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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
1answer
198 views

How to respond politely and professionally to an email requesting information? [closed]

I have received the following email Hello, Thank you for applying to UCB. We would like to call you briefly between the hours of 10:50 A.M. EST and noon on January 31. Please provide ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

I need to find out how to say this word who've

I don't know how to say this word so I need to find out how to say so that I can do my home work I am in 4 grade and I am doing my selling homework and I need you to help me find out how to say this ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

What do you call one who has been challenged? [duplicate]

How should I refer to one who has been challenged? One who offers a challenge is a "challenger," but what would be the appropriate term for the person who receives the challenge?
1
vote
3answers
54 views

Correct translation for the light switch for a website

I'm looking for the correct translation for a website (http://www.configurator.simonurmet.com/). I'd like to refer to the whole object, I don't need the name of each part for now. The "whole ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Being watched but not seeing the observer

What is the word that describes the situation in which one is being watched, but cannot see the observer. As though the watcher resides in a tower, while the subject walks the streets.
1
vote
8answers
94 views

Word/phrase for remarks which often have a dark feel to them but whose meanings are not readily apparent? [closed]

I know someone who has a tendency to make strange remarks whose meanings are not readily apparent, remarks which often have a dark feel to them, but which are left unexplained, as if to hide ...
10
votes
1answer
649 views

Is “defensible driving” defensible?

This stems from an answer on the Bicycles StackExchange site: http://bicycles.stackexchange.com/a/28633/1464 I think many people have heard of driving (or riding) "defensively." I understand this to ...
8
votes
1answer
527 views

What does “I have no shame when it comes to ignorance” mean? [closed]

Does it mean one chooses to be ignorant regardless of shame, or submit to shame while admitting ignorance? Interviewer: Tell me about your first felony arrest? Candidate: I have no shame when it ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Is there a RULE (not opinion) for when it's okay to replace “is” with “'s”? [closed]

I wrote a sentence in which instead of saying, "God is" I said, "God's". Someone saw this and corrected me that I have to write "God is". This made me scared that I might not be able to simply ...
-1
votes
1answer
77 views

Are you sure to delete or are you sure you want to delete

When the user wants to delete smth on the website I am showing a message for him/her to confirm. What is the grammatically correct way to say so Are you sure to delete this item or Are you ...
1
vote
3answers
89 views

On the circuit - what does it mean?

What does on the circuit mean in the following sentence from Michael A. Stackpole's book 21 days to a novel? She wants to make it big in Hollywood or New York or on the circuit. Update 1 ...
10
votes
4answers
447 views

Do brides in church weddings go up the aisle toward the altar or down the aisle toward the altar?

Nigel Rees, The Cassell Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins (1987) has this entry regarding the question "WHY DO WE SAY ... BRIDES GO UP THE AISLE?" Sir Thomas Bazley fired off a letter to The ...
5
votes
2answers
144 views

What is the etymology of “word!” [duplicate]

Many people have begun to use the word "word" seemingly as an exclamation point or as a means to be emphatic. Where and why did this begin?
2
votes
1answer
33 views

Difference between “how you are” and “how you were”

I heard in a talkshow that someone said. "I wanted to see how you were doing after the operation" My question is what the difference is to: "I wanted to see how you are doing after the operation" ...
2
votes
4answers
125 views

What's it called when someone is trying to end a conversation?

Everyone does the thing where while speaking to someone you'll start inching away in order to end the conversation. Or you'll say something thats a conversation ender like "time to get back to work" ...
4
votes
3answers
197 views

Is or Was when talking about a historic figure in the present?

If I ask someone the question "Who is Martin Luther King Jr." is that correct compared to "Who was Martin Luther King Jr.?" Which one is the correct sentence and how?
2
votes
1answer
94 views

The word “cooker”

According to Merriam-Webster, one of the definitions of the word "cooker" is "a person who tends a cooking process (a cook)." The dictionary provides the following example sentence: Dad was the ...
1
vote
2answers
63 views

What is a word which describes something you are looking for

The word would fit within the following context: I found the ______ of my search. I know there there is a simple word which describes an object which is being searched for, but I just can't ...
2
votes
3answers
130 views

Road to English fluency for advanced speakers [closed]

I have been learning English all my life. I have been in the US for three years. I consider myself an advanced English speaker. There are many resources on the internet that are geared towards ...
0
votes
2answers
89 views

Difference between 'voting' and 'casting a vote'

What's the difference between them? A man was talking to another person while the elections were being held. I overheard them. But I'm confused here. English is not my mother language and I have ...
0
votes
3answers
61 views

Walk across/through/on the crosswalk?

What is the correct collocation here? Do you walk across the crosswalk, through the crosswalk, or on the crosswalk? Or can you say cross the crosswalk?
1
vote
2answers
215 views

What does the expression “Word.” mean? [duplicate]

I was watching the 1989 movie "Bill and Ted's excellent adventure" a couple of weeks back and in one scene Bill replies to some statement (I forgot whom he is replying to) with just "Word." What does ...
23
votes
7answers
3k views

How do native speakers answer questions like “what's cooking”?

I work in an office environment as a software developer in Massachusetts, USA and every so often have some colleague ask me a question like "what's cooking? anything good?" When they say that they ...
0
votes
2answers
83 views

How to avoid using lot of I's in the personal essay?

I am writing my statement of purpose for applying to grad school. When I read my statement of purpose I see a lot of I's. I did this I worked on this I want to I got to learn this ...
18
votes
7answers
6k views

Asking female employees to come to my room [closed]

I have a few female employees working at my office, and being a manager, I need to text them via Skype or Messenger to come to my room. How can I ask them politely to come? Please come to my room ...
0
votes
0answers
12 views

What is the proper usage of “The… of…” and “A … of …”? [duplicate]

I wrote an article, and will submit it soon. I am troubled in its title: "The Speedy Application of Augmented Dickey-Fuller Test for Stationarity Analysis with causfinder Package in R" I have learnt ...
-2
votes
1answer
78 views

Is there any difference between 'plaid' and 'tartan'?

It seems to me that some Americans will say plaid where we will use tartan. Whilst tartan refers to woollen cloth woven in one of several patterns of coloured checks and intersecting lines; plaid ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

When to use named and called? [duplicate]

I am writing my Statement of Purpose. I am writing a sentence such as I moved to a small town called Falmouth where I .... Should I use named or called? I moved to a small town named ...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

A term for Not Applicable in the context of UI/UX [closed]

I want to give an option to a user to check if an option is not applicable for her. However the two words in "Not Applicable" are too huge for my GUI. Suggestions Would be greatly appreciated :)
0
votes
2answers
63 views

What is a “turkey walk”?

I once read that a "turkey walk" was going to be held on a Sunday at 8.00 a.m. in a small town in New England. I tried to find it in dictionaries and I also googled the expression, but got no ...
5
votes
3answers
416 views

What does “consound” mean?

Hello and happy holidays. While reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, I came across the expression "consound it" in Huck's dialogue parts. "Consound it, Tom Sawyer, you're just old pie, 'longside ...
2
votes
4answers
126 views

Up Hill vs. Down Hill [duplicate]

The expression "It's all up hill from here!" and "It's all down hill from here!" mean that things will only get better or things will only get worst. Metaphorically going uphill can provide for a ...
2
votes
5answers
738 views

Is “I'll be John Brown” a common phrase?

The phrase: I'll be John Brown! is an occasionally-used term in North Carolina. Mostly thought to replace taking the Lord's name in vain (GD). Is it used elsewhere? How long has it been ...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

What is an Anglepoise lamp called in America?

What word do Americans use to refer an Anglepoise lamp?
0
votes
1answer
58 views

What does “even the keel in favour of ” in the sentence mean?

Even the legal framework that is supposed to provide a modicum of protection to workers is fraying. For instance, the state’s unwillingness to use the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act or the ...
0
votes
3answers
161 views

What is a “plumber's wife”?

This is about an expression used by a female manager at a hotel in Philadelphia (PA) some years ago. She was showing me around as part of my employment interview, and during this made a statement that ...
1
vote
2answers
106 views

What does this sentence imply, as worded, in terms of the amount of Caucasians, e.g. some, all or another amount of Caucasians? [closed]

"Next time Caucasians might think about voting with facts and common sense instead of with their white guilt."
8
votes
7answers
1k views

Word for mildly popular (used as a compliment)

I'm trying to find a word for something meaning not explosively popular or successful, yet not a failure. It should not be intended as criticism and should represent something not necessarily new but ...
5
votes
2answers
246 views

What did “eating 'mad cow'” mean in the 1800's?

In the December 1885 Lippincott's Magazine article COOKHAM DEAN, about an artistic area 40 miles up the Thames from London, Margaret Bertha Wright (an American author) wrote: Probably nine-tenths ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

“He would go to the theater if I would go with him” - is this a correct sentence?

How to say properly in American English this sentence: "He would go to the theater if I would go with him". Does it look absolutely fine? First of all, I'm curious about two "would" in one sentence.
2
votes
1answer
59 views

What does “telling the truth has become a societal antiquity” mean?

What does "telling the truth has become a societal antiquity" mean? I saw it on a random post earlier today. I guess it could mean that it's an outdated method: that many people resort to lies.
1
vote
0answers
50 views

already , southern pronunciation ≈ [ʰɑɾi] “oddy”

Cut to the chase pals Could anybody confirm the southern pronunciation of "already" as something like oddy ? if so, What's its phonetic transcription? is there any eye spelling for it? I've noticed ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

Associates vs employees

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

What exactly does “Standard” refer to in “(U.S.) Standard System”? [closed]

Why do Americans refer to the US imperial system of measurement as the standard system? In addition to the fact that the metric system is widely accepted as the standard system, the alternate term, ...
5
votes
2answers
247 views

19th century American English “slang”?

As I was doing a bit of research online I stumbled on this Children's Corner page 311 from the American Farmers' Magazine 1858. And, frankly, there are a lot of words that look totally foreign to me. ...
1
vote
2answers
212 views

“Sport” vs “Sports” Origin

I was recently reading this article on the use of "math" vs. "maths" as a collective noun (Americans use the former, Brits the latter). However, the trend seen in "math/maths" is reversed in ...
-2
votes
1answer
50 views

Is “originally first” a grammar error?

I understand that the phrase "originally first" is repetitive, but is it a grammatical error? For more context, the phrase appeared in the following sentence which was marked wrong for repetition. ...
1
vote
2answers
31 views

What's the word or phrase for “reading strategy/orientation”?

In English, we read from left-to-right, top-to-bottom. In traditional Japanese, text is read up-todown, right-to-left. Is there an English word that describes the "reading strategy" of a particular ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

what does this mean “ I got 70 + application forms” [duplicate]

Today I saw, someone has written I got 70+ application forms What is the purpose of the plus sign in that statement?
-1
votes
1answer
88 views

no more feed the children commercials (and so on) [closed]

No more feed the children commercials. With 40 million over weight americans negros to eat, the african cannibals would have food for years I don't understand causality or a causal relationship ...