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

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0
votes
3answers
444 views

What's the “butter zone”?

An episode of Mythbusters about a steam machine gun and beating polygraph tests referred to the "butter zone". What does the phrase mean? Onelook.com couldn't find a definition. Urban dictionary has ...
7
votes
10answers
919 views

word(s) to describe someone judge others by one tiny detail

I wonder if there is a word or a few words or phases that describe a person very often: judge a person based on one or two tiny details or critise harshly over small mistakes that one made ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Whats the opposite of the dependent [closed]

I'm creating an application/website, that you can control "assets" with. (The fact this is an app/website is irrelevant, I'm just giving some detail) Inside these assets, you can define attributes, ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

“Am I (ever) [adj.] ” vs. “How [adj.] I am”

What's the difference between saying, Boy, am I happy to see you again! Damn, am I ever lucky to have a friend like you! -and- Boy, how happy I am to see you again! Damn, how lucky ...
0
votes
1answer
135 views

Modern use of “I should think” vs. “I would think” in speech

When I listen to old Tom Lehrer recordings he says, I should like to introduce... and it sounds a bit strange. However, yesterday I was building a shed with my wife and I said, much to my ...
0
votes
2answers
91 views

APA: Paper in past tense but is/was verb confusion for alive author

I want to state, "One advocate for the issues based teaching style is/was Brian Schultz." He is alive, but my paper is in past tense. What do I do?
1
vote
2answers
321 views

Is “hail from (somewhere)” necessarily formal English?

Macmillan dictionary says hail from is "formal". link Cambridge dictionary notes hail from as "formal" in British English but doesn't say this for American English. link Oxford Learners ...
1
vote
0answers
84 views

Phrasal verbs with synonymous opposites

There are some cases in English where one can substitute in a word that normally has an opposite meaning, but instead produces the same meaning. For examples, consider the following meanings and ...
6
votes
3answers
255 views

What is the origin of the suffixes “statin” and “medin”?

In medicine, there are the terms "statin" and "medin". For example, there is somatostatin and somatomedin (growth hormone). It's obvious that somato- is Latin, but what about the rest? Were "statin" ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Is “go exercising” ungrammatical or non-standard?

Friends, I think the phrase "go exercise" is spoken in colloquial English. But I can still find the phrase "go exercising," even in Google books. Like the excerpt below: I like to exercise, but ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Did the Marshallplan help export the English language? [closed]

I am currently doing research about the English language and how it is dominating non-English speaking countries (music, movies, etc). I've read some interesting facts and I want your opinion about it ...
2
votes
3answers
226 views

Is “have/has got” a perfect for BrE, but not AmE?

In BrE the past participle of get is in most cases got, while in AmE it is almost always gotten. Does that imply that in the context of BrE "have/has got" is a genuine perfect construction, whereas ...
5
votes
4answers
171 views

“bucking for” .. like Klinger

In the culturally referrent 1970s USA TV show "MASH", about the Korean war, character Corporal Klinger acts "crazy", specifically wearing female clothing, ... because he is bucking for a section 8 ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

I don't understande the usage of “either” in this sentence

"I couldn't sleep last night. I bet you guys couldn't either". Does the second sentence mean "I bet you too, guys"? Is it correct to use "either" like that or is it just slang?
1
vote
1answer
477 views

True antonym to braggart/exhibitionist?

Braggart is a noun meaning someone who boasts about their achievements. Exhibitionist is also a noun meaning a person who acts in an extravagant way. Another example of a word in this synonym-family ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

What is a word for an “inverse panorama”? [closed]

Specifically, what is a word for the action of taking several pictures of an object from multiple, regular angles and has the same connotation as "panorama" (where you would take multiple pictures of ...
35
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do I pronounce “horrible” so harrhibly?

With Friends Like These A few months ago, a couple good friends brought up a topic they know I disdain, and kept prodding me for my opinion on it. They wouldn't let up, until finally I proclaimed ...
2
votes
3answers
250 views

Usage of loss or losses (for undesirable heat produced)

I am working in the field of electrical engineering where losses may appear due to for example and in short, pulsating magnetic fields in magnetic materials (Core losses) or electric current (Copper ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

“receptacle” vs. “outlet” in AmEng

What's the difference between receptacle and outlet to cal the device in a wall you put a plug into in order to provide electricity for a lamp, television, etc.? outlet (also ...
-2
votes
2answers
43 views

Which one is correct ? Do you know english better than me or Are you know english better than me? [closed]

Which one is correct ? a) Do you know english better than me ? b) Are you know english better than me ?
1
vote
2answers
119 views

AmEng equivalent for BrEng “circus”

Is there a word in American English that comes anywhere close to what British English circus encapsulates, that is, Chiefly British An open circular place where several streets intersect. (AHDEL) ...
23
votes
7answers
11k views

“Pissed” vs “Pissed off”

In Australian English there has always been a distinction between "pissed" (intoxicated) and "pissed off" (angry, irritated). I've noticed a trend towards the American usage where "he was really ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Do Americans also typically use the word “aesthetic” spelled that way?

As far as I know, the word "aesthetic" can be considered the "British" or "European" way of spelling the word, like "caesium" or "haemophilia". The spelling "esthetic" (which replaces the ae with e as ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

“vastly” for “to a [very] great degree; extremely” in contexts not involving comparison or measurement: BrEng vs. AmEng usage

Does using vastly to mean to a [very] great degree; extremely in contexts not involving measurement or comparison, now sound common and idiomatic to British ears, or is it still likely to be ...
-1
votes
1answer
71 views

A is B that is C, C refers to A or B?

He works in our company that is nice. In the above sentence, "nice" refers to company? or it can also refer to company? How about a general A is B that is C sentence?
0
votes
0answers
27 views

What does “or” mean in “nothing is known or can be known” [duplicate]

The definition of agnosticism is: A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims ...
-1
votes
1answer
77 views

A word for source of energy, enthusiasm, etc [closed]

I need an single awesome word for following features - For these features - the group of person or objects filled with lots of energy source of unstoppable energy the one who start with great ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

“The Stars and Stripes” vs. “Old Glory” vs. “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Is there a difference in using any which of those terms to call the national flag of the U.S.? Which one is most commonly used? The Stars and Stripes The national flag of the U.S., ...
4
votes
4answers
482 views

What AmE dialect has “et” as the past tense of “eat”?

In several books and TV shows, there have been characters who say "et" instead of "ate" (As in, "I et dinner yesterday at 6:00"). I looked it up on Wiktionary, which defines it but doesn't say where ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

An 'h' or a 'h' when just saying the letter? [duplicate]

I know for words starting with the letter 'h' the usage of "A" vs. "An" depends on how its pronounced. A - Before a word start­ing with a pro­nounced, breathy “h,” use “a.” Examples: A hotel; A ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

What is the best word to describe a thing is large, complicated and intelligent? [closed]

I am writing a description for our product to present in a small demonstration next week. I've built a system that serves people to save time and utilize/optimize their work. I intend to write about ...
4
votes
2answers
117 views

“throw out/away” vs. “toss (out)” vs. “pitch (out/away)” for “dispose of; discard; get rid of as worthless or useless” in AmEng

What's the difference between "throw out/away," "toss out," and "pitch (out/away)" to mean, "get rid of as worthless or unnecessary"? Can these be used just about interchangeably? THROW AWAY ...
15
votes
2answers
6k views

“Oestrogen” and “oesophagus” — why are they spelled differently in British English?

Within Biology, there are some biological terms that differ in spelling between the British English and American English dictionaries. For example, oestrogen and oesophagus, as well as the word ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Garbage/stuff words

I've watched two interviews. One with Grace Park, one with Eliza Dushku. What one can't miss is that Eliza uses an awful lot of garbage words (or what these are called) — um, so, like, you know, ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What kind of rain is “sprinkles”?

It appears that MSN Weather has chosen an amusing adjective (from my British point of view) for the weather today: I'm assuming the precipitation (sadly) won't contain any hundreds-and-thousands. ...
0
votes
2answers
29 views

Too many commas [duplicate]

Please join us Monday, August 1, 2016, for the 4th Annual Tee It Up for Down Syndrome Golf Tournament at Deer Run Golf Club in Victoria, Minnesota Do I need a comma before and after the date?
13
votes
12answers
4k views

“God's own country”

According to Collins-Robert English-French Dictionary by Beryl T. Atkins, Alain Duval, and Rosemary C. Milne, ed. 1985, manufactured in the United States of America by Rand McNally & Company, ...
2
votes
2answers
48 views

Sentence phrasing 'Please don't punish/scold/penalize' [closed]

Situation: I technician came to my house for installation/demo or Refrigerator. He was good but forgot to install a 'rat mesh' ( protect machine from rats). I called customer care to inform the ...
12
votes
1answer
157 views

What accents pronounce “quarter” as “korter”? Which other words can drop /w/ before /ɔr/ like this?

Many people drop the "w" from words like "dwarf," changing the pronunciation from /dwɔrf/ to /dɔrf/. This has led to the re-spelling "dorf" being used in some informal contexts, e.g. "Dorf Fort." My ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

Analysing “Ain't got no use for no coal company”

I'm writing my thesis and I have a problem analysing this sentence: "Ain't got no use for no coal company" (Grisham, 2014: 157). I know there's no subject - is it therefore an ellipsis? I don't ...
5
votes
4answers
418 views

“exhibition” vs. “exposition” vs. “exhibit” in AmEng

What's the difference between those words with regard to a public showing, as of goods or works of art? Can these be used interchangeably? Both "exhibit" and "exposition" are marked as Americanisms ...
3
votes
3answers
50 views

Adjective to describe the quality of liking to teach and/or having a talent for teaching?

I'm looking for a concise way to express the quality of enjoying or preferring to impart knowledge to other individuals. In a way, the counterpart to a person who is teachable or takes instruction ...
7
votes
2answers
153 views

AmEng equivalent for BrEng “decorator”

Oxford Dictionaries Online defines [interior] decorator as follows: 1.1 chiefly North American A person whose job is to design the interior of someone’s home, by choosing colors, carpets, ...
15
votes
11answers
2k views

What do you call the space where you park a car? Parking spot, space, bay or what?

I am looking for the correct/common way to call the single spaces which are generally clearly visibile in parking lots as you can see from the picture: I would probably call them "parking ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

Can you say “two groups of people stared at each other”?

Is it grammatically correct to say that "two groups of people stared at each other" since, by itself, a group can't do anything? It's the people within the groups that do the staring, not the groups ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

“On the air” OR “On air”

Do you remember Northern Exposure? I hope so. Chris had a light-sign in his office: http://nevergoodbye.com/go/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/totalchris.gif And when you search google images for "on the ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Operator: “Are you through, Sir?” - AmEng vs. BrEng

In the context of a telephone call via an operator-assisted service, is it fact that in AmEng, if the operator asks the service user (caller) if they are through, what is meant by that is, are you ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does the word “garage” have so many different pronunciations?

Whenever I'm teaching private students and we are faced with the word garage, I hesitate a little. Italians have borrowed the term garage, which they pronounce /gaˈraʒ/, to stand for the ...
7
votes
9answers
28k views

In which parts of the USA do the say “soda” or “pop”?

Depending on where you go in the world, some people will refer to a carbonated beverage as "soda" while others choose to use the term "pop." For example, "Can I get you a soda" vs. "Can I get you a ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Is there another way than [ɜr] to pronounce the grapheme “or” in words like “world” in AmEng?

It seems like I've lost count of the number of times that I've noticed some native speakers of American English pronounce the grapheme "or" in words like "world" as [oʊr] or [ɔr] rather than [ɜr]. ...