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

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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
39 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 ...
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 ...
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
59 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
834 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
91 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
116 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
69k 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 ...
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
27k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
195 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
12k 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 home-made-English-spelling-...
3
votes
1answer
66 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
51 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
40 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
11k 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
23 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
9k 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
40 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?
2
votes
2answers
96 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
350 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
156 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
83 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
123 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
64 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
140 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
40 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
133 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 ...
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
77 views

What do we mean by the phrase 'conventions of standard written English' [closed]

A question came and it had one of its options: correct according to conventions of standard English. I don't remember the question but the question was from a grammar section. I do not have an idea ...
2
votes
1answer
51 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
3answers
555 views

What's the “butter zone”?

An episode of Mythbusters about a steam machine gun and beating polygraph tests referred to the "butter zone". What does the phrase mean? Onelook.com couldn't find a definition. Urban dictionary has ...
7
votes
10answers
1k 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
2answers
80 views

Whats the opposite of the dependent [closed]

I'm creating an application/website, that you can control "assets" with. (The fact this is an app/website is irrelevant, I'm just giving some detail) Inside these assets, you can define attributes, ...
0
votes
0answers
38 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
96 views

APA: Paper in past tense but is/was verb confusion for alive author

I want to state, "One advocate for the issues based teaching style is/was Brian Schultz." He is alive, but my paper is in past tense. What do I do?
-1
votes
2answers
344 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
99 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 uses:...
7
votes
3answers
285 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
93 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 ...