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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
1answer
57 views

Is “hats-led society” grammatically correct and does it convey the right message?

It's a strange phrase indeed. It's from a foreign phrase. There's a period where a slogan "hats lead the society to become a superpower" was in effect. *Edit I think I should have given historical ...
2
votes
0answers
10 views

Special cases for adding an (s) in parenthesis to show one or more of something [duplicate]

Often times "(s)" is added to the end of a word to represent one or more of something: "He saved the file(s)." What do you do when the plural of the word is not created by simply adding an "s?" ...
8
votes
4answers
970 views

What does the slang word “can” mean?

What does the slang word can mean in the following sentences: Hey guys, do you know where the can is around here? I can't make make it to the phone; tell them I am in the can. Finally, our planning ...
-1
votes
3answers
60 views

What, exactly are “is”, “has”, “was”,etc [closed]

He is here. She was absent. He has returned. Apparently, these are tense-base verbs, but there's surely a more academic term for them. I am not a grammar, so I seek the aid of StackExchange.
9
votes
5answers
1k views

What does the phrase “What's your bag?” mean?

What does the phrase "What's your bag?" mean in the following 2 sentences: I tweeted to the Yahoo help center, and they replied: - Hey man, what's your bag? At a party, someone asked me: ...
6
votes
2answers
837 views

Where does “noogie” come from?

The OED says noogie means a "hard poke or grind with the knuckles, esp. on a person's head" with a first quotation from 1968. They say it was popularised by Saturday Night Live in the late 1970s but ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Examples for intelligent, brillant, smart, talented, wisdom and genius?

Out of the terms intelligent, brilliant, smart, talented, wisdom, genius Which are the ones that are natural (by genetics) and which are the ones that are developed by practice? Also, which are the ...
4
votes
3answers
191 views

Must “Eldest” Always Apply To People?

If you have a collection of things that are related to one another, can you use "eldest" to denote the oldest, or should that term only be used with respect to people? Another question on this site: ...
0
votes
3answers
365 views

Associates vs employees

I've noted that some US companies call people working for them "associates," rather than "employees." (I've seen that term in less-than-stellar retail and fast-food chains) What would be the ...
3
votes
1answer
245 views

Meaning of the slang Boo

The following paragraph is from the story of Billy, Sally, and Joe: Billy and Sally were inside a dark room. - Billy yelled "Boo" and scared Sally. Then, Joe came in. - Hey, boo, come over ...
-7
votes
1answer
750 views

What does “can you not do it?” mean?

This sounds like "you cannot do it" to me, but according to the context, I was wondering if this means "cannot you do it?". Which understanding is correct?
0
votes
2answers
69 views

Is “Apprentice” mainly a European term?

Apprentices, sorta like trainees who are skilled but need a bit of training and experience before making the commitment to employ them. When I did a bit of research, I observe that "apprentices" were ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Technique of pronouncing the rhotic “r”

I, as a German native speaker, have two "techniques" of pronouncing the rhotic "r." I describe them as follows: I move my tongue upward, so it touches the upper row of my teeth and then just make a ...
2
votes
5answers
965 views

What's it called when someone is trying to end a conversation?

Everyone does the thing where while speaking to someone you'll start inching away in order to end the conversation. Or you'll say something thats a conversation ender like "time to get back to work" ...
-1
votes
2answers
58 views

How can I say a job which completes 70-80%? [closed]

In English, if a job completed 100%, then I will say it is Completely done If it is done about 50 %, we will say partially complete How about case if it done about 60% to 70% or 70 to ...
6
votes
4answers
988 views

The term 'vocal fry': where does it come from?

On a recent Language Log posting Vocal fry: "creeping in" or "still here"?, Mark Liberman discusses an (also) recent article about the phenomenon of 'vocal fry' and shows how it has been around for ...
4
votes
2answers
700 views

Most apt word for “sexual humour”

What is the most apt word to describe sexual humour in a movie?
3
votes
3answers
129 views

What does this phrase mean: “they just can't keep their hands off the cookie jar”?

What does the following sentence mean? They just can’t keep their hands off the cookie jar (or outta the cookie jar) I came across this sentence in a movie. The context is racism and the social ...
0
votes
0answers
10 views

“When will you be leaving”, Why? when the subject is Person! [duplicate]

My confusion about The correct sentence is when will you be leaving. but i don't know why they use "will be leaving" instead of "will leave"? Many thanks.
7
votes
1answer
33k views

Plural for “photo”?

What's the proper plural for "photo" - "photos", "photoes", or it is generally desired to rephrase the whole thing and stick with "photographs", "images", "shots", "pictures", etc? As for usage ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

I am having difficulty structuring the following sentence based on the following words

I want to ensure that the following words are conveyed in the sentence: Competency Cultural-fit Inclusion (inside of culture) My attempt has been the following, but I feel it could be ...
5
votes
2answers
110 views

“Turkey Day” 100 years ago

I've perceived an uptick in the use of "Turkey Day" to refer to Thanksgiving, and I ran a basic sanity Check against Google Ngrams. It seems to be on the rise since about 1970, but I also noticed a ...
0
votes
1answer
137 views

Is the idiom “as neat as a pin” an American phrase?

I'm editing a novel set in 1930s England, written by an American author, and have been editing out any Americanisms I come across. I just read a line of dialogue containing the idiom "as neat as a ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Rephrase the Sentence [closed]

I have a picture that I am trying to give a caption to. Following is what I have come up with, but it just not sounding right. It's picture of San Francisco downtown in the background and bay in the ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

Is this grammatical? [closed]

Could you tell us what's your favorite Google Chrome extensions? , The ones that you are using regularly and the ones that are cool no matter how much you use it or how popular it is.
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Why is the past tense of text, as used by some people, pronounced “text-ted” and not just “tested”?

Why is the past tense of text, as used by some people, pronounced text-Ted and not just tested? One wouldn't say risk-ked for risked, or ask-ked for asked?
3
votes
2answers
175 views

In which countries would “tags” be understood to mean “License plates and stickers that show the registration is currently valid”?

On our sister site a user recently used the term "tags" in relation to taxis in China. I thought it might man some kind of official authorization to operate a taxi. But upon clarification I was told ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

What is the meaning of ground truth?

I am reading the paper : http://mi-lab.org/files/2014/10/FlexSense_web.pdf . I have problems understanding use of ground truth the following : Main Pipeline Reconstructing the full 3D surface ...
0
votes
2answers
43 views

Is “FOIL”, used as a verb, understandable outside New York State?

FOIA = Freedom of Information Act (federal U.S. law) FOIL = Freedom of Information Law (New York State) From this, I have frequently heard and read FOIL used as a verb, by journalists and ...
0
votes
1answer
146 views

Earlier in the day meaning? [closed]

Today ,while reading news paper I came across the sentence "she had gone shopping earlier in the day " ....what does it mean ......? My conjecture "yesterday ?
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Out or out of which is it? [duplicate]

Which is correct 1 Get out the house. Or 2 Get out of the house? I've heard that the American English standard is the first one and the British English standard is the second one. Is that true? The ...
0
votes
1answer
16 views

How should I capitalize “on which” using headline-style capitalization?

How should I capitalize on which in the headline The Construction of Those Terms on which the Parties Agree?
-3
votes
2answers
79 views

How do i communicate this sentence clearly, and concisely? [closed]

I am trying to see if this sentence alone is grammatically correct and makes sense, or if i need to further elaborate with supplementary sentences in order to provide more clarity. All of the ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

How can I rewrite the sentence in professional way?

I have a sentence. Could you help me to rewrite it more professional way? Thanks The advantage of these methods is that guarantee to achieve a good optimal solution, and thus these methods are ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Where did the phrase “Holy Toledo” come from?

I was reading online and noticed this phrase in the comments. Holy Toledo What is the origin of this phrase?
1
vote
5answers
82 views

How can I describe the intersection between a circle and a curve?

I have a curve C and a point x in the curve. At the point x, I draw a circle B with radius r and centered at point x. That circle B will cut/intersection (with) the curve C as red sub-curve line. I ...
0
votes
2answers
660 views

What is British biscuit called in America? Cookie?! Cracker?

You find in dictionaries (OED for example) that what the British call biscuit, is called cookie or cracker in America. But, British biscuits are like these: while American cookies are like ...
0
votes
4answers
61 views

bigotry, with or without prejudice

Is prejudice required to be bigotry? big·ot·ry ˈbiɡətrē/ noun intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself So, if you like having sex with little kids and in your ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Changing usage of past-perfect constructions in American and British usage

I notice a great many American speakers using the construction had loved as a preterite, that is, a simple past tense. I also hear the simple past tense used in instances in which I was taught to use ...
11
votes
2answers
923 views

When do you use middle and when center?

The other day I was talking to a friend about when to use "middle" or "center". I was using it in the context of top, middle, bottom, as a listing, and he suggested it should be top, center, bottom. ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

A few questions about American-English vocabulary [closed]

There are a few terms I would like to use and am not sure if they are acceptable in American English. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! "the gormless expression on his face". My US English ...
-1
votes
1answer
45 views

What's the different between “kind of” and “sort of” in English [duplicate]

What's the different between "kind of" and "sort of" in American informal English?
16
votes
4answers
7k views

When will “Present Perfect vs. Past Tense” cases be affected by culture?

Regarding actions taken in the past, besides the differences those two tenses have semantically, my teacher shared that it could be a British vs American English case. When talking about past ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

“Sport” vs “Sports” Origin

I was recently reading this article on the use of "math" vs. "maths" as a collective noun (Americans use the former, Brits the latter). However, the trend seen in "math/maths" is reversed in ...
20
votes
7answers
13k views

Can or should “ask” ever be used as a noun?

"The ask is that you provide me with..." I started hearing "ask" being used as a noun a few years ago. Is this a recent trend? Is it an East Coast thing, unique to North America, or just unique to ...
15
votes
6answers
12k views

Why do Americans say “tuna fish”?

I mean, it's not like there is a tuna vegetable or animal that it can be confused with.
0
votes
3answers
41 views

Is there a word to decsribe what appears to be social ignorance?

I am trying to come up with a way to describe a person that denies they have a problem due to the large number of people in society that follow the same beliefs. Very confusing.. stay with me here. ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Meaningless “Do” And the supposed relationship between English and the Celtic languages [duplicate]

The verb "do" often serves a meaningless purpose in questions. John McWhorter argues in his book "Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue" that this is a direct influence of the Celtic languages. In all of my ...
4
votes
1answer
129 views

How do I ask a waitress to “wrap the rest of the food up” to bring home?

I went to a restaurant for a meal and didn't manage to finish it, so there was some food leftover. How do you politely ask a server/waiter/waitress to wrap the food up? And is the expression "wrap ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

I'm a Non-English man [closed]

Can anyone help me learn English properly? I'm a programmer from Bangladesh. I suffer a lot due to my bad English. Can anyone help me to start learning English?