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

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5
votes
2answers
227 views

“Everything is up for grabs”

(from an article in The New Yorker about Donald Trump's campaign) Asked by the Associated Press about the possibility of a Trump Presidency, she said, “I don’t want to think about that possibility,...
6
votes
5answers
14k views

Which is correct, “on-line” or “online”?

I am still seeing uses of on-line, though I think it is incorrect. For example: A web browser enables a user to go on-line/online. Can you tell me which is the more appropriate to use, on-line ...
13
votes
5answers
25k views

Why does 'coed' only mean female coeducational students?

As an adjective, the word coed, short for coeducational, indicates an institution that teaches both males and females. However, as a noun, it can only mean "a young woman who attends college". Why is ...
13
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
259 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 ...
-1
votes
0answers
15 views

“Beyond the iPhone” vs “The iPhone and beyond”

What would be the correct way to express evolution/forecast that will come in the future from specific event (in this case the invention of iPhone)? Beyond the iPhone The iPhone and beyond Or none ...
2
votes
1answer
20 views

“The Latest on” vs “The Latest in” [closed]

What is the proper usage of "The Latest", describing what the website is about? As an example I've came across some websites/newspapers that are using "The Latest on Apple ", "The Latest on ISIS ...
0
votes
3answers
141 views

Word For Horribly Complicated For No Reason? [closed]

I've noticed that some people really love to overcomplicate things to seem intellectually superior. For instance, say I somehow dropped a pile of clothes on the ground. They'd then ask me: "When would ...
5
votes
2answers
67 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
vote
1answer
38 views

Can I use word 'gathering' for virtual presence

I was on a group chat with my team, there I have said "Thanks for gathering real quick". I some how feel that this is incorrect, as I am thinking that gathering is generally used when you are ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Meaning of 'to put sth. under the mind for sth.'

I found the following phrase when reading Ralph W. Emerson's The Poet: The world being thus put under the mind for verb and noun, the poet is he who can articulate it. I am not entirely sure ...
14
votes
1answer
640 views

What was “static electricity” known as before the discovery of electricity?

People must have dealt with static electrical discharge for thousands of years; well before they began to understand the principles of electricity. What would a static discharge be called in early ...
7
votes
3answers
15k 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 "...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Should there be an apostrophe in the phrase “Comments Section?” [duplicate]

I have seen on many sites a section labeled "Comments," referring to an area where you can leave a message for someone, or on something. When referring to this section is it correct to say Comments ...
1
vote
1answer
185 views

a flap in “wedding” and “bidding”

I'm wondering if a flap occurs in "wedding", and "bidding" in American pronunciation? I can't hear it out here: http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/wedding
2
votes
4answers
470 views

Why can't I pronounce the ŋ sound? (native English speaker)

I was wondering why it is that I'm unable to pronounce this sound. Apparently, the reason why I pronounce the words "seen" and "sing" the exact same way (as well as "long" and "lawn", "dean" and "ding,...
1
vote
0answers
60 views
1
vote
1answer
40 views

What does the word “whereabouts” mean, and how do I respond to it?

If someone asks me the following questions after I tell them I'm going to be in a certain country, what specifically do they want to know? For example, Someone: "Oh, so you are going to Indonesia....
0
votes
0answers
12 views

Why do american people use the word “Tube” instead of “TeleVision”? [duplicate]

Do the following sentences make sense in modern English if I replace the word "Television" with "Tube"? Any ball games on the tube tonight? I was watching a horror movie on the tube.
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Can I write “…argue it sufficiently…”?

in a scientific paper written in American English, I am using the following sentence: "...we would argue that it is sufficiently established that..." Can the sentence be shortened to "...we would ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Is it acceptable to have a period inside and outside of a quotation mark, if the inner period should be specifically specified in a quote?

For example, say I needed to specify that the following sentence should be written exactly as it appears: Use eye protection. Example: The statement previously appeared in the document as "Use eye ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Word to describe someone that has posted “proof” [closed]

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
0answers
23 views

Omitting the verb and complement in an answer [closed]

I was watching Person of Interest, where this bit of conversation happened: -We can't leave him here. -I'm not. As in "I'm not leaving him here". Even though it's perfectly understandable, ...
6
votes
6answers
727 views

Is to “tell off” a particularly British expression?

I'm translating a short story from Spanish into English. A small child says (literally): Why don’t we knock?” I asked. “They’re gonna tell us off.” (The Spanish is: Nos van a regañar.) I've ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

One word verb for “Used to tell”

please give me a good One word verb for "Used to tell". Sentence : My father used to tell me, “Mr. X reads newspapers , magazines published all over the country......." Please make the whole part ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Bringing your sick to Jesus [closed]

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 ...
32
votes
8answers
126k views
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Was “tickle (someone's) fancy” originally a double entendre?

Recently, I asked users to provide modern-day equivalents of idioms and expressions that contained the words fancy and tickle. The question is titled Whatever tickles their fancy in the US? I was ...
1
vote
1answer
64 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
86 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

“Balconies”, “porches”, “decks”, “terraces”, “verandas”, “lanais”, “galleries”, and “piazzas” in GAE and dialectal AE

In AE, a porch is apparently just about the same structure as a veranda, i.e. an open or enclosed gallery or room attached to the outside of a building. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/porch ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Meaning of “Students in all majors” versus “Students of all majors”

I would like to know the difference between these sentences: I want to send an email to students of all majors I want to send an email to students in all majors How did of/in change the meaning of ...
4
votes
1answer
21 views

Please help me to understand the following definition of “Precautionary Principle”

for "precautionary princple", it gives the following definition. where there are threats or serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific cerntainty shall not be used as a reason for ...
1
vote
5answers
161 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, ...
0
votes
2answers
6k views

“Each of these is” vs. “each of these are”

Each of these CDFIs are finding solutions for communities that lack access to traditional financial products and services, and the NEXT Awards will accelerate their success. OR Each of these ...
0
votes
0answers
21 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. ...
1
vote
4answers
138 views

“crash” vs. “wreck” for [road/air] accident in AmEng

What's the difference between those terms in relation to a road or air accident? crash verb (Aeronautics) to cause (an aircraft) to hit land or water violently resulting in severe damage ...
0
votes
0answers
38 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
23 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
361 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
1k views

“Mic” as an abbreviation for microwave

Last week, I was among a group of friends and commented on the fact that someone had removed a sticker from their microwave. I used the word "mic" to abbreviate microwave, and people thought I was ...
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 ...
3
votes
9answers
4k views

Which of “chafing at the bit” or “chomping at the bit” is more accepted/proper?

I've used "chafing at the bit" for quite some time, but have also heard "chomping at the bit" as a way to indicate impatience, etc. Which of these two is the more "proper" or accepted variant?
8
votes
3answers
584 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Does the English language have an official Academy? [duplicate]

For some languages, there are academies that decide topics such as grammar and spelling of things, for example, for the Spanish language, there are 22 academies in 22 different countries, all making ...
2
votes
1answer
53 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, ...
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
68 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 ...
25
votes
2answers
10k views

When do you use “learnt” and when “learned”?

Is learnt UK English and learned US? Is it that simple? I’m used to using learnt, but my US spellchecker says it is wrong.