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

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0answers
14 views

Regional differences in pronunciation of “either/neither” in the US [duplicate]

Where in the US do people pronounce the words "either/neither" the same way as the English do ? Is it a regionalism or are those who pronounce it that way few and far between across the country ? ...
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2answers
103 views

Etymological analysis of swearwords [closed]

I'm writing a thesis about the etymological analysis of swearwords (profanity) in the English language; that is, I need to compare British and American English regarding the etymology of their ...
-3
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1answer
89 views

Is it grammatically acceptable to drop “to” in constructions such as [to cater “to” someone] and [to entitle someone “to” something]?

Back when I was a student, I was taught as a rule that verbs such as "cater" and "entitle" should be followed by "to" before "someone" and "something" respectively. Yet, I was kind of puzzled the ...
-3
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1answer
95 views

What does this joke mean?

You wanna know what line doesn't work on a harp player? “Hey baby, wanna pluck?” It's a joke from a sitcom. I think I understood its general meaning but I don't understand what a "line on a ...
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0answers
48 views

Why are unidentified people called John Doe? [duplicate]

I observed this many times while reading novels and watching movies. Unknown people are always referred to as a John Doe or Jane doe. I am really curious to know how these terms originated?why John ...
7
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1answer
242 views

Why Are Introductory Classes Called “101”? [closed]

Many freshmen will kick off their college careers with courses like Psychology 101, English 101, or History 101. When and how did introductory classes get this special number?
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1answer
31 views

Acceptance- vs staging environment

In application development it is common practice to push newly developed versions of code to an environment other then the life environment to have other people test it. In my previous company we ...
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2answers
37 views

“To dedicate” for “to inaugurate” in AE

What's the difference between "to dedicate" and "to inaugurate" in the sense [to open or begin use of formally with a ceremony, as of a highway, park, or building]? What's the story to "dedicate"? ...
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1answer
61 views

In AE, is it okay to drop “with” in grammatical constructions with “to supply”, “to furnish”, “to present”, “to issue”, and “to endow”?

In analogy with "to provide" and "to feed", which can be both constructed with and without "with" (at least in AE) -- [This application will provide you (with) all the information you need] and [The ...
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1answer
60 views

What does “to take/catch someone off stride” mean in AE?

I guess it might originate from ball game terminology, and mean pretty much the same as "catch/take someone off balance". But, sad to say, I just can't seem to find an authoritative source online that ...
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1answer
68 views

What does the reviewer mean?

I submitted my paper in a journal and after five months the reviewer replied as follows. I cannot understand him. Would you please let me what is really he means (bold words below). Words are omitted ...
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1answer
61 views

“Hussy” for a sewing folder in AE

Does the term "hussy" [alteration of Midde English husewif "housewife"] have any currency in modern day AE to refer to a sewing folder, or is it sort of better known as a derogatory term for a ...
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1answer
55 views

“Mobile” vs. “cellphone” in AE

I already heard Americans use the term "mobile" for "cellphone" -- which I thought was chiefly BE -- and so I wish you could tell if such usage of "mobile" has any currency in GAE? Unless it might be ...
0
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1answer
32 views

“To be retired” vs. “to be a retiree” vs. “to be a retirant”

Are both of these responses in current use in modern day AE to the question: What's your job? Is it I don't have a job, I'm retired. Or I don't have a job, I'm a retiree. Also, does ...
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1answer
63 views

“To a fare-thee-well” for “perfectly well” in AE

Does the idiom "to a fare-thee-well" have any currency in modern day AE speech and writing, or does it have sort of an old fashioned feel to it? http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fare-thee-well ...
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2answers
60 views

“Associate with [someone]” for “socialize with [someone]” in colloquial AE

What's the difference in AE between saying "I like to associate with new folks" and "I like to socialize with new folks"? E.g. I am a positive person and I like to associate with other positive ...
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0answers
56 views

AE vs British English usage of hospital [duplicate]

We all know that Americans say: Sara is going to the hospital While in the UK, they would say (and Americans would never say): Sara is going to hospital I'm wondering what the history of this ...
2
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1answer
120 views

“As long as” for “since” in AE

Some of you might have noticed that I oftentimes use the conjunction "as long as" in my questions and my posts. I was just wondering -- does "as long as" in the sense "since" [=in view of the fact ...
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2answers
80 views

“Multi tiered parking lot/garage” vs. “multi story/storied parking lot/garage” vs. “multi level parking lot/garage” in AE

Are these terms current enough in AE to be used just about interchangeably in modern prose?
4
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2answers
325 views

In AE, is “tin” used instead of “can” to designate an eco friendly BPA free can of sardines?

I've always thought that "can" was the typical term to refer to a can of sardines (or the like) in AE, and "tin" the BE equivalent, until I recently stumbled across "tin" used instead of "can" on a US ...
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1answer
33 views

“Fudge” vs. “dodge” (an issue, question, etc.), and “fudge” as another term for “cheat” in AE

In AE, can "fudge" and "dodge" be used just about interchangeably to convey the sense of circumvent [= avoid or try to avoid answering, fulfilling, or performing (duties, questions, issues, etc.)]? ...
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2answers
51 views

Cowboys, cowpokes, cowpunchers, wranglers, vaqueros, and buckaroos

Depending on where you are regionally located in the US, can these terms be used just about interchangeably in the sense "a hired hand (a cowhand) who tends cattle and performs many of his duties on ...
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3answers
50 views

“Tote” vs. “carry” in AE

Aside from formality/informality registers, what is to "tote" that is not to "carry" to AE native speakers? Does "tote", unlike "carry", imply a certain way to hold or support something while moving? ...
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1answer
57 views

Had you had asked

Let's say in this scenario: Someone asked me for help to do certain thing. I gave a negative response. That person then asked for the reason. I responded with: "Had you had asked me nicely ...." ...
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3answers
120 views

Yards, courtyards, and gardens in AE

As long as reportedly Americans commonly designate an area of land, usually planted with plants, trees, flowerbeds, etc., adjoining a house as a yard (front yard/backyard); and a plot of land used for ...
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1answer
83 views

“Decide/Intend on [gerund]” vs. “decide/intend to [infinitive]”

In analogy with "plan on [gerund]", do the gerund constructions above have any currency in AE, or are these chiefly dialectal and might sound folksy to most ears? E.g. We decided on taking our ...
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1answer
186 views

“Have you ever been” to France? vs. “Have you ever gone” to France? vs. “Did you ever go” to France?

Which of the grammatical constructions above is (or are) more typical of what is commonly said and heard in colloquial AE? If all three options work, is there any difference to them meaningwise? ...
2
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2answers
61 views

Is the expression “The States” used by Americans when referring to the US?

Does the expression "The States" have any currency in AE when referring to the US, or is it chiefly used by native English speakers from outside?
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2answers
125 views

“Sofa bed”, “hideaway couch”, “hide-a-bed”, “couch bed”, “sleeper sofa”, “day bed”, and “studio couch” in AE

Which of these terms is (or are) more typical of AE to designate a convertible consisting of an upholstered couch that can be converted into a double bed?
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2answers
56 views

“A food is fed (to) someone or something” vs. “Someone or something is fed on (or with) a food” [closed]

Focusing on the passive voice, which of the following grammatical constructions is (or are) more typical of AE? More research is necessary before *soy formula is fed to babies^ source More ...
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2answers
63 views

What does “I like ducks :)” mean when it is used as a status? [closed]

Does it give multiple meanings out of it using typoglycemia? Thanks. I saw it on a social profile and it appeared to me as, "I like dicks :)"
2
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1answer
156 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 ...
3
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4answers
304 views

“Shag” for “chase and bring back, fetch” in AE

Does "shag" have any currency in modern day AE to mean "chase and bring back, fetch (an escaped animal/prisoner)"? Is its use limited to the pursuit of runaways, or can it be extended to a broader ...
1
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1answer
21 views

“Snag (a chance, an opportunity, etc.) for ”seize/snatch" in AE

Does "snag" have any currency in modern day AE to say "snatch (or seize) (a chance, an occasion, etc.), and can it be used just about interchangeably with the latter? Or, is there a subtle difference ...
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1answer
22 views

What does it mean “plays with data, words and music”?

One of my friend wrote on her profile, "plays with data, words and music." She is a data scientist. Is this also wordplay?
2
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2answers
76 views

Does the English language have an official Academy?

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 ...
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1answer
70 views

What does it mean when someone writes a word in upper case while typing?

An American wrote this to me: The runup was completely insane and obvious (and scary). I was in the financial industry at the time, and everyone was figuring out how to protect themselves WHEN. It ...
1
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1answer
54 views

“Should I” vs. “Shall I” vs. “Do I” in AE

In colloquial prose, is there some difference to saying "Should I/we", Shall I/we", "Do I/we" to ask someone's advice? E.g. Should I call the police? Sounds like I'm asking someone (or myself) ...
2
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2answers
102 views

What does it mean “I'm old. I've seen a lot of bubbles burst. :)”?

I met a women who was in Silicon Valley asked, "You must have seen the bubble burst then?" She replied back saying, "I'm old. I've seen a lot of bubbles burst. :)" What does it mean? Is ...
1
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1answer
105 views

Pronunciation of words such as “hot” and “stop” [closed]

I would like to ask how to pronounce the o sound in words like hot, stop in AE and BE. I noticed that BE's pronunciation is different from AE's for these words. According to Cambridge University ...
1
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1answer
68 views

Where does the name “Workshop” come from?

I have searched, found no answers, but why is a workshop called a workshop? In academia, workshops are being held where you learn stuff and calculate stuff. It has nothing to do with a shop (where ...
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1answer
100 views

I've been betrayed by the Jedi Order, but I don't wish “for” them to all die [closed]

Does the presumably nonstandard construction "(verb) for someone/something to (verb)" instead of "(verb) (someone/something) to (verb)" have any currency in modern day colloquial AE speech and "not so ...
-1
votes
4answers
117 views

What does “throw down (an order, an idea)” as in “The offer was thrown down to join the Sith” mean?

What's the actual meaning to "throw down something" as in "His offer was thrown down"? Is it the same as saying "His offer was rejected", or is it like saying that the offer was made for ...
1
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2answers
59 views

Can you say “feral waters”? [closed]

I'm trying to think of a name for a game I'm creating. Since it's underwater I thought of "Feral Waters". Can you say that in English or is it rubbish?
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2answers
52 views

“Occupation” and “professional occupation (plus calling and career)” vs. “vocation” and “professional vocation” [closed]

Is "professional vocation" an acceptable alternative to "professional occupation", and to "professional calling or career" also? You might want to consider the following sourced examples for this: ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

“Directory” for the main board in an airport, etc., informing people on arrivals/departures, floors/levels to certain stores, etc

In AE, is it appropriate to designate as a "directory" the main information board found in the concourse or front room of a public place such as a passenger station, an airport, a shopping mall, an ...
3
votes
1answer
220 views

“Home appliances”, “household appliances”, “domestic appliances”, and “brown/white wares” in AE

In AE, do the terms "home appliances", "household appliances", and "domestic appliances" mean just about the same, or is there a subtle difference to these? You might want to consider this Ngram for ...
2
votes
3answers
425 views

“Coat” vs. “jacket” in AE

In some regions of the U.S., can the term "coat" be used to designate what other native speakers of other U.S. regions -- and from farther out -- would call a jacket? Please consider this Ngram: ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

“Hew to” and “conform to/with” in AE

Can "hew to" and "conform with/to" be used just about interchangeably for whatever register of AE, including the most formal prose? ...shall hew to the law and the recognized standards of legal ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

“Snub out a cigarette” for “stub out a cigarette” in AE

My bilingual dictionary points up “snub out” as an Americanism for “stub out” as in, “He snubbed out his cigarette.” But, does is this expression current enough in modern day spoken AE to be used ...