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

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12
votes
5answers
456 views

How did “stuck-up” get to mean “snob”?

I was inclined to believe that the expression "stuck-up", meaning staying aloof from others because one thinks one is superior, had its origins with somebody's nose stuck (up) in the air and yet, ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

What's the subordinate clause type for these two that-clause sentences below?

I am always confused about what type of subordinate clause "that" can connect. So there are two sentence below: So far the torpedo has proved a damp squib, with observers arguing that Europe has not ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Expiry date in English [on hold]

I have a discount coupon with the expiry date shown as: This document expires: 30AUG14 I want to ask, can I use it on 30AUG14?
5
votes
3answers
301 views

Interpretation of a quote from “Easy A” (the 2010 film) [on hold]

In the 2010 film "Easy A", there is an exchange between several characters: Rhiannon: George is not a sexy name. George is like what you name your teddy bear, not the name you wanna scream out ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

Omission of 'for' with various quantified time intervals: influence of verb

I came across these two examples, given to illustrate 'a case' where the inclusion of the preposition for is considered optional in the paper "Acquisition of Preposition Deletion by Non-native ...
3
votes
2answers
294 views

Is a 'peeve' the same thing as a 'gripe'?

Many times on this site have I heard something described as a 'peeve'. My sense is that this is American. Although the verb, usually in the passive - he was peeved because he had been given the ...
-1
votes
0answers
18 views

What is the answer to most of (blank) are or is? [on hold]

So, how to answer most of (blank) is it (is or are)
0
votes
2answers
27 views

How to phrase “analysis into a company”

I want to say : Analysis conducted at a insurance company showed that... or Analysis into a insurance company showed that... What is the best way to phrase this?
1
vote
0answers
45 views

British English vs American English [closed]

As an English learner it always make me confuse to know that a specific word / phrase use in which English language countries ? Is there any way that I can check a word or phrase to know that it uses ...
18
votes
5answers
345 views
+250

Eww! Has it crossed the pond yet?

I hear eww (sometimes spelt as ew) fairly regularly on American sitcoms, usually uttered by a scatterbrained beautiful blonde girl when she sees or hears something disgusting. I don't recall it ever ...
0
votes
1answer
14 views

Usage of too while comparing two places

While in a conversation about a place xyz which is facing water scarcity, if another place abc is also having water scarcity, which sentence would be correct:- I know xyz has water scarcity, but is ...
2
votes
2answers
56 views

In the cards or on the cards?

This seems to be a BrE/AmE distinction - is it? And do Americans use the phrase with more of a mystical Tarot card slant, compared to its British English meaning of simply 'likely to happen'?
2
votes
2answers
48 views

Can the word “facet” be used in a sentence like this one?

Leadership skills are also a valued facet in a friend. Can facet be used in this way?
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Differences between begin and start? How to use them? [duplicate]

I would like to know when to use begin and when to use start. They have same meaning,so it is hard to ditinguish them.
0
votes
1answer
36 views

date has already passed OR date has already past? [closed]

Which is correct : date has already passed , or date has already past ? Thanks
1
vote
4answers
89 views

Word for a salesperson's enthusiasm

Suppose you visit a shop looking for something to buy. Every time you pick up an object, the shopkeeper goes gaga over the features of the product and why it's a must-buy. I'm searching for a single ...
4
votes
5answers
587 views

What's the US slang term for “following someone in a car”?

I heard this somewhere on YouTube and I wish I could recall where exactly. The person was recording himself from a dash-cam while driving, and when he noticed that a cop was following him, he said ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Which of the following works best on a business card?

I am Minh Tran Nhat Nguyen. I later picked "Michael" as my English name when I first came to the U.S. Not everyone knows my English name (especially Americans) so I'm thinking about putting one of ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word read?

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word usually read out loud? For example, with "Anglo-Saxon", do we say: "It is spelt as ...
16
votes
2answers
841 views

The U in “Glamour”

Why, in US English, does the word glamour retain its u while humour, neighbour, and others have shed it?
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Separate vs. joined words (hyphen or not) [duplicate]

English is not my native language, and sometimes it's confusing.. Especially uk-english vs. american and hyphens Can someone explain a bit when to use which of these? It's for a global english ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Difference between “ditch”, “trench” and “gutter” [closed]

I have been trying to understand the difference between the three, is this a usage difference between American English and British English? What is the difference?
-1
votes
1answer
43 views

How to write the date of an event that lasts a few days [American / British English]

I saw this topic: How to write the date of an event that lasts a few days But have some questions. Firstly, I would like to know how to say the same but in British English. I think that "The event ...
4
votes
1answer
62 views

Does the term 'silly season' still exist?

It used to be the case that the summer period, from roughly early July to early September, in Britain was known as the 'silly season' to newspaper people. It was a time when newspapers were short of ...
0
votes
1answer
140 views

Is the word 'stroke' understood, in meaning one of these / \? [closed]

All the meanings of the word 'slash', other than an oblique forward or backward stroke are either violent or obscene. They include cuts made with swords, lashing with a whip, cutting maliciously car ...
0
votes
1answer
124 views

How to reply to someone's welcome [closed]

What should we say in reply to a person who welcomes us to a particular place, for example one says: You are welcome to ABC company. or I welcome you to our home. or Welcome Mr. Abc ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

What is the reason that American English and British English use “Post” and “Mail” with different frequencies?

Common usage in the UK is that a postman of the Royal Mail Service delivers the post, and someone may post a letter (see BrE Ngram), whereas in the USA, usage has become equally common that a mailman ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

what is the meaning of “the family dynamic” and “Textbook Case”? [closed]

I encountered the terms “the family dynamic” and “Textbook Case” in the play The Pain and the Itch by Bruce Norris. I want to know what they mean. At page 58: Clay: Kelly was abused. Carol: ...
1
vote
6answers
120 views

Proper usage of “trying”

Let's say there is an atmospheric condition where the water in a bucket partially freezes then reverts back to a completely liquid state and vacillates back and forth but never actually freezes. Is ...
0
votes
2answers
52 views

A common word for something Simple yet Powerful [closed]

As the title says: what is a common word for something simple yet powerful?
0
votes
3answers
55 views

Word for sharing an old experience with someone new

Jamais vu is when an experience that is old to you suddenly seems new. But I'm looking for something even more specific. Is there a word for that feeling you get when an old experience is refreshed ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Should TPS (transactions per second) be upper or lower case [duplicate]

If one wants to write shorthand for transactions per second what would be correct casing? TPS or tps? As SI unit, s is always lowercase and thus I believe it should be written as "tps". On other ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Could anyone care less? [duplicate]

I've noticed recently that where in England we say "couldn't care less" in the US the negative is avoided and the phrase becomes "could care less". This is rather jarring because of the contradictory ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

“3-month retreat” or “3-months retreat”? [duplicate]

Which one is the correct (or more commonly used) form: "3-month retreat" or "3-months retreat"? How about "3-day" vs. "3-days" and "3-week" vs. "3-weeks" in the same context? (This is retreat as in ...
0
votes
2answers
140 views

How to distinguish “can” and “can't” pronunciation in American English? [duplicate]

I am a student in China learning American English. I have listened to some videos and found it hard to distinguish can from can’t. I am looking for some advice that may help me.
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Plural of “is” — “ises” or “isses”?

If I had many is words, how would I refer to them in the form of a plural? Could I use ises or isses? Example: You use entirely too many isses in your sentences.
-1
votes
1answer
44 views

Would you guys change the following sentence suitable for my cover letter? [closed]

I need your help guys:) I am applying for an instructor position at a university in the States. Would you please change the following statement appropriate for my cover letter? "My bachelor's degree ...
2
votes
1answer
166 views

Present Perfect, American English and “since”

I'm wondering: I was always taught at school that when using "since", you always have to use Present Perfect (BrE), e.g. Since when have you played chess? But is Since when did you play ...
3
votes
2answers
381 views

Is there an English variant of “Zeitgeist” other than “spirit of the times”?

Is there a cut-and-dry English word that means the same, or roughly the same, as the German word "Zeitgeist," other than its literal meaning of "spirit of the times"? I've grown sour on its presence ...
0
votes
2answers
46 views

Rising out of its own momentum

The bellow rose and fell, then it blared out one last time, rising out of its own momentum as if it were escaping finally, after centuries of waiting, into silence. The beady night noises closed in ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

“Named for” vs. “named after”

As a Brit, I'm used to the phrase named after being used to say how something got its name. For example, in Wikipedia's List of eponymous roads in London, we read that Addison Road is named after the ...
-1
votes
2answers
51 views

How to state the negotiation failed? [closed]

Are there any grammatical errors in the sentence? "I regret to inform you that "name of company" people are looking for students who are from CSE/IT background. We tried to negotiate, but it ...
-1
votes
0answers
16 views

Word to define a person who often uses others money for his/her comfort? [duplicate]

Single word that defines a person who always lives on others money.
2
votes
3answers
67 views

Which of “chafing at the bit” or “chomping at the bit” is more accepted/proper?

I've used "chafing at the bit" for quite some time, but have also heard "chomping at the bit" as a way to indicate impatience, etc. Which of these two is the more "proper" or accepted variant?
0
votes
2answers
57 views

Please help me by explaining a sentence I don't understand [closed]

Please help me to understand an important email which contains this confusing sentence: It is recommended that you must delete the videos after use, especially after your sponsorship expires. I ...
-2
votes
1answer
65 views

How to express “Help someone secretly”

One of my friend always helps me but does not want me to know that he helps me. Is there a word or phrase to describe this secret helping? Also, if someone wanted to thank the secret helper, is there ...
-1
votes
0answers
11 views

Is my header grammatically correct [duplicate]

I have a list of item to sell. So my header is Selling items list and again there are item list that i want to buy so header is Buying item list Are both header grammatically correct? Is there any ...
-1
votes
3answers
189 views

What does “tearing your résumé apart” mean? [closed]

I gave my résumé to a person and she replied back as follows: When you look at the below list of issues, you’ll probably think I'm tearing your résumé apart. I guess I am, in a way. But, I ...
1
vote
7answers
200 views

An exact word for the opposite of academic progress? [closed]

I have been confronted with a word so many times for which I couldn't find any equivalent in English. What is an opposite term for academic progress? I mean specifically when one is no longer doing ...
-1
votes
2answers
332 views

a definition of the phrase “ On both accounts” [closed]

hi I have a problem with this phrase " on both accounts". what's the definition? I see this phrase in TOEFL IBT tes 7. the student said two characteristic of something and the teacher said that. ...