expression used by a female manager at a hotel in Philadelphia (PA) some years ago. She was showing me around as part of my employment interview, and during this made a statement that ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

What does this sentence imply, as worded, in terms of the amount of Caucasians, e.g. some, all or another amount of Caucasians? [closed]

"Next time Caucasians might think about voting with facts and common sense instead of with their white guilt."
8
votes
7answers
1k views

Word for mildly popular (used as a compliment)

I'm trying to find a word for something meaning not explosively popular or successful, yet not a failure. It should not be intended as criticism and should represent something not necessarily new but ...
5
votes
2answers
228 views

What did “eating 'mad cow'” mean in the 1800's?

In the December 1885 Lippincott's Magazine article COOKHAM DEAN, about an artistic area 40 miles up the Thames from London, Margaret Bertha Wright (an American author) wrote: Probably nine-tenths ...
1
vote
2answers
47 views

“He would go to the theater if I would go with him” - is this a correct sentence?

How to say properly in American English this sentence: "He would go to the theater if I would go with him". Does it look absolutely fine? First of all, I'm curious about two "would" in one sentence.
2
votes
1answer
59 views

What does “telling the truth has become a societal antiquity” mean?

What does "telling the truth has become a societal antiquity" mean? I saw it on a random post earlier today. I guess it could mean that it's an outdated method: that many people resort to lies.
1
vote
0answers
44 views

already , southern pronunciation ≈ [ʰɑɾi] “oddy”

Cut to the chase pals Could anybody confirm the southern pronunciation of "already" as something like oddy ? if so, What's its phonetic transcription? is there any eye spelling for it? I've noticed ...
0
votes
2answers
56 views

Associates vs employees

I've noted that some US companies (I've seen that in less-than-stellar retail and fast-food chains) call people working for them "associates", rather than "employees". What would be the difference ...
-3
votes
1answer
57 views

What exactly does “Standard” refer to in “(U.S.) Standard System”? [closed]

Why do Americans refer to the US imperial system of measurement as the standard system? In addition to the fact that the metric system is widely accepted as the standard system, the alternate term, ...
5
votes
2answers
217 views

19th century American English “slang”?

As I was doing a bit of research online I stumbled on this Children's Corner page 311 from the American Farmers' Magazine 1858. And, frankly, there are a lot of words that look totally foreign to me. ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

“Sport” vs “Sports” Origin

I was recently reading this article on the use of "math" vs. "maths" as a collective noun (Americans use the former, Brits the latter). However, the trend seen in "math/maths" is reversed in ...
-2
votes
1answer
48 views

Is “originally first” a grammar error?

I understand that the phrase "originally first" is repetitive, but is it a grammatical error? For more context, the phrase appeared in the following sentence which was marked wrong for repetition. ...
1
vote
2answers
29 views

What's the word or phrase for “reading strategy/orientation”?

In English, we read from left-to-right, top-to-bottom. In traditional Japanese, text is read up-todown, right-to-left. Is there an English word that describes the "reading strategy" of a particular ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

what does this mean “ I got 70 + application forms” [duplicate]

Today I saw, someone has written I got 70+ application forms What is the purpose of the plus sign in that statement?
-1
votes
1answer
84 views

no more feed the children commercials (and so on) [closed]

No more feed the children commercials. With 40 million over weight americans negros to eat, the african cannibals would have food for years I don't understand causality or a causal relationship ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

I'm writing an email to an investor. Please help me to improve my sentences [closed]

I am sending a detailed document about our idea, as requested by an investor. Are the sentences correct? Do they need any improvement? As per our conversation yesterday, I am sending you a ...
-1
votes
3answers
132 views

If Americans go to the toilet in the bathroom, where do they take a bath?

As far as I am aware, in the US it is very common to refer to the room that contains the toilet (device for disposing of human waste) as the bathroom. If this is a separate room from the room that ...
-2
votes
1answer
234 views

Difference between “I've got a cold” and “I've gotten a cold” in American English [duplicate]

I once heard there is a difference in meaning between these two sentences in AmE. Is there any? The possible duplicate Difference between "I have got" and "I have gotten" does not ...