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

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1
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3answers
8k views

Synonyms / slang words in American English to express “I am very excited for something”? [closed]

In British English we can say "I am keen to do something with you". Also: "Would you like to go to a concert?" A: "I'm keen for that!". What are some equivalents in American English? Is it "I want to ...
11
votes
9answers
2k views

American Equivalent of “Bog Standard”

I'm searching for an American English phrase that is the most readily equivalent to the British expression bog standard (which means, as I understand, plain, ordinary or unremarkable). I'm tempted to ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

Is “jux” a real word?

Urbandictionary.com says it means: To rob. Verb. Present tense of juxt. It has 342 votes but I can't find any evidence of actual usage on a google or COCA search.
8
votes
8answers
7k views

“Skipping rope” vs. “jump rope”

Well it is summer time and I have to lose some weight so I have chosen the cardiovascular activity to do that jumping rope. While digging on some information I have asked myself a few questions: Why ...
1
vote
2answers
886 views

Punctuating Quoted Questions in a Parenthetical Clause [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I punctuate around quotes? What do you do when you end the first part of a compound sentence with a quote? Comma placement when using quotes that end with a ...
1
vote
2answers
16k views

Ways to express “Thank you” in English [closed]

I am wondering how many expressions in English can express "Thank you" (I am just running out of them) Thank you (very much) or Thanks. Many thanks! I appreciate it indeed! Thanks a million! I can'...
17
votes
1answer
12k views

Trapezium/trapezoid — why are the US/UK definitions swapped around?

These are the US definitions... Trapezoid — a 4-sided flat shape with straight sides that has a pair of opposite sides parallel. Trapezium — a 4-sided flat shape with straight sides and NO parallel ...
1
vote
3answers
450 views

Usage of the word 'burlesque'

Here, in the place where I am being hosted, almost every evening there is an event usually called "burlesque". Is "burlesque" normally used by Americans? How is the word used generally? In what ...
8
votes
5answers
88k views

how to reply to Howdy

I hear from people greet saying "howdy". I guess that is short form of how do you do. I normally reply that "I am good and how are you doing?". Is there cultural specific reply that would give more ...
1
vote
2answers
527 views

Correct pronunciation of “Can”

How to correctly pronounce word "can" in British English and in American English? Here's somehow related answer but it is more about differences between "can" and "can't", and I'm interested how to ...
9
votes
2answers
124k views

Why do British people pronounce “Ibiza” as “Ibitha”?

My brief overseas experience in Great Britain has taught me that British people tend to pronounce Ibiza as Ibitha. My questions are as follows: Why is this the case? How did this develop? What are ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Do Americans pronounce “Ellen” and “Alan” in the same way?

Do Americans pronounce "Ellen" and "Alan" in the same way? I am especially concerned with the first vowel. EDIT: Here is a quote that may be a case in point: Being a Brit also, the names "Ellen" ...
2
votes
1answer
759 views

Where did the idiom “scot-free” come from? [closed]

As in, that criminal got off scot-free despite a mountain of evidence that would seem to indicate his guilt.
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Convolve vs. convolute

I understand that for common usage these words have distinct meanings. However in mathematics there is a process called convolution, and sometimes you hear "you need to convolve X" and sometimes "you ...
9
votes
1answer
388 views

What are the correct spelling and regional distribution of “X, schmX” to indicate dismissiveness (e.g., “evidence, schmevidence”)?

There is a curious construct in American English in which a word is stated and then repeated with the prefix "schm-" or "shm-" in order to indicate the speaker's dismissive attitude toward a concern ...
5
votes
6answers
940 views

What is the origin of the -ass speech?

I am spending one month in the US and it seems that everything is "big ass", "lame ass", and "crazy ass". What is the purpose of modifying every adjective with "ass"? Is this an Americanism or some ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is it 'speaking'/'speech' instead of 'speeking'/'speech' or 'speaking'/'speach'?

Why is it speaking/speech instead of speeking/speech or speaking/speach?
0
votes
2answers
514 views

Explanation of sentence [closed]

I don't understand this sentence.... I know the meaning of all words except distinct... I looked in dictionary.. but I don't understand..:/ Output the number of distinct values when considered MOD 42,...
4
votes
1answer
218 views

Why use “constitutionality” instead of “constitutional”? [closed]

This morning I heard the word "constitutionality" being used by a journalist with regard to the debate over the legality of health care reforms here in the US. This grates on my British ears as I ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How should I describe 2:45?

What is the most common way to express 2:45, using quarter, in the US? Quarter of three? Quarter to three? Quarter till three?
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Distinctive features of English diphthongs

I am looking for a table of distinctive features for English dipthongs along the lines of that available for other vowels here. I don't trust my purely book learned linguistic skills to produce an ...
-2
votes
1answer
4k views

English phrases/expressions and their meanings [closed]

In English we have expressions/phrases that come from the combination of two or more words, conjunctions, etc. These expressions have their own metaphorical meanings, which could be used in specific ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “E-Z” mean?

Is it an abbreviation or is it used instead "A-Z"? I have seen it being used multiple places: E-Z cook oven E-Z Hiscores
4
votes
1answer
12k views

“Have a breakfast” or “eat a breakfast” in AmE

Which expression do Americans prefer, have a breakfast or eat a breakfast?
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Go on/to the web page [closed]

Which is the correct way to say this? "Please go on the home page to register" or "Please go to the home page to register"?
3
votes
3answers
18k views

“If I go..” vs. “If I will go..” referring to the future [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Future tense in conditional clauses Which one is correct? option 1: If I go there, I can meet her or option 2: If I will go there, I can meet her I clearly ...
2
votes
1answer
507 views

How to specify dates in a U.S. résumé?

What is the correct (or at least preferred) way of formatting dates in a résumé whenever you don't need to specify a day? For example, I am using the format “May 2011”, but I don’t know whether I ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

British versus American English? [closed]

Anyone know how much of the world uses British versus American English?
1
vote
4answers
3k views

What do you call the base amount for a loan, investment etc?

If I get a mortgage from the bank I pay interest every month, same when I invest money, I make profit every year. How do you call the actual amount I invested or borrowed? It's *__ + interest* or *...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I spell “subdistrict”?

Geographically, there are voting districts, taxing districts, and school districts. There are also subdistricts. I have found different spellings of this word (subdistrict, sub district, sub-district)....
-1
votes
1answer
107 views

How do I improve on this question from the suggestion given? [closed]

I wrote: How do we visualize something that is a independent of experience? How do we visualize green for example without ever seeing it? We can describe it through language but we would never have ...
1
vote
2answers
195 views

“Summoning something into life” vs. “summoning something to life”

What is the difference between the following? Summoning ... into life Summoning ... to life If it helps, I want to use the word idea in the place of dots so it's like: Summoning ...
37
votes
6answers
114k views

What is the difference between dialogue and dialog?

I am American, and I always thought the difference between dialogue and dialog was one of meaning, the way Merriam-Webster has them listed: 2 entries found: dialogue (noun) dialog box (...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Order of preposition in US and UK English

In Britain we'd say He had a black hat on. Speakers of American English are more likely to say* He had on a black hat. The latter just seems wrong to me. Is my intuition correct or are ...
1
vote
4answers
32k views

What does “deader than a doornail” mean? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does “dead as a door nail” mean? What does "deader than a doornail" mean? I've read the word plenty of times but don't know the meaning to it.
3
votes
3answers
516 views

Is “Most of the world does not distinguish captions from subtitles” true?

In the wikipedia article about closed captioning one reads Most of the world does not distinguish captions from subtitles. In the United States and Canada, these terms do have different meanings, ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Mixing British and American spellings in writing [closed]

I like color more than colour, but I like favourite more than favorite. For me it is better to write My favourite color is blue. Is it wrong to mix British and American spellings in writing, and ...
4
votes
8answers
14k views

How to answer “Is this John?” on phone

What is the most appropriate answer (American way)? Yes, John speaking. Yes, it is him. Yes, it is he. Yes. Yes, speaking. I need to answer calls when interviewers/hiring managers call....
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Does “fare” apply to non-persons?

If one pays for transportation of oneself a fare has been paid. What is paid if the transportation is of a non-person object (a parcel, a letter, a vegetable, a box of rocks)?
1
vote
3answers
877 views

How exactly to pronounce 'alphabetical' and 'pharmaceutical' in American English [closed]

How does one pronounce 'alphabetical' and 'pharmaceutical' in American English? Is it phar•ma•ceu•di•cal or phar•ma•ceu•i•cal? And is it al•pha•bet•di•cal or al•pha•bet•i•cal? Do you pronounce 'ti' ...
10
votes
6answers
6k views

What are the percentages of the parts of speech in English?

What are the percentages of the parts of speech in English? For instance, what percent of English is comprised of nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.? I have done an extensive web search using a ...
0
votes
1answer
249 views

What's the proper synonym for purchase when used in real-estate context?

How to say Buying Price Purchase Price You name it Note, I need the 'buying' term, as opposed to Sale Price. It's for a form where the user should fill in how much he paid for the apartment and ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the difference between “Yours sincerely” and “Sincerely yours”?

I have read online that "Yours sincerely" is British English and "Sincerely yours" is American English. Is this true? Or is the difference in formality? I think the first one is more formal and the ...
8
votes
6answers
64k views

'Expired' or 'Passed away'?

When someone dies, do we say they expired or passed away? Does the word expired give any more respect when used? Or less respect than passed away?
-1
votes
3answers
13k views

Is 'smth' a correct abbreviation in American English?

How common is the usage of 'smth' in American English as an abbreviation of 'something'?
4
votes
2answers
444 views

Does “Stop aping!” sound natural?

A teenager is acting in a very silly and annoying way making faces and rapidly changing his postures. His father gets really annoyed by it and tells him "Stop aping!" Does "Stop aping!" go okay here ...
4
votes
3answers
755 views

Usage and confusion on “geek” and “hipster”

Within the circle I regularly communicate with the meaning of these words is commonly understood: Geek - someone with an obsessive interest in one field. Hipster - someone who ironically apes geek ...
17
votes
5answers
11k views

ON an American street, but IN a British one. Do the twain ever meet?

In the United States, we say that someone lives on a street, whereas I've noticed that British people say in. For instance: Bubba lives on Washington Street. Colin lives in Cavendish Avenue. I ...
-2
votes
2answers
852 views

Pronunciation of “xenophobia,” “xenon,” and “Xena” [closed]

I've heard all of the above words with X as zeh. Is that an American English thing? What's the correct way to pronounce each word?
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Use of “pence” to refer to sum of money

I encountered an article on Dictionary.com that says that pennies are not used to refer to a sum of money but rather the coins themselves. It went on to say that the term pence was used to refer to a ...