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

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6
votes
3answers
58 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, ...
16
votes
4answers
309 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
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
vote
1answer
28 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
300 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 ...
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
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 ...
16
votes
5answers
8k views

Can or should “ask” ever be used as a noun?

"The ask is that you provide me with..." I started hearing "ask" being used as a noun a few years ago. Is this a recent trend? Is it an East Coast thing, unique to North America, or just unique to ...
-1
votes
0answers
18 views
7
votes
4answers
871 views

“Muppet” in American English

I see an event is being organised in Washington, DC, called the Million Muppet March. In British English (at least) a muppet has no very positive a connotation:- muppet (ˈmʌpɪt) — n slang ...
0
votes
2answers
26 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

When did the term “flip flop” displace the term “thong” in North America for a type of sandal?

To Australians like me "thong" means a kind of sandal such as recently repopularized by the Havaianas brand but we know it means a kind of G-string in other English-speaking parts of the world. To ...
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 ...
15
votes
11answers
6k views

American vs. British English: meaning of “One hundred and fifty”

I've noticed that Americans do not say "and" when speaking numbers: for example, 150 would be pronounced "one hundred fifty". I and most other British-English speakers would pronounce it "one hundred ...
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?
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 ...
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
35 views

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

Which is correct : date has already passed , or date has already past ? Thanks
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
20k views

How do you pronounce “melee”? [closed]

I've heard meelee, meyley (maylay), and mehlay. Is there any "correct" way to pronounce it in the U.S.?
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
81 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
285 views

What is the history of the word “lobby”?

I would like to know if the word "lobby" would have been used in 1890s Georgia (United States) and to what exactly this word would have referred in that time.
7
votes
1answer
824 views

Is the [ʊ] sound pronounced with lip rounding?

This [ʊ] sound is the vowel sound for words like hook, pull, and good. When I began to learn English a bit more seriously two decades ago, I used a book that taught me to pronounce it shorter and ...
9
votes
9answers
1k views

American Equivalent of “Bog Standard”

I'm searching for an American English phrase that is the most readily equivalent to the British expression bog standard (which means, as I understand, plain, ordinary or unremarkable). I'm tempted to ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

Synonyms / slang words in American English to express “I am very excited for something”? [closed]

In British English we can say "I am keen to do something with you". Also: "Would you like to go to a concert?" A: "I'm keen for that!". What are some equivalents in American English? Is it "I want to ...
5
votes
7answers
1k views

What is “lemonade” in American English?

Lemonade is a fizzy drink, strongly carbonated. It comes in two varieties, white (which is actually colourless) and red. I have never known anyone to make it at home. Various things I've picked up in ...
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
29k views

“flat” vs. “apartment”

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 8th edition Flat: noun. [ countable ] ( BrE ) a set of rooms for living in, including a kitchen, usually on one floor of a building. Apartment: noun. ( ...
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: ...
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 ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

“Bring” vs. “take” in American English

English (other than American English) has a clear differentiation between the two words. Both are about translocating something. In "bring" the something of somebody is moved to where the speaker is ...
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?
-1
votes
5answers
188 views

What is the word/reference for a paranoid reluctance to answer something because of bandwagoning superstition?

Let's say there's a large group of people who are under a negative influence but are forced to keep quiet about the fact or they may face brutal consequences. My idea comes from the book "Watership ...
0
votes
3answers
54 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
119 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 ...
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Comma usage: “In July of 2012 …” or “In July of 2012, …”

Consider the following sentence: In July of 2012 Jesse informed us that she was engaged to be married and asked if she could add her fiancée to the lease, beginning the 15th of August 2012. ...
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.