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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
0answers
21 views

'Hanger' or 'coat hanger' for AmE?

Is the term hanger or coat hanger used more often in colloquial speech in American English? I'm afraid Google Ngram is of no help here, as the first word has several meanings, plus we are talking ...
-1
votes
0answers
13 views

Is it 'sale' or 'the sale' when referring to a period during which a shop or dealer sells goods at reduced prices [on hold]

sale has started the sale has started 50% sale has started the 50% sale has started What is common usage? What is correct?
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Bringing your sick to Jesus [on hold]

Does this Bible verse have the same unfortunate double meaning in American English as it does in British English? The photo is taken from the 1984 translation of the (US) NIV. It looks as though ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Subjunctive in If clause

Here is my question which I came across-The context is present; "If I could touch the water, I would feel it was cold." Why it is written as "It was cold"? Shouldn't it be "It is cold"? Does " It was ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

“I would not prefer to” or “I would prefer not to”?

(1) Is there any difference/nuance (in mood, meaning, or something else) between "I would not prefer to" or "I would prefer not to"? (2) Which is the more/most common in usage?
1
vote
1answer
51 views

How important is the word “Please” when asking for something? [closed]

How important is this word 'please' when asking someone you don't know for something? If you have already said "excuse me" is it still necessary? Is it more important than 'Thank you'? I have heard ...
2
votes
2answers
75 views

Is “reoccurring” a word and is there any semantic difference with “recurring”?

The internet seems divided on this one. Although, e.g., the Merriam-Webster dictionary does not list the word "reoccurring", dictionary.com does list it as a variant of "occur", and the Oxford ...
1
vote
5answers
149 views

What is a hypernym for the ascending and descending legs of a flight?

If an airline flight is everything that happens in between your starting and ending gates. What is the generic term for each time the plane ascends or descends during an air route? In layman terms, ...
-3
votes
0answers
24 views

what is the use of “a number” and "the number [duplicate]

what is the use of "a number" and "the number"?
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Difference between twilight zone and gray area

I have found in dictionary that gray area = an ill-defined situation or area of activity not readily conforming to a category or set of rules. Twilight zone = The ambiguous region between two ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

What is the exact meaning and context of “mindgame”

As I understand "Mindgame" is something something can play with one another to trick him. But in what I am more interested in, is the meaning of the mental attitude before a sports event for instance. ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

“So” to answer a question [duplicate]

I have noticed that many people answer a question starting with "So'. Is this correct usage? For example if I ask you if you play violin, you answer "So" etc.
0
votes
0answers
19 views

I'm confused. Present perfect or simple past? [duplicate]

What is the difference between "I never lied to you." & "I've never lied to you."? It would be of great help if you provided me with examples, as well. Thank you. :)
1
vote
2answers
360 views

What does this sentence mean in flannery o' connor's short story? [closed]

I was reading 'A good man is hard to find' and I could not understand this: It isn't a soul in this green world of God's that you can trust", She said. "And I don't count nobody out of that, not ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

Are Yiddishisms strongly associated with a certain group or are they general to American English?

There are quite a few words of Yiddish origin in English, for example some more common ones (at least to me): chutzpah dreck shlep shmooze shmuck shtick spiel tuckus However, is there a ...
8
votes
3answers
574 views

What's the AmE and BrE for “tartaruga”

In Italian the the term "tartaruga" (turtle) is used also to refer to well defined abdominal muscles on the notion that they look like a turtle shell: Is there a slang/colloquial term or short ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

What part(s) of speech are “or else” and “otherwise” and why is “otherwise” more flexible if it's the same part of speech?

In American English, what part(s) of speech are "or else" and "otherwise" and why is "otherwise" more flexible if it's the same part of speech? Take the following examples: 1a. Clean your room, ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

Reported Speech: preference for using that after say/tell

A student of mine has stated (based on her experience watching films and TV shows) that, when using Reported Speech, Americans will more often use 'he said that X' or 'he told us that X' whereas ...
-1
votes
2answers
41 views

How to paraphrase a 3 step process in one sentence? [closed]

Good day everyone, I have the following sentence: Receive qualified developers, screen by more experienced developers. I want to ensure that the meaning is well understood. This sentence is ...
7
votes
0answers
242 views

British Mass Nouns versus American Count Nouns

British English often employs mass nouns where American English would only employ count nouns. Count nouns are nouns which take pluralization and numerical quantifiers like 'many'. Mass nouns can't be ...
0
votes
0answers
76 views

“Full of spit and vinegar” meaning

I was reading a book and couldn't understand the meaning of this: After all, how many times had her father complained that she was full of more spit and vinegar than most boys? I searched, but I ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

Is “smothersome” a word?

A variation of "smother", obviously, to describe someone with an inclination to smother other people. "You're just too needy and smothersome." Thoughts? Corrections? Suggestions? Edit: Apologies ...
3
votes
5answers
285 views

Are there any English words starting with an “ny” sound? [closed]

Plenty of English words have an "ny" sound (/nj/) in the middle, like onion and canyon. Are there any American English words that start with this sound? My native-speaker intuition tells me this is ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Cipher vs Cypher - British English vs American English [duplicate]

As an English author but long time resident of America, I recently wrote a historical spy thriller that delved deeply into coded messages. I often caught myself writing cipher and cypher. Although I ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

When double “l” is considered American English?

I'm struggling with "enroll" and "enrollment". Both answers (this one and this one), given to this question, as well as Wikipedia seems to be suggesting, that double "l" is more common in British ...
1
vote
3answers
45 views

Is using Answerer is correct? [closed]

If there is a position in a company that answers questions related to for example physics, what is the best word that describes this position? "Answerer of Questions related to Physics" ?
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Idiom for two different consequences from one antecedent

I'm searching for an idiom to use to say briefly that two different outcomes may represent different sides of the same underlying phenomenon. I would use it in the topic of a chapter. These two ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Word to describe someone that has posted “proof”

Pretend locks cannot be picked. What would be a word to describe someone that has spent a long time writing an article full of absolute nonsense which they think is correct, believing for some reason ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

Need word for “remove duplicates and keep unique instances” [closed]

Here is a sentence. Combine all Points and keep unique Points. For example: Points-> 1,1,1,1,2,3,3,3,4,4,5,5 Remove duplication and keep uniqueness Unique Points-> 1,2,3,4,5 I need a word ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

In terms of poetry, what is the Thomas code?

I was reading a book review of Wittgenstein's Mistress on goodreads, and I came across the sentence, "Without such accessible lecture notes, I may not have ever cracked the Thomas code and may never ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

How to communicate two elements of different syntactic/semantic type in the same sentence?

I have the following sentence, NAME is a community that helps each other code better by rating each other's efforts and helps managers pair with other fellow developers I was suggested by the ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

How is the term “African-American” politically correct?

First, a note: This question is meant to have no explicit or implicit political/sociological connotation whatsoever, and is indeed born of actual and deep curiosity as to what is in the author's ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Changing Spelling in Titles Based on AmE and BrE

For companies or corporations that have names that differ whether you are using AmE or BrE, should you change the title? For example, if I was referencing the the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control ...
2
votes
0answers
56 views

Use of “trying to” in place of “wanting to” in the US

Is the use of "trying to" in place of "wanting to" occurring nationwide or regionally? What is its prevalence and when did it start? I'm in my late 20s and live in New England. In the past 2-3 ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

What does the word “penty” mean? [closed]

And the word pent ? Are they very used in the british/american english ? Thank you for your help :)
1
vote
2answers
181 views

Centre of competence

I have seen this expression several times (Google search gives 67M answers), but it seems mostly used by French or Swiss institutions, while Wikipedia mentions centre of excellence or competency ...
2
votes
3answers
63 views

Hyphenating “process” in the meaning “series of actions” in AmE

Where to break the word "process" at the end of a line in the meaning "a series of actions" in US English? Dictionaries disagree on this (or I am misinterpreting what they say): Merriam-Webster ...
1
vote
0answers
109 views

Use of plural forms when using “Multi-xxx”

Which one is correct? A multi-languages university or A multi-language university? A multi-outlet socket or A multi-outlets socket?
0
votes
0answers
44 views

The United States. Possesive is its or their?

The United States made no secret of its/their hope to absorb the provinces... http://grammarist.com/usage/united-states/ "Although United States is usually treated as a singular noun, it’s treated ...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

What is this US accent found so often in instructional videos?

What is this accent or register? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0E4PX3e3RE It seems to me to include extensive creaky voice a broad range of pitch rising question intonation This question is ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Difference between elegancy and elegance

I recently saw someone use the word "elegancy" for the first time in forever, and it set me wondering about (and wandering about) why the synonym "elegance" appears to be the preferred noun. I ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

To encounter someone/something or to encounter with someone/something?

I have seen both forms and I don't know which one is the more appropriate (if there is a difference). The actual sentence in which I want to use it is "particles can encounter (with) the atoms of the ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

When someone praises me awkwardly too much, how to reply? [closed]

When someone praises me awkwardly, as in too much, to make me happy or to get some help or something else from me, how to say "don't do that". Like, "I'll do that for you, you don't need to --- me." ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Usage, origin and the possible Hollywood influence on “terminate” meaning “to kill.”

Terminate is an old term, but its connotation meaning "to kill, assassinate" is quite recent ("to assassinate" is from 1975. ) unlike finish, whose meaning "to kill" is from 1755, according to ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Different-colored or different colored? UK vs US English

Can I write "differently colored" instead? What expression most British or Americans would rather use? "socks, different in color" "socks of different colors" "a different color of each sock"
3
votes
4answers
82 views

Word that describes many common household purchases

I m writing a research paper about the over consumption. I am struggling to find a word or words that describes the things we normally use in our daily lives like toothbrush, dish washer liquid, ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Spend on or spend?

Which is correct? The average time spent on reading in my country is disappointing. Or The average time spent reading in my country is disappointing Generally for this sentence, do we ...
5
votes
1answer
125 views

Which words or grammar forms are likely to cause a collision between American and British English?

For all the Mickey-taking on both sides of the water I suppose British and American speakers understand one another 99% of the time. Can anyone think of any areas of vocabulary or grammar where ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Thanks for reaching out vs other “Thanks for contacting us” greetings

Hi I have noticed that more and more American companies respond to enquiries with "Thanks for reaching out to us" To an Australian it seems a little dramatic like it is implying that I have a major ...
12
votes
4answers
407 views

Usage of “hysterical” meaning “very funny.”

One meaning (I am personally not very familiar with) of the adjective hysterical is: causing unrestrained laughter; very funny: Oh, that joke is hysterical! (Dictionary.com) No other ...