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

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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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
292 views

What is the origin of “Act your age, not your shoe size”?

I have been thinking about this saying a lot in the past week (and yes I saw Prince in concert 30 years ago, and the Ramones the same night), but I have heard it since I was a child. I guess I find it ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
28 views

what is word used to describe that “meaning has lost from originality”

I remember that many words on time get separated out from its actual meaning and people start using it for random cases to express different emotions or cases. There is word that describes this ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
118 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Difference between 'REVERENCE' and 'DEFERENCE'

MY EFFORT: this a straight-forward question. I was practising for 'SAT' and met a question which required knowledge of difference between the afore-mentioned two words. I have searched the following 2 ...
-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 ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

laden vs. loaded [closed]

I was justed asked whether it's a british idiom to say something, for example a car is 'fully laden' as in American English 'loaded' would be used. Does anyone here know about this issue? Thanks ...
0
votes
0answers
29 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 ...
7
votes
10answers
957 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
0answers
90 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
264 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
77 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 ...
10
votes
9answers
282 views
+50

“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 ...
2
votes
1answer
59 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
103 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
53 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
120 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) ...
1
vote
2answers
331 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
29 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
vote
1answer
51 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., ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
53 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
62 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

“call someone/something” vs. “call someone/something up” for "make a phone call to someone/something

What's the difference between call and call up to mean make a telephone call to? Is the latter any more informal than the former, or is it mainly a regional thing? call someone or something up ...
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?
2
votes
2answers
50 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
152 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
vote
2answers
69 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 ...
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, ...
3
votes
3answers
53 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 ...
15
votes
11answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
469 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
88 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 ...
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, ...
4
votes
2answers
129 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
178 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
1answer
114 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]. ...
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

“Did you see XYZ movie” or “have you seen XYZ movie” [duplicate]

Eight years in the States and I still don't understand when it's good to use "I did" vs. "I have", especially when talking about movies. "Have you watched it?" "Did u watch?" Etc.
6
votes
2answers
140 views

Usage of “homework,” “schoolwork,” and “assignment” in AmEng for schoolwork given to students to do at home

As far as AmEng goes, is there any difference in using either homework, schoolwork, or assignment to call schoolwork given to students to be done at home? Can these be used just about interchangeably? ...
0
votes
2answers
56 views

Piece of time/fragment of time/portion of time/bits of time

I have a question regarding the use of certain words to express an idea that implies portions of time. Is a “piece of time” an idiom or does it literally mean a “fragment of time”? I would really ...