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

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5
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3answers
891 views

Why do Americans still call Native Americans “Indians”? [closed]

Why do some Americans still call the indigenous people of the Americas "Indians" when they now know that they're not from India?
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Is “good for you” a sarcastic usage most of time? [closed]

I would like to know what "good for you" mean at most of time. After my own research, I knwe that it could mean "congratulations" and alternatively "would like an award" when speaking sacracsticlly. I ...
1
vote
2answers
74 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

What is the antonym of opposite of “times/multiplied” in this case?

One can say that muscle is 3 times as dense as fat. [citation required] What is the term for the opposite? Fat is 3 times less dense than muscle? That doesn't sound quite right. Is there a better ...
-1
votes
2answers
56 views

What does “I feel friendly” mean?

If I want to express the feeling that other people are very friendly to me, what is the proper way to say it? Is it okay to say:"I feel you are very friendly"? Is there any better way to say so? ...
1
vote
3answers
62 views

Operating System Concept, A Translation is need? [closed]

Who can translate the following sentence in a simple manner? Between garbage collections free space will build up, which cannot be reclaimed until the next time the garbage collector runs. This ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

Words rhyming with “ear” pronounced with the vowel as in “eat”?

For words like ear, year, hear etc., most dictionaries only give the pronunciation /-ɪr/ (with the vowel as in the word it). But I think some native speakers pronounce them /-ir/ (with the vowel as in ...
3
votes
3answers
99 views

“trade” for “business deal; transaction” in North American vernacular

Harrap's New Shorter English-French Dictionary, Ed. 1982, states, trade [...] 2. (b) NAm (i) transaction (commerciale); (ii) clientèle f (d'une maison); carriage trade, grosse clientèle. ...
0
votes
2answers
112 views

One Word : What do you call who chill / relax a lot? [closed]

I need one word for people who chill / party / relax / play games / travel and just chill most of the time. Some Word like 'Freizeit' , but it needs to be used as a noun for persons (eg, traveller, a ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “chaperon” versus “chaperone” a US versus British English thing?

I've noticed that "chaperone" can also be spelt "chaperon", without the "e" at the end. Is this a case of American English simplifying a British English word, or something else? The original French ...
0
votes
0answers
114 views

I wouldn't vs I'd not

I'm defending my word choice to an editor in a novel I've written. There are two points of view: one is a native Irish speaker, and the other, an American born and raised here. They're both eighteen. ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

“available (availability)” vs. “valid (validity)” for “having sufficient power or efficacy” in AmEng vernacular

Per Random House Webster's College Dictionary, Ed. 1991, available suitable or ready for use; of use or service; at hand: I used whatever tools were available. readily obtainable; ...
2
votes
0answers
65 views

What is the difference between “look into” and “look at” when used in figurative meaning? [closed]

Thank you for sending me the introduction of your company. We will "look into"/"look at" it later. What is the difference between "look into" and "look at" when used with a figurative meaning ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

They don't like I spend time alone vs they don't like me spending time alone [duplicate]

"They don't like I spend time alone" I'm not a native speaker but I found this sentence written by non-native speaker kind of awkward and I'm wondering if this sentence is natural or grammatically ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

'Wasn't dressed' vs 'Didn't dress'

I was wondering what is the difference between : She didn't dress properly to the live performance. and She wasn't dressed properly to the live performance. If it's completely identical ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Can I use meet for an online meeting?

I would like to know if I can say "We can meet on Monday or Tuesday" in email as a reply to a sales person's email asking for a couple of days options for an online meeting -- a sort of Skype call. I ...
3
votes
2answers
70 views

what is the meaning of “pro-rate”? [closed]

What does "pro-rate" in following sentence mean? We pro-rate our prices if you join after a session has started does it mean that they reduce the price if I want to enroll after a session has ...
7
votes
2answers
789 views

Nylon bag vs plastic bag

I was buying some carry out and I asked for a nylon bag. The cashier, who is not a native speaker, gave me a look and offered a 'plastic bag', which is what I wanted to begin with. I don't know why I ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

The meaning of “play off” here

"While playing off the hype of the TV show reboot "The X-files," the CIA broke down the cases into two categories, whether you side with Agent Mulder or Agent Scully." I'm studying English and I ...
8
votes
2answers
445 views

What source explains the different pronunciations of “hol” in “alcohol” and “hollow”?

According to Merriam-Webster, the pronunciation of alcohol is "ˈal-kə-ˌhȯl" while the pronunciation of hollow is "ˈhä-(ˌ)lō." Why are they pronounced with different vowels? I think I've figured out ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Does a group have an earache or earaches?

If I have a pain in my ear, I will say "I have an earache." Now what happens if I am talking about more than one person? Would I say "They have an earache", or "They have earaches"?
5
votes
5answers
104 views

What's the more common way to refer to a road with 180° curves?

A hairpin road is a road with hairpin turns or bends. According to Wikipedia: A hairpin bend , named for its resemblance to a hairpin/bobby pin, is a bend in a road with a very acute ...
1
vote
5answers
359 views

Ambiguous meaning of NAmEng sense of “skill” in Harrap's English-French Dictionary

Harrap's New Shorter English-French/French-English Dictionary, Ed. 1982, states, skill n 1. habileté f, adresse f, dextérité f; technical skill, habileté, aptitude f, technique; ...
3
votes
2answers
122 views

“[ball]park” in AmEng vernacular

Are the terms ballpark and park specific to baseball in AmEng, or can they also be used for every which athletic stadium in which ball games like soccer or rugby are played? For example, would a ...
1
vote
3answers
113 views

“crash” vs. “wreck” for [road/air] accident in AmEng

What's the difference between those terms in relation to a road or air accident? crash verb (Aeronautics) to cause (an aircraft) to hit land or water violently resulting in severe damage ...
2
votes
3answers
99 views

“road” vs. “pavement” vs. “roadway” for French “chaussée” [road surface] in AmEng vernacular

What's the difference between those terms? Can they be used just about interchangeably? road: a long, narrow stretch with a leveled or paved surface, made for traveling by motor vehicle, carriage, ...
0
votes
3answers
199 views

more unhealthy vs. unhealthier

First off, I'm not a native speaker but this question isn't about the rules themselves but rather usage in the USA. I learnt that you should say 'unhealthier' (and the Oxford + Longman dictionaries I ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Using For+noun, in conversations

I'm currently studying English in the US and I heard a lot of people start sentences with 'for~'. For me, it sounds like it means 'as for' or 'when it comes to'. Is that right? If so, is it common ...
-1
votes
2answers
70 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
48 views

term or phrase representing a placeholder or variable

How can I express in standard American English that events occur "every X days" or end "after X occurrences" — here, "X" is a placeholder for a variable and unknown quantity — without ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

“All-American” … which usage came first?

In the U.S., "All-American" can mean two things. (1) It can be used as a general phrase, meaning simply clean-cut and middle class. "He's the all-American boy" is a cliché sentence. Note, this usage ...
9
votes
3answers
119 views

What is the etymology of the term “form factor”?

I'm a theoretical physicist, and am doing some work on quantities called form factors. To an expert, a form factor says something about scattering particles from fields. This probably originated from ...
2
votes
3answers
52 views

Who or What for question about statement

For the statement: "Obama is the president of the United States." Which of these questions is considered the most correct? Who is Obama? What is Obama? Basically, my question revolves ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

“tab” for “hotel bill” in AmEng

In AmEng vernacular, is the word tab specific to restaurant and bar checks, or can it also be used for hotel bills? E.g. Guest: We'll be checking out early tomorrow morning, so if it isn't too ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

What are the levels of proficiency in english and the vocubulary subsets at each level [closed]

What are the levels of proficiency in english and the vocubulary subsets at each level. As in how many words should a person know at each level of english proficiency and is there a reference list of ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

What does “within greater [region]” mean? [closed]

If someone says something such as "Within greater Seattle", what does that mean?
5
votes
2answers
263 views

Old, experienced soldier in US slang

In British slang, an "old sweat" is an old, experienced soldier. What is the American equivalent? I don't mean a veteran (someone who's left the military), I mean someone still in service.
9
votes
4answers
361 views

“[a/the] equivalent of” vs. “[a/the] equivalent for” vs. “[a/the] equivalent to”

Which of the following constructs sound more idiomatic to you? Is there any British/American equivalent to the French phrase "broyer du noir"? Is there any British/American equivalent for the ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Whence the BrE “fine tooth-comb” where AmE uses “fine-tooth comb”?

I'm reading a novel set in present-day England, and it's sprinkled with uses of the construction in the title. This is far from the first time I've encountered this in BrE writing, along with general ...
4
votes
1answer
55 views

Which English language groups/cultures would say “I'm going to bed now” while they were already in a bed?

I was reading a discussion on another part of the internet and many of the people involved asserted that it was common to use the phrase "go to bed" for "cease all other activity and go to sleep" even ...
1
vote
1answer
253 views

he got nothing on me. what does this phrase mean?

hi i was listening a song by charlie Puth and he says Superman got nothing on me . what does it mean? thanks
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Using “so isn't” or “so can't” instead of “so is” or “so can”?

Lately I've heard people using what I think to be a negative response to indicate a positive affirmation, like so: Example 1 You can touch the basketball rim? Well so can't I! Example 2 Person A: ...
-3
votes
3answers
42 views

Is this headline concise and clear enough? [closed]

I want to say it like im 5. Essentially, where a 5 year old could be able to comprehend the message. I tried to simplify this line, but I feel it's still a bit complicated. Making deliveries ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

What “appear to be ” means in the given sentence [closed]

Today, while reading a newspaper I came across a sentence that has been baffling me since: The woman, who identified herself as Bhavna and appeared to be in her 20s, .... What does appeared to ...
31
votes
8answers
10k views

When talking to American clients, should I say “smoothie” or “milkshake”?

We have a client visit planned to our service center (in India) and I am in-charge of Food and Beverages for our client's entire itinerary. I am writing to my client's Travel coordinator(an American) ...
4
votes
2answers
98 views

When did “the pub in Bleecker Street” become “the pub on Bleecker Street”?

In the streets is still used universally. As is out in the street. The casual fan of Sir Arthur's writings will recall, of course, that Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson lived in Baker Street: ...while ...
4
votes
15answers
928 views

Opposite idiom for going with the flow

According to the Cambridge dictionary, going with the flow is defined as to do what other ​people are doing or to ​agree with other ​people because it is the ​easiest thing to do. I am writing a paper ...
5
votes
2answers
254 views

“The government 'is' always changing 'their' mind” in AmEng

Why would using the construct "is/their" instead of "is/its" in the following examples likely be frowned upon by some native speakers and marked as incorrect on tests? The class is working on its ...
-1
votes
1answer
33 views

Does this sentence read nice and fluent? [closed]

I bravely overcame the difficulties and succeeded to make my life full of notable accomplishments which include my excellent GPA of 3.98/4 in B.Sc. studies and years of successful academic and work ...
-1
votes
1answer
60 views

English pronunciation of the letter “a” [closed]

I heard the letter a was pronounced /ei/, and sometimes it was pronounced as /ə/. So, can you tell me when is it pronounced as /ei/, and when as /ə/?