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

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0
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1answer
30 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 ...
0
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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 ...
0
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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"? ...
5
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4answers
341 views

US Route 101 — “The 101”

In my part of the world, we refer to highways without any article. So we drive on "Highway 64", or "Interstate 64", or "I-64". But when I go to California, they say "The 101". Is there any explanation ...
0
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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 ...
0
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1answer
59 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 ...
0
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1answer
44 views

“Have a seat” vs. “Take a seat” in modern AE

To answer this question you first might want to consider this Ngram.source In light of this chart, it's apparent that "have a seat" is preferred to "take a seat" as far as modern day AE is ...
0
votes
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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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 ...
0
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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 ...
4
votes
4answers
12k views

Pronunciation of 'aunt' in the US

I was under the impression that all Americans pronounced aunt like the insect, ant (/ænt/), or relatively similar sounding variants such as the southern aint (/eɪnt/). According to both Webster and ...
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 ...
11
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12answers
29k views

Difference between “slacks”, “pants”, and “trousers”?

I wonder what differences are between usage of slacks, pants, and trousers? Their meanings seem the same by looking up Google’s Internet dictionary and Wikipedia.
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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 ...
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2answers
79 views
2
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1answer
151 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 ...
0
votes
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.)]? ...
0
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2answers
50 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 ...
2
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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? ...
1
vote
1answer
56 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 ...." ...
2
votes
3answers
287 views

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

I live in Brazil and speak English as a foreign language. 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
60 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
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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votes
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
2answers
122 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
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 :)"
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2answers
97 views

Talkies, Motion Pictures, Movies, Films and 3D Films

The term, talkies, i.e. talking pictures, I was surprised to learn was not coined in 1927, after the release of The Jazz Singer, but in 1913. The term is now obsolete whereas motion picture, meaning ...
0
votes
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
vote
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Do “You see me?” and “You get me?” mean “Do you understand what I mean?”

Sometimes after finish explaining something, people will say, "You see me?" or "You get me?" I wonder if they are equivalent to "Do you understand what I mean?"
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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?
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4answers
2k views

Why is “bloody” considered obscene in the UK but not in the US?

Why is the word bloody considered obscene in the UK but not so in the US?
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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) ...
1
vote
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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
11
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4answers
869 views

When did the U.S. President become “Mr. X” instead of “President X”?

When I was much younger, I remember the press always referred to the U.S. president using the title of the office: "President Nixon" was followed by "President Ford" then "President Carter". Now that ...
0
votes
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
2answers
58 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?
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 ...
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
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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
91 views

Verbal constructions with “with” more common in AE than in BE

Is it correct, and safe to say, that -- generally speaking -- verbal constructions with "with' are to a certain extent more widely and commonly used in AE than in BE and other varieties of English ? ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

“Alligator pear” and “sparrow grass” for “avocado” and “asparagus”

Do "sparrow grass" and "alligator pear" have any currency in spoken AE, or are these terms chiefly dialectal?
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Present Perfect for the past?

I've come across the - more or less - following sentence in a book (American publisher): "They have done it in the past" I've always thought that "PAST" and "PRESENT PERFECT" can't go together. The ...
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vote
2answers
162 views

What is the meaning of this quote?

I heard this in a movie. What does it mean? My time, as does most time, comes with a price. You make time.
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votes
1answer
70 views

“Smart casual” vs. “casual chic”

As far as apparel code goes, is "casual chic" just about the same as "smart casual", or is there a nuance I am missing?
7
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the history and geographic area of the word “finna?”

In St. Louis, I learned of the word, "finna." I know it is slang/contraction for "fixing to." By asking dozens of people, I've learned that it is used by people of many different races and cultural ...
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2answers
64 views

When asking a question, when should you use “may”?

When asking a question like "May you print a copy of that for me?", when should you use "may" or "could"?
0
votes
2answers
309 views

Which sentence is correct and why?

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 ...
1
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0answers
35 views

Spoken English. Need suggestions for improvements in spoken english [closed]

Please suggest a good website or book for improving my spoken english and public speaking skills.