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

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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
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1answer
71 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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2answers
163 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?
1
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2answers
66 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"?
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2answers
98 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 ...
1
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0answers
36 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.
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
110 views

Is there a word for the inability to hear a distinction between certain vowel sounds?

I cannot hear the distinction between certain sets of vowel sounds. Normally the words in each of these sets (and of several others) all sound identical to me: Don, Dawn; marry, merry, Mary; ah, awe; ...
1
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1answer
122 views

“Opposite of (someone/something)” for “across from/opposite” in nonstandard colloquial prose

Consider the following quotes (emphasis mine). For a split second, I meet eyes with an older man standing in a still gaze just opposite of me amidst the sudden chaos. source Taking a seat ...
29
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8answers
5k views

Why do Americans add “The” in front of a team name, but the British do not?

I'm not certain that there is an answer to this one: Americans refer to our teams as The Example: The New York Yankees The British in my experience do not. Example: Manchester United I ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

“Trace” as a synonym for “trail” in AE

As far as AE is concerned, does "trace" mean just about the same as "trail" in "break/blaze a trace", and -- if indeed it does -- can "trace" be used pretty much interchangeably in every which literal ...
1
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2answers
64 views

What is 'Shrove Tuesday' called in protestant parts of the USA?

In England, and countries where the Anglican church has predominated, the Tuesday before Lent is known as 'Shrove Tuesday' from the word 'shrive' (to confess), which is what people traditionally did ...
4
votes
1answer
170 views

Why don't Americans refer to Indians (and others from the subcontinent) as Asians?

I know there is a related question here, but I am not seeing an answer to "Why is there a difference?" Merely that an explanation of what is used in each country. I am a speaker of American English, ...
1
vote
4answers
70 views

Nouns as verbs, Brits and Yanks: ID cards

I find it interesting that not only do British and American English speakers both use the noun 'ID card' as a verb in the context of (trying to be in a position of) purchasing age-restricted items, ...
0
votes
5answers
146 views

My English is inefficient. How can I fix this?

Lately I've noticed that my English is inefficient and it makes me sound inarticulate at best. (Uneducated at worst.) Here is an example. Today I told my younger cousin this: You shouldn't make ...
0
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2answers
94 views

"Why are you still in my office? VS Why do you still in my office? [closed]

What is the difference between those questions and which one is the correct form?
1
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3answers
71 views

Word for sharing or to encourage sharing

Is there any other word for sharing? or to encourage sharing? Thanks in advance. Edit: I need to write something to encourage sharing information. (Let's share our experiences - something like ...
4
votes
9answers
1k views

Is it really rude to use the terms “the john” and “the loo” in lieu of “the restroom”?

I usually use the term "restroom" (or "toilet" if I want to make sure that everyone in the Czech Republic understands me at once), and, while I've always understood that the terms "john" and "loo" are ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

How can I dedicate something to my family and make a special note of my wife?

In a formal media article that describes my achievements, I want to say something like the following: I want to dedicate this achievement/award to my family and especially to my wife for all the ...
1
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1answer
144 views

Proper address for married couple when husband is a Jr

I have been unable to find a complete answer to my question in any source I have consulted. I want to make a donation in memory of my deceased parents. I would like to use both of their first names ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

Does “moonlighting” have a negative or neutral connotation?

We all agree that "moonlighting" denotes having a second job. However, Merriam-Webster and Oxford Advanced Learner's don't define it in exactly the same way. For example, Merriam-Webster attaches a ...
0
votes
3answers
63 views

what's the meanings of unplugged?

English is my second language and I'm wondering what's the exactly meaning of "somebody unplugged"? Such as "Joe Biden unplugged"?
0
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1answer
70 views

Pronunciations for “Either” [duplicate]

In general, EFL students are taught the two main ways of pronouncing the determiner "either" are the British [ˈaɪðə] and the American [ˈiːðər] varieties. However, I've repeatedly heard from specific ...
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2answers
62 views

“Put over” for “put off” in AE

In AE, can "put over" interchange with "put off" in the sense "postpone" in all contexts, or only in some specific ones? I'm all the more anxious to know the answer as I didn't get any hits searching ...
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2answers
143 views

Does “none the more…” mean “far from (being)…” in American English?

I'm familiar with the somewhat colloquial turn of phrase "nowhere near as ... as" / "not anywhere near as ... as" to say "far from being as ... as". However, I'm a little less familiar with the ...
6
votes
4answers
326 views

How is justice served?

Serve is a ditransitive verb: “I served him; I served him dinner.” Dinner is served when it is delivered; and a person is served when food is placed in front of him. In which sense is justice served ...
2
votes
4answers
167 views

What do Americans call a 'double-barrelled surname'?

I refer to someone whose family name is, for example Fortescue-Smith; or Birchall Hughes. Sometimes they are hyphenated, sometimes not. But they are known in Britain as 'double-barrelled'. One senses ...
2
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2answers
132 views

I work “in a grocery store” or “at a grocery store” [duplicate]

I am not a native speaker but both sounds good to me. Which one should be more accurate or in fact correct.
0
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0answers
80 views

“Order something done” for “Order something to be done” [duplicate]

As far as your variety of English goes, can the verbal turn "order something done" be used interchangeably with "order something to be done"? "We ordered this item sent to our local store." ...
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votes
1answer
71 views

“Absolutely” and “definitely” in AE and BE

Is "absolutely" as used colloquially in "You're absolutely wrong/right!" or "Absolutely!" more typical to AE than BE? Parallelwise, is "definitely" the preferred term in BE to express such ...
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votes
1answer
81 views

Verbal constructions with “on” in colloquial AE

Are verbal constructions with "on" somewhat more typical of AE than BE? e.g. beat (up) on someone, miss out on something, pass up on something, check (up) on something, catch up on something, ...
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votes
1answer
93 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 ? ...
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votes
1answer
63 views

“…Enough that one can do” for “…enough to do” in AE [closed]

In AE, can the phrasal turn "...enough that one can do" be used interchangeablyn with "...enough to do" in just about every which context? Sam is spiritually strong enough that he can stand with ...
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votes
1answer
63 views

“Show someone through” for “show someone around” in AE [closed]

Just wondering, can "show through" be used interchangeably with "show around" in AE? "Trained docents will be delighted to show you through the house." http://www.hewhs.com/museum/
0
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2answers
51 views

“Come through with” for “come up with” in AE

Does come through with sound like a perfectly acceptable idiomatic alternative to come up with? "He came through with an answer, not immediately, that made so much sense." – source
2
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3answers
61 views

How do Americans pronounce the word 'progression'?

In British English, we pronounce the word 'progress' as pro—gress. Whereas in American English it's pronounced as prog—ress. So how would Americans pronounce the word 'progression'? It ...
3
votes
4answers
571 views

Which is correct: “I’m done” or “I have finished”?

Which of these alternatives is grammatically correct? I’m done. or I have finished Like I’m done sounds very American, but is it grammatically correct?
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2answers
97 views

British and other English variants of 'write to me' - 'write me'' [duplicate]

In British English, the standard is 'write to me'. In American English the standard is 'write me'. Similar variants exist with 'out of the window' and 'out the window'. When did the dropping of ...
0
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1answer
92 views

What does it mean when someone writes “Feel free to message me?” [closed]

Whats the meaning of it? Thanks in advance.
2
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2answers
68 views

Should “Ms.” be used in a document meant to be translated?

The honorific 'Ms.' is very useful in US English, but I can't find any authority on what the equivalent might be in other cultures and languages. Has this reached (say) Indian English? If I use it in ...
0
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3answers
60 views

What does “tearing your résumé apart in a way” mean?

I asked a résumé checker to check my résumé and she gave me the following answer: When you look at the below list of issues, you'll probably think I'm tearing your resume apart. I guess I am, in a ...
1
vote
1answer
193 views

Is American English more archaic or more modern than British English?

I insist that someone do something. (used more in American English, says Michael Swan's Practical English Use , for instance) versus I insist that someone should do somehting. (used more ...
0
votes
3answers
124 views

Is British English Outdated in Technical Writing?

I learnt English as my second language right from my school level and for the British colonial history of my country, my education was mostly in British English. In fact, during my school years, ...
1
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1answer
54 views

Variant pronunciation of “obesity”

A question mainly for Americans: Could you please confirm if some Americans indeed pronounce the "e" of "obesity" as the "ea" of "steady" rather than the "ee" of "bee" (o-be-si-ty instead of ...
3
votes
3answers
123 views

The word “geriatric”

Would you say describing somebody as "geriatric" is offensive? I think it's neutral in American English, but the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary describes it as "informal" and "offensive".
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votes
4answers
113 views

How to address people [closed]

How I can correctly address people, clients? Can I use words such as: "can you", "you are can" or "Hello" or "Hi" or "Hello, sir" etc. How people addressed people in old-English?
0
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1answer
86 views

Correct English Grammar [closed]

Based on this message: I hope you consider my application has awaken your interest and I am looking forward for a meeting with you to explain deeply of myself. The message is used in the end ...
1
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2answers
129 views

Where is the word “cutlery” in common usage

During a trip to the US I realised that many Americans have never heard the word cutlery before ... however some have. Where in the English speaking world (and in particular where in the US) is this ...
0
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0answers
31 views

What does “this industry blows” mean? [duplicate]

I am not a native English speaker and wondering what it means if somebody says 'this industry blows'.