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

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-3
votes
0answers
15 views

run microsoft common controls 32 bit on 64 bit of windowns (VBA) [on hold]

I am having a compatibility issue with common controls(ie checkbox) on windowns 64-bit excel, anything that might help?
1
vote
2answers
446 views

Talkies, Motion Pictures, Movies, Films and 3D

The term talkies, i.e. talking pictures, I was surprised to learn was not coined in 1927 after the release of The Jazz Singer, but in 1913. The term is now obsolete whereas motion picture, meaning ...
10
votes
4answers
708 views

Quotation ascribed to Benjamin Franklin, “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

There is a cottage industry in the United States of manufacturing quotations and ascribing them to the American Founding Fathers. A recent one, "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to ...
3
votes
2answers
421 views

“Cancellation”, “Canceled”, “Canceling” — US usage

I'm trying to figure out if there is a specific rule behind the word "cancel" that would cause "cancellation" to have two L's, but "canceled" and "canceling" to have only one (in the US). I ...
1
vote
2answers
135 views

is there a word for arguing no one?

I'm wondering if there is a word for when someone is making an argument but there is no one on the other side of the argument. it's like they've made a statement against an opinion, even though no one ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

How to respond politely and professionally to an email requesting information? [on hold]

I have received the following email Hello, Thank you for applying to UCB. We would like to call you briefly between the hours of 10:50 A.M. EST and noon on January 31. Please provide ...
0
votes
2answers
25 views

am i using the proper grammar for this sentence? [on hold]

is it ok to use the sentence "I've been met with"? for example "i've been met with sorrow and grief."
0
votes
0answers
29 views

I need to find out how to say this word who've

I don't know how to say this word so I need to find out how to say so that I can do my home work I am in 4 grade and I am doing my selling homework and I need you to help me find out how to say this ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Is there a RULE (not opinion) for when it's okay to replace “is” with “'s”? [closed]

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

What do you call one who has been challenged? [duplicate]

How should I refer to one who has been challenged? One who offers a challenge is a "challenger," but what would be the appropriate term for the person who receives the challenge?
-2
votes
4answers
120 views

What is my co-worker asking? [closed]

My American co-worker sent this to our group chat: Can an undatable man be transformed into a datable man? I am not asking if you think such a thing can be done in real life. I am asking ...
-4
votes
1answer
72 views

Why is oral sex considered sex, given that no intercourse is involved? [on hold]

Why is oral sex considered sex given that no actual sexual intercourse is involved? Oral sex or oral intercourse is sexual activity involving the stimulation of the genitalia of a person by ...
1
vote
3answers
48 views

Correct translation for the light switch for a website

I'm looking for the correct translation for a website (http://www.configurator.simonurmet.com/). I'd like to refer to the whole object, I don't need the name of each part for now. The "whole ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Being watched but not seeing the observer

What is the word that describes the situation in which one is being watched, but cannot see the observer. As though the watcher resides in a tower, while the subject walks the streets.
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Is the idiom 'keeping well' recognized only in British English?

I've seen the idiom 'keeping well' being used to mean 'in good health' in some contexts where British English is expected. But Americans seem surprised by it. Is that idiom uncommon in American ...
1
vote
2answers
461 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

What is the meaning of “wrapper girl”? [on hold]

I've heard this expression many a time — "I am your wrapper girl." But I couldn't get it.
1
vote
3answers
160 views

What's the etymology for the term “greensheet”?

I've been looking for the etymology of the word greensheet, specifically when used in the context of academia. I know it's just another way to say "syllabus", but where did the "green" in greentext ...
1
vote
8answers
85 views

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

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
139 views

Use of the word “definitive edition”

Can I use the phrase "definitive edition" to explain that a product has the most up-to-date and highest quality in the field as opposite to mean "last edition of the same series"? Thank you for your ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

“shyer” or “shier”

My Longman dictionary states that the comparative of 'shy' is 'shyer'. However, at least two online dictionaries also give the form 'shier' as being acceptable: The Free Dictionary and ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

What led to the increased usage of “schtupping”?

I was listening to a television show the other day and one of the characters used "schtupping": schtupping — to have sexual intercourse with Dictionary.com notes that the term's origin is ...
10
votes
1answer
641 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
35 views

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

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
vote
4answers
2k views

Is the phrase “move over” an official English idiom? And if so, is it only in American English?

Is the phrase "move over" an official English idiom known worldwide? I would like to know: Is it an official English idiom (not slang or colloquial)? Is it known outside of the US (e.g. in the UK, ...
8
votes
1answer
514 views

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

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 ...
33
votes
15answers
7k views

Words with opposite meanings in different regions

I can't recall it, but there is a word in American English which now means the opposite of itself in British English. What words are there that have opposite (not just different) meanings in different ...
6
votes
3answers
12k views

What is the difference between “to oblige” and “to obligate”?

What's the difference between oblige and obligate? Speculating, is the latter an Americanism of the British former? Or is there any distinction about what/who has caused someone to be oblig(at)ed to ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the source of “Long time no see,” and when did it enter U.S. English?

A question from almost two years ago asked "In which countries is that “long time no see” greeting common?" The question drew a number of answers that were squarely on point, but also a couple that ...
30
votes
6answers
77k views

What is the difference between dialogue and dialog?

I am American, and I always thought the difference between dialogue and dialog was one of meaning, the way Merriam-Webster has them listed: 2 entries found: dialogue (noun) dialog box ...
25
votes
2answers
5k views

How and when did American spelling supersede British spelling in the US?

Considering that Webster published his first dictionary in 1806, is there a recognised tipping point (year, decade, etc.) that marked the move from traditional British spelling to Webster's American? ...
1
vote
3answers
87 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
889 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “targetted” a standard British English spelling?

Wiktionary says that the difference between "targetting" and "targeting" is that the first one is a British spelling and the second one is American. Meanwhile, Oxford Dictionaries says that ...
10
votes
4answers
381 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
139 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
28 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
3answers
429 views

Is “Drop the big hammer” American slang?

In a trailer for the movie "Black Hat", one person says "The guy we're working with will drop the big hammer and not think twice about it" Is this some sort of American slang, possibly for a ...
14
votes
4answers
10k views

What's the difference between “rent” and “hire” in British and American English?

The tip I used to teach was the verb, hire, should be used for things which are transportable hence, you hire a car, sports equipment, a boat, a bike etc. Rent, on the other hand, is primarily used ...
15
votes
10answers
3k views

Idiom: in my neck of the woods, AmE

Idiom: in my neck of the woods (AmE) The meaning of this expression is: in the region where I live. I once tried to find out how a word that referred to a part of the bodyn could later develop into ...
2
votes
4answers
104 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" ...
12
votes
1answer
4k views

“Grit” vs “gritted”

Dictionary sources tell me that the past tense of grit is gritted rather than grit. Why does that sound weird to me? Am I delusional, or is this one of those words changing in current usage? Pet is a ...
4
votes
3answers
179 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
85 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
53 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
22k views

“Have not” versus “do not have”

As a non-native English speaker, I have a little doubt about using, or not, the auxiliary verb "to do" with the verb "to have". Are there differences in meaning between "I have not" and "I do not ...
2
votes
3answers
104 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

Difference between “take a taxi” and “get a taxi”

Which of the following is correct? If both are correct, do they have different meanings or usage? Take a taxi/bus/train OR Get a taxi/bus/train