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

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3
votes
1answer
125 views

Where does the term “key-thong” (for flip-flops) come from?

In the east Bay Area of California, in the early '60's, we called flip flops key-thongs. (The spelling is likely wrong as I couldn't read at the time.) We moved to New Mexico in the late 60's, where ...
12
votes
10answers
30k views

“have” vs.“have got” in American and British English

I have looked through several questions and answers on EL&U, and often there is an indication that American English prefers "have" while British English prefers "have got". In addition, there are ...
-2
votes
2answers
154 views

Formal way to say “doesn't work”? [closed]

I am writing a paper and I feel as if I need a more formal way of writing "doesn't work". Any thoughts? Thanks :)
3
votes
1answer
88 views

TR sound and Word Stress

I read in American accent book that when a "t" is followed by an "r" sound, the "t" changes and becomes an almost "ch" sound. "To create this sound correctly, say "ch" as in chain, but just make the ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

The elision of alveolar plosives

when the phrase "Can't complain" is pronounced [ˈkænt kəmˈpleɪn] I think that the T is dropped in fast speech because of the alveolar plosives. Right? I read that when T comes before these letters: / ...
1
vote
2answers
43 views

What to write when asked family name? [closed]

If my name is Alfonso (first name) Barrera Ramirez (last name) what would I write when they ask for family name?
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Word Stress in “I have a + noun”

I know that any word can be stressed in a sentence to give it emphasis, but in the following sentences I'm interested in a default unemphatic accent. When I pronounce these phrases: A: I have a ...
1
vote
2answers
186 views

“Gotta” pronunciation

Recently, I realized that pronunciations of the reduction gotta in GB and US English are different. Could you suggest to me, please, any tutorial explaining pronunciation of this and other such ...
8
votes
5answers
955 views

How common is the term “boondoggle”? And what are its origins?

Even for a country well accustomed to foreign policy boondoggles, it was an impressive body count. Eighty Americans, eight Brits, eight Germans — no French because they'd been boycotting ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Word stress: Sorry to keep you waiting

When I heard the phrase: "Sorry to keep you waiting" [sɔri tə kip jʊ weɪdɪŋ] in an American movie it sounded to me that: Sorry, keep, and waiting are the stressed words. I may be wrong because I'm not ...
3
votes
5answers
176 views

Is “He should be consequenced” an error?

I've been watching The Sopranos recently; a very useful vehicle for picking up American pronunciation and mob slang. In series one, episode seven, Tony Soprano and his wife Carmela are in the school ...
-1
votes
1answer
843 views

Got started or started

I am a learner of the English language. I have written two sentences, please give your two minutes and let me know, which one is correct? In the following sentences an action was started by my dog, ...
1
vote
2answers
471 views

Why is there “Black English” but not “White English”?

African American Vernacular English is shortened to a less precise phrase "Black English". Also, Black English is used in a broader sense: Black English is a term used for both dialects of English ...
8
votes
6answers
15k views

What is the difference between “to oblige” and “to obligate”?

What's the difference between oblige and obligate? Speculating, is the latter an Americanism of the British former? Or is there any distinction about what/who has caused someone to be oblig(at)ed to ...
0
votes
2answers
105 views

Word Stress Within a Sentence: Adjectives

I read this in American accent book: "Place full stress on an adjective if it's not followed by a noun. If it is followed by a noun, stress the noun more." For example I have this phrase: Have a ...
4
votes
3answers
333 views

“Tommyknockers”: why the “tommy” prefix in AmE?

From The Tommyknockers by Stephen King: Late last night and the night before, Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers, knocking at the door. I want to run, don't know if I can, 'cause I'm so afraid of ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

“Named for” vs. “named after”

As a Brit, I'm used to the phrase named after being used to say how something got its name. For example, in Wikipedia's List of eponymous roads in London, we read that Addison Road is named after the ...
3
votes
8answers
697 views

What to call Primary School + High School, but not College

I was creating a web form for a client who requested the highest-grade completed for primary and high school and then college. The original paper form had the following Circle highest grade ...
7
votes
1answer
8k views

“Exercise” but not “exercize”

Many words are spelled with -ise in British English and -ize in American English: realise/realize sanitise/sanitize scrutinise/scrutinize But exercise can only be spelled with -ise, never with ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Whom or Who in this sentence: These men, all of WHOM or WHO were well-known, well-respected statesmen, were viewed by their peers [duplicate]

Here's the full sentence: "These men, all of who were well-known, well-respected statesmen, were viewed by their peers and common people alike as great thinkers in their day. I just can't really see ...
2
votes
2answers
200 views

Is “offloading a passenger” idiomatic?

Merriam-Webster and Oxford seem to suggest that we can offload things, not people, yet "offloading a passenger" is quite prevalent in Philippine English. Is it a phrase that somebody from the inner ...
2
votes
3answers
77 views

A person who is super excited for something [closed]

What do we call a person who is super excited for something?
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Is there a contraction known as the're?

Recently, one of my relatives started studying the English Language and she came to discuss that the contraction of there are can also be written as the're because that's they way she learnt it at ...
7
votes
10answers
5k views

What's the antonym of “fifty-thousand foot view”?

I'm writing about a concept that I would like to explain at three levels: high-level, medium, and very granular. "Fifty-thousand foot view" is a common business idiom to describe the highest, most ...
11
votes
3answers
15k views

Origin of the meaning of “à la mode”

In American English, à la mode means: in fashion, up to date. with ice cream. (of beef) braised in wine, typically with vegetables. While the first meaning matches the French meaning, the other ...
23
votes
4answers
6k views

“Pissed” vs “Pissed off”

In Australian English there has always been a distinction between "pissed" (intoxicated) and "pissed off" (angry, irritated). I've noticed a trend towards the American usage where "he was really ...
1
vote
2answers
268 views

Word stress in the phrase: I just got here [closed]

I give some context for my question: Question: Have you been waiting long? Answer: I just got here. [aɪ dʒʌst ɡɑt hɪər] When I pronounce the phrase "I just got here" I hear some stress on the word ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Slang word for transferring money from one card to another

Ok, so there is an Online Money Transfer Service. It allows for quick money transfer from one card to another. The advertisement of this service describes how it is convenient for parents to transfer ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

How to pronunce th+s like in paths or months? [duplicate]

I always feel it's kind of hard to pronunce them both, can either of them be dropped or reduced?
0
votes
2answers
44 views

reduce the preposition “at” or not?

I heard the question: "Are you mad at me?" in a youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7GfP7kX9gY pronounced in two different ways: 'ɑr yu 'mæd æt mi? and 'ɑr yu 'mæd ət mi? Sometimes the ...
0
votes
2answers
472 views

“Each of these is” vs. “each of these are”

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 ...
-4
votes
2answers
938 views

“If I didn't have” vs. “if I had not had” for a hypothetical

I wrote: it would never have been possible if i didn't have interest in the least bit but a friend of mine told it is wrong and should be: it would never have been possible if i had not ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

Vocabulary advice for non native English speaker [closed]

I am not native speaker & aiming to work as Software Engineer by the end of this year. To work as engineer in addition to other skills one needs communication skills. I do have problem with this ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

Set the table, or lay the table?

I have read that set is American and that lay is British. But I do not think it is nearly as simple as that. I grew up in rural England in the late 1940s/50s, and we always set the table. In fact ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Has or Have with name? [duplicate]

Which is correct? 1) Has their board voted yet? 2) Have their board voted yet? Or does it depend whether we are using American English (Has their board . . .) or British English (Have their board . ...
1
vote
1answer
158 views

Grammatically correct answer to incorrect question [closed]

I'm just curious what is correct to say in this situation. Let's have a person A which can speak English but not very well (like me). Person A is going to ask me whether I work in company X. But he ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

Are both “How did you” and “Howdja” used?

How did you get here? [ 'haʊ dɪdʒʊ 'gɛt hɪər? ] I took the bus. How did you get here? [ 'haʊdʒə 'gɛt hɪər? ] I took the train. My question: are both "haʊ dɪdʒʊ" and "haʊdʒə" used in American ...
9
votes
5answers
6k views

“Facade” vs. “façade”

I know that both facade and façade are valid in British English. Is that also true for American English? Or should facade be used when writing something for American customers? This is something that ...
-2
votes
1answer
278 views

“Cant fight no more”, is this grammatically correct? [duplicate]

"Cant fight no more", is this grammatically correct? If not, what is the correct way of saying this?
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Which of “chafing at the bit” or “chomping at the bit” is more accepted/proper?

I've used "chafing at the bit" for quite some time, but have also heard "chomping at the bit" as a way to indicate impatience, etc. Which of these two is the more "proper" or accepted variant?
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Stress in the question: How about you?

If I transcribe this question "How about you?" to IPA it looks like: [ haʊ əˈbaʊt yu]. The dictionary shows the word "about" with primary stress on its second syllable but I think in my question it ...
8
votes
1answer
487 views

What's the meaning of “I'm slinging mad volume and fat stacking benjies”?

Recently I was watching the television show Breaking Bad. There's a sentence of dialogue from season 2, episode 6 that confused me: Jesse Pinkman: You got something for me? Skinny Pete: Yeah, ...
16
votes
3answers
12k views

Saying “today morning” to mean “this morning”

As an American, I use the term this morning, but I’ve noticed some Asian Indian coworkers who always say today morning to mean what I mean by this morning. Is this an Indian English “dialectism”? Is ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Does vacillation imply intention or a mind? Can non-intelligent things vacillate?

A friend and I are arguing about this. Does vacillation imply a mind? Can a non-intelligent thing vacillate? In the context of video games my friend mentioned that his ping was vacillating. I argued ...
0
votes
2answers
89 views

Is there a difference between a spigot and a faucet (usage in AmE) [duplicate]

What is a domestic tap called commonly in the US ? -a spigot? a device that controls the flow of liquid from a large container (MW) Dictionary meaning aside, I had this understanding that a ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

is this correct; using lighted rather than lit? [duplicate]

Please help me clarify if this usage of the word "lighted" is correct in the following statement. "I have lighted the candle"
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Is it redundant to say “the plot of the story”?

I'm writing a paper about title cards and title sequences in movies and at one point I say These title cards were also used throughout silent films as they were essential to carrying the plot of ...
2
votes
2answers
75 views

'come rain, blood, or horse manure' American idiom?

Probably some of you, as I am, are familiar with the controversy that surrounded ABC miniseries Amerika (February 1987). ABC president response to that controversy was "we’re going to run that ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

English expression for “Dans la continuité de” in french [closed]

I would like to know how to say this french sentence "Ce projet ce situe dans la continuité d'un travail réalisé auparavant" in english. Is "This project follows on a work realized before" correct ? ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

“Financier” in British and American English

I am teaching English to a group of university students whose major is Finance, and whose native language is not English. I have no background in economics in general or finance in particular. I am ...