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
600 views

Associates vs employees

I've noted that some US companies call people working for them "associates," rather than "employees." (I've seen that term in less-than-stellar retail and fast-food chains) What would be the ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How accepted is ‘f***ing’ in informal conversation?

For the past twenty years I've heard people use the adjective fucking more often than ever before in the US: in real life, in movies and on TV. Sentences like "You fucking idiot." I've also heard ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

Is “despatch” the British spelling for “dispatch” or is it an archaic spelling (or both)?

In John Ormsby's 1885 translation of Don Quixote, the word "despatch" is used. Is that the corresponding British spelling for "dispatch" or is it simply an archaic spelling (in both the American and ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is “a couple of <things>” often shortened to “a couple <things>”?

I would write a couple of . I often read/hear a couple . I assumed this was an American English thing (I'm British), and just a convenient shortening of the phrase for speaking. It's easier to say a ...
3
votes
9answers
5k views

How does “spanner” come to mean “a wrench”?

"Wrenching" refers to an injury in which some muscle is forcibly twisted. A wrench is a tool that applies a twisting force to something, so that seems consistent. "To span" means to bridge a gap. ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

What else can you learn other than phrasal verb and idioms to sound like a native english speaker? [closed]

I have learnt a few phrasal verbs and idioms through a site that i found very helpful. I was wondering if there's anything else like this to learn to improve my English (I don't know what PV and ...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
9answers
4k views

Incorrect grammar versus different dialects

My girlfriend, someone from southern New Jersey, constantly says phrases like "I'm done my homework" or "I'm done my dinner." I try to correct her and say, "I'm done with my homework" or "I'm done ...
3
votes
3answers
232 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 ...
23
votes
7answers
1k views

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
3answers
56 views

“wrench” is to “works” as “crimp” is to what?

It's commonly said that one puts or throws a "[monkey] wrench/(BrEng) spanner" in the "works", but what does one put a "crimp" into? CRIMP Google Image the act of crimping. a crimped ...
5
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
667 views

How to pronounce yin and yang?

How do you correctly pronounce yin and yang in American English? Especially the "yang" part because I hear it pronounced as it's spelled and also I think I've heard it like "yong". If you use IPA ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Subjunctive construction involving “that” [migrated]

From a prep book for GMAT: Note that you should ALWAYS just use the base form of the verb in such a subjunctive construction involving the "that" clause. Wrong: she recommended that John ...
1
vote
1answer
170 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
3answers
84 views

“pocketbook” for “wallet” in AmEng vernacular

Is pocketbook a common term for wallet in AmEng vernacular, or is it primarily recognized as another word for "purse/handbag"? If indeed a relatively commonly used word for "wallet/billfold," how do ...
1
vote
2answers
101 views

How do you show someone is crying in dialogue?

How do you show someone is crying in dialogue? (as in, is there an onomatopoeia that can show crying well? I ask because "(insert dialogue)..sniffle..(insert dialogue)..snifle..", does show that the ...
11
votes
3answers
65k views

How do I use “as of now” correctly?

Just to clarify, I am not a native English speaker. I occasionally hear from other non-native English speakers the use of the phrase: "As of now" with the meaning of Currently. Initially I did not ...
2
votes
1answer
37 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

small question about the or a

I and my wife are debating which way is correct when using the or a in our example. We are talking about a gender of our first baby. I prefer using: a gender of the baby is a boy. However, she ...
20
votes
8answers
26k views

Is it proper to omit periods after honorifics (Mr, Mrs, Dr)?

I've been reading the Economist lately and they apparently don't punctuate honorifics like "Mr.", "Mrs.", e.g. The popular rejection of Mr Mubarak offers the Middle East’s best chance for reform ...
0
votes
0answers
2 views

Fill with Take or takes [migrated]

On a plane, I like to speak to the stranger who ____ seat next to me. Fill with take or takes, and why?
1
vote
1answer
57 views

word for a condescending, snarky, yet awkward and jealous, person

i'm looking for a word for a person who is cynical, judgmental, nitpicking, condescending but also flawed, gawky and timid (in an unfamiliar setting), and is harboring some kind of jealousy towards ...
3
votes
2answers
176 views

How to pronounce 'almond' in American English

I cannot count how many times I was told and/or made fun of my allegedly incorrect pronunciation of almond. Every single one of my attempted pronunciations has been 'corrected'; even the so-called ...
0
votes
1answer
11k views

Can “unto” be used instead of “onto” in American English?

Is there a difference in how the preposition "onto" is used in British and American English? I always understood it to match the following dictionary definition I found online, and was not aware of ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

American refusal of the IPA: why?

Are there any historical or political reasons for the rather consistent refusal of the International Phonetic Alphabet on the part of American academics? Did Mark Twain's ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

What's a word for someone who is constantly asking for same thing? [closed]

Hi I'm looking for a word for someone who is constantly asking for something and keeps wanting updates about it. The closest words I can think of is pushy and, to a lesser extent, annoying. But ...
1
vote
2answers
43 views

What do you call someone who keeps asking other people to buy them things when they can just buy it themselves?

What do you call someone who asks other people to buy them things when they could just buy it themselves.
0
votes
4answers
39 views

What's a word for “newcomer to politics”?

Incumbent means someone who currently holds office. Is there a word that describes someone who is completely new to politics, like "rookie" does for sports. I feel like "rookie" doesn't fit well ...
0
votes
1answer
22 views

How will “winning” be percieved?

If I use the phrase "winning business" as a byline to a logo. How will it generally be percieved? 1) Like a winning business 2) Like the act of winning business 3) Doesn't make any sense to have ...
69
votes
14answers
10k views

Is it conceivable that President Obama might use the word “queue”?

President Obama in a press conference, in London today, has said that if Britain votes to leave the European Union and makes separate application to the United States for a trade deal, she will be at ...
0
votes
2answers
21 views
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Order of words?

Which is the most correct to write? Printed Arabic-English Text Recognition. or Recognition of Printed Arabic-English Text. In my opinion, both are correct but since i am not a native ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

May “in with” be used to mean “among?”

I was thinking about how little I use the word among and how I would phrase the dictionary's example sentences for it. Most of it involved substitution with the word with. Then I noticed something. ...
3
votes
7answers
8k views

US and UK English: queue or wait in line?

What do you usually say, depending on the context and depending if it's US or UK English? wait in line or queue
0
votes
0answers
39 views

AmE: virgin forest

First time coming across the term virgin forest. Wiki gives a bunch of alternatives: Old-growth Forests An old-growth forest — also termed primary forest, virgin forest, primeval forest, late ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Is there any specific word for showing dislike facial expression? [closed]

Sometimes women twist their faces to express their dislikeness. Is there any specific word for showing such facial expression?
4
votes
1answer
14 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
78 views

polite questions vs. direct questions: real life reactions [closed]

In English courses (especially business), we learn to use polite questions. So we know that you shouldn't say "excuse me... where's the nearest supermarket, please?" but rather "excuse me... do you ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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. ...
6
votes
2answers
344 views

Should I pronounce little as ['lit(ə)l] or ['lid(ə)l]

I guess some people may give a down-vote to my silly question, but I still want to make it clear, at least for myself. Since English is not my first language, I watch a lot of online videos learn the ...
22
votes
7answers
8k views

Etymology of “cut someone some slack”

Teenagers. All the literature tells you one thing and one thing only – that whatever they are doing, give them a break, cut them some slack, it's normal. From the novel, Apple Tree Yard I'm ...
5
votes
1answer
149 views

Why do Americans 'tell' you Good Morning?

Why do Americans 'tell' you Good Morning? Isn't it a greeting rather than information? This is a quote from a book I am currently reading, "She went through to the kitchen to tell her children ...
-1
votes
2answers
76 views

Why can't I use “have” in given example? [closed]

How come in following sentence "have" is an incorrect word to use and "has" is correct one? "Working for many years in academic and administration fields have not only contributed to my professional ...
0
votes
7answers
115 views

Looking for suitable word for doing errand jobs / petty jobs [closed]

I am looking for a suitable word for doing errand / petty jobs. Clerk is not the right word.
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Is there a word meaning “of or like the squid”?

I would like to know if there is a word for being of or related to a squid like there are words for humans, eagles, and lions, i.e. hominine, aquiline, and leonine. I don't expect the word (if there ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

Is the third conditional disappearing in American English?

New Zealander here. I came across a sentence similar to the following: If I moved, I might've been found. To me, this is grammatically incorrect. It should be: If I'd moved, I might've been ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Using a comma to seperate these clauses? [closed]

English is my second language. A co-worker who edits my work wrote the following two phrases: This way, workers can install the guardrail for the next level from a lower platform eliminating the ...
0
votes
1answer
117 views

Is “take a bath” or “bathe” used to mean “take a shower” in some English dialects?

By analogy with Portuguese tomar banho [de chuveiro/ducha], which along with tomar uma ducha/chuveirada (Br.)/duche (Port.) means, take a shower, are there any parts of the English speaking world in ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Is it acceptable in American English to pronounce “grocery” as “groshery”?

I caught myself pronouncing the "c" in "grocery" as an "sh" sound. Is this commonplace/accepted, or is it perhaps geographic? Does this occur with "c" in other words? As background, I was raised in ...