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

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11
votes
2answers
1k views

'Grasshopper' as a term for a neophyte

What is the origin of using the word "grasshopper" as a term for a neophyte or trainee? The most reliable reference I have is Urban Dictionary, who claims that it is from a 1970's television series ...
3
votes
3answers
320 views

Water caltrop in American English

There's a moderately popular fruit found in India known as panifal or singada in Hindi. The fruit comes from an aquatic plant that grows in stagnant or slow-moving water up to 10-15 foot deep. Here's ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

How should I arrange a foreign word and its translation in middle of sentence?

I'm having trouble with this sentence: "I possess what in spanish we call ganas, the desire, to attain a graduate degree." I think it's clear what I'm trying to say, but it sounds wrong. It ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Which organizations responsible for formalizing English Language (British and American) [duplicate]

I need this information to make my own English language site, but I do not want to use copy-paste from other sites or books. I need to find the source of information to make a correct content. If ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Why does Northern Ireland pronunciation sound similar to American?

Recently, I started watching a TV show The Fall, which takes place in Northern Ireland. Their intonations and accents are unique, but their pronunciation sounds a lot like North American English to ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

What do “doe” and “save us the conversation” mean? [closed]

First, I wanna ask the meaning of the word "doe". Is it like "buddy" or "pal"? Seems it has lots of meanings. Second, I wanna ask the meaning of the sentence that saves us the conversation. ...
7
votes
1answer
70 views

What Charles Ingalls was really going to say?

Here is full paragraph: Pa was on top of the walls, stretching the canvas wagon-top over the skeleton roof of saplings. The canvas billowed in the wind, Pa's beard blew wildly and his hair stood ...
2
votes
2answers
81 views

Is the phrase “Hello, my dear fellow” considered weird nowadays?

I was wondering if the "Hello, my dear fellow" salutation is considered weird nowadays. A friend of mine (one British chap) once said it sounded "gay" =) I'd like to ask native speakers' opinion. ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

“waiter” vs “server”

Are they really the same in every respect? What are the differences if any? In India, they're always called waiter regardless of the size and exclusivity of the establishment. Is it the same in the ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

Why to choose or Why choose? [duplicate]

I'm not a native English speaker so I need your help on this one. When talking about a company, which one is correct: 1)Why to choose Google 2)Why choose Google? For a non native speaker...why to ...
2
votes
2answers
57 views

American words for gas stoves

Please take a look at the following two images: In India, it's customary to refer to the thing in the first image as a "gas stove" and the second as a"cooking range" or "hob." Is it the same in ...
2
votes
3answers
93 views

Adrenaline vs epinephrine

I just stumbled upon a blog that states that epinephrine is the American name for adrenaline. Is it true? If so, how prevalent is this Americanism within America? And do they prefer epinephrine in ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

What are these vehicles called in the United States?

I understand the names for various types of cars in the US as well as elsewhere, such as hatchback, sedan, SUV, etc. However there are two classes of vehicles that don't seem to fall under any of ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Meaning of “tea party”

Of late I've noticed that this phrase seems to be tossed around all the time especially in the context of political discussions. What does it exactly mean? For example, take a look at the following ...
1
vote
2answers
260 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
1answer
77 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
96 views

What does “Booting these guys” mean? [closed]

I am not native English speaker, but in a conversation with an American guy, I come across this line. I am adding the situation where that guy used this sentence. He gave me some things to do, I did ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Are there any famous English poems that every British-raised or American-raised person knows? [closed]

In the Chinese language, there is a poem named Quiet Night Thoughts(Jing Ye Si) by Li Bai, which is known by everyone that is native to China (from little kids to very old people, even if they are ...
-1
votes
0answers
27 views

Use of final “s” in -word endings: which words in AmE are correct?

DFW said [0]: The preposition towards is British usage; the US spelling is toward ... Except for backwards and afterwards, no preposition ending in –word takes a final s in US usage." Is that ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

“Know the way over”

You tell someone that, if a disaster happen at your place, you're going to go to his/her place (kidding). They reply: "I am glad you still know the way over". What does this mean?
0
votes
4answers
51 views

A word to describe a person who is in top/winning bracket of a competitive game

I am looking for a word that would describe a player who is, for example, in a TOP 10 chart and is eligible for a prize. That means that if he would suddenly lose his/her position and get ranked 11 or ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Need vs. Needs? [duplicate]

I heard a person on television say the following... "Pittsburgh need to win this game." To me, this sounds incorrect. I think it should be "needs to." If however, the announcer had said... ...
6
votes
2answers
254 views

Where do people pronounce “ank” as /eŋk/ vs. /æŋk/?

Let's use "bank" as an example. Some Americans pronounce it /bæŋk/, using the vowel of TRAP. Others pronounce it /beŋk/, using the vowel of FACE. Where are these two pronunciations found?
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Where in the U.S. do people change the stress of umbrella, adult and TV to the first syllable?

Is it just a small percentage of the population in that region who stress the first syllable, or is it widespread? In other words, if I visit such region will I find almost everyone talking like that ...
22
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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. ...
-1
votes
3answers
41 views

need confirmation or needs confirmation

I receive an issue reported in an issue tracker. That issue requires confirmation to check if it is a real issue. How should the label be names as: Need confirmation or Needs confirmation?
2
votes
1answer
307 views

The lost English dictionary

There is an old dictionary of the English language where words are defined from a pessimistic/skeptical/sadistic perspective. I seem to have lost the link to that dictionary in my bookmarks. I wonder ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

Declension is a noun. What is the verb? [closed]

Based on Wikipedia article, in linguistics, declension is the inflection of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and articles to indicate number (at least singular and plural), case (nominative or subjective, ...
-2
votes
3answers
57 views

Lookig for a better/stronger sentence [closed]

Could anybody let me know a stronger/improved sentence for the one shown below: One of my interest is in applying machine learning to real world problems
0
votes
2answers
462 views

Problem listening to foreign accents

From the beginning I had some problems listening to foreign accents. Like when someone from my native country (India) speaks English I understand it at once, but if someone from a foreign country ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

What does “Way to read the room” mean?

I'm translating a movie and there's one sentence I could not understand. In the movie a doctor tells his friend: Doctor: Find something sharp to penetrate his skull.(to help the patient). ...
0
votes
2answers
106 views

“Jimmy did his homework and so didn't his brother” Is this correct?

Shouldn't it be "...and so did his brother"? I got confused when I read the original sentence in an American newspaper some time ago. It read something like this: "US Representative from ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

'parameterized' or 'parametrized' [duplicate]

In the following sentence: To avoid the attacks, most frameworks and DB systems provide mechanism for parameterized queries. My browser wants to correct the highlighted word to parametrized, but ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

What mind stands for [closed]

The difinition of mind that parts of individual feels, perceives, thinks, wills, and especially reasons is a common presence in dictionaries,however,what it stand for?Brain?
0
votes
2answers
59 views

What does “peak and pine” mean in this ballad?

From scoutsongs.com Oh, My Darling Clementine In a cavern, In a canyon, Excavating for a mine, Dwelt a miner forty-niner, And his daughter Clementine. Chorus: Oh my darling, Oh my darling, ...
13
votes
7answers
864 views

Which is longer: snooze, nap, kip, 40 winks or siesta?

How long is a snooze? My boyfriend will invariable take an afternoon snooze which might last anything up to two hours. A nap on the other hand, can be short, quick or even long, and sometimes they are ...
-1
votes
1answer
47 views

Spelling - why not finanse?

If it is license rather than licence, defense rather than defence, offense rather than offence, then why not finanse?
0
votes
3answers
75 views

Meaning of “exactly” in casual conversation

My question involves a group text conversation between friends whom are all native english speakers. Friend A began the conversation with a photograph of himself dressed up for a night on the town, ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

speech balloon vs speech bubble usage and meaning

I am from the UK, and am not familiar with the term "speech balloon". I have always used and heard "speech bubble" instead. Are the 2 meanings the same? Is there some kind of difference in ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

His “get-up-and-go” is likely to have “got-up-and-gone” Any hidden meaning in this comment?

I once overheard a conversation between two young women on a long distance flight and one of them said: "He is past seventy, you know. His get-up-and-go is likely to have got-up-and gone." And they ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

“I” vs. “me” question

I was born in United States but at a young age my parents decided to take me and my siblings to Turkey. It looks right to me, but my English teacher always (and I mean always) points out mistakes ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

What are the percentages of the parts of speech in English?

What are the percentages of the parts of speech in English? For instance, what percent of English is comprised of nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.? I have done an extensive web search using a ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is stainless steel “stainless”?

Inox steel is stainless because it does not stain, but is stain the same thing as rust? I just want to understand since stain reminds me of clothing stains, for instance, and I am rather curious as to ...
-1
votes
1answer
27 views

Third-party or third party? [duplicate]

Does British English use a dash in between third-party, or is that for American English?
2
votes
3answers
94 views

Does the phrase “espoused narrative” make sense?

Recently I've been told my usage of this term is incorrect, but I've seen it being used often enough. Context I've pulled from google "This may well also allow the EU to illegitimate these ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Difference between 'created by' and 'created from'

I am writing an essay and I was stuck in the middle of it because I was wondering if I should use from or by in this sentence: 'Incapable to detect that his own circumstances are created by/from his ...
1
vote
1answer
245 views

What does “yeah” mean in American? [closed]

Often I talk with people and they say "yeah". What do they mean? I'm only in USA recently and everyone says "yeah". I gather it means "yes", but I also hear "yeah" when it doesn't mean "yes"?
5
votes
8answers
3k views

How to choose between British and American English for technical documents

I'm not a native English speaker. I'm Italian and I'm doing my thesis in the Netherlands. I have to write technical documents for non-native English speakers, so I didn't receive any advice for ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Clarifying the usage of “hella”

The word hella has spread from the Southern California dialect to the point where most varieties of American English speaker (such as me in the Midwest) know that it exists and hear it used. I always ...