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

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0
votes
3answers
92 views

Meaning of “exactly” in casual conversation

My question involves a group text conversation between friends whom are all native english speakers. Friend A began the conversation with a photograph of himself dressed up for a night on the town, ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

speech balloon vs speech bubble usage and meaning

I am from the UK, and am not familiar with the term "speech balloon". I have always used and heard "speech bubble" instead. Are the 2 meanings the same? Is there some kind of difference in ...
2
votes
2answers
146 views

His “get-up-and-go” is likely to have “got-up-and-gone” Any hidden meaning in this comment?

I once overheard a conversation between two young women on a long distance flight and one of them said: "He is past seventy, you know. His get-up-and-go is likely to have got-up-and gone." And they ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

“I” vs. “me” question

I was born in United States but at a young age my parents decided to take me and my siblings to Turkey. It looks right to me, but my English teacher always (and I mean always) points out mistakes ...
9
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is stainless steel “stainless”?

Inox steel is stainless because it does not stain, but is stain the same thing as rust? I just want to understand since stain reminds me of clothing stains, for instance, and I am rather curious as to ...
-1
votes
1answer
29 views

Third-party or third party? [duplicate]

Does British English use a dash in between third-party, or is that for American English?
2
votes
3answers
104 views

Does the phrase “espoused narrative” make sense?

Recently I've been told my usage of this term is incorrect, but I've seen it being used often enough. Context I've pulled from google "This may well also allow the EU to illegitimate these ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Difference between 'created by' and 'created from'

I am writing an essay and I was stuck in the middle of it because I was wondering if I should use from or by in this sentence: 'Incapable to detect that his own circumstances are created by/from his ...
1
vote
1answer
565 views

What does “yeah” mean in American? [closed]

Often I talk with people and they say "yeah". What do they mean? I'm only in USA recently and everyone says "yeah". I gather it means "yes", but I also hear "yeah" when it doesn't mean "yes"?
5
votes
8answers
3k views

How to choose between British and American English for technical documents

I'm not a native English speaker. I'm Italian and I'm doing my thesis in the Netherlands. I have to write technical documents for non-native English speakers, so I didn't receive any advice for ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Clarifying the usage of “hella”

The word hella has spread from the Southern California dialect to the point where most varieties of American English speaker (such as me in the Midwest) know that it exists and hear it used. I always ...
17
votes
12answers
9k views

American vs. British English: meaning of “One hundred and fifty”

I've noticed that Americans do not say "and" when speaking numbers: for example, 150 would be pronounced "one hundred fifty". I and most other British-English speakers would pronounce it "one hundred ...
17
votes
3answers
657 views

The origins and usages of “waffle”

Scottish dogs used to waff American voters waffled in 2000 British politicians “waffle on” for hours And Swedish children eat them on March 25th Waffle nowadays has basically three meanings: ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

In search of a word: Contingent but without fail

I'm in search of a certain word which I cannot find in the dictionary or the internet, but I found something like it. The word is contingent. con·tin·gent (kn-tnjnt) adj. Liable to ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Plugging in a list of words into a phrase

I'm writing a sentence that uses a plugged list of words into my main phrase. I think I picked this up from reading stuff that used a similar construction(?) but I'm not sure if it's ...
0
votes
2answers
89 views

Compelled and compeled - American English

As for the British English it's always taught - compel, compelled, compelling Some of the books/dictionaries say that in American English you say compel, compeled, compeling instead, you simply don't ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

What would be 1850's equivalent of slang praise for being audacious?

What might an 1850's working class American man say as praise to another man for being really audacious such as equivalent of "You crazy mf" or "crazy ass"?
3
votes
2answers
79 views

Geographical Usage of “Mate”

I was wondering where the term, "mate," is most popular? When I think of the term, "mate," I think of Australia and England, but I was wondering if anyone else has some input on this. Mate here is ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

“to bath” vs “to bathe”

Recently, I came across the verb to bathe written as bath in two Italian textbooks. The first time I saw it, I dismissed it as a typographical error and told my private student that the verb was ...
-1
votes
1answer
38 views

The word foresaw and its morphemes

I need help with the word foresaw. I know that the morphemes for foresaw are {fore} and {saw} but what kind of morpehmes are they (derivational/inflection) and what are their category and function
0
votes
1answer
99 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, ...
0
votes
2answers
213 views

“Pretty good” vs. “pretty bad”

What is the difference between using "pretty bad" and "pretty good" in this kind of slang context? It seems to be more of an American English quirk. Looks like you hurt your leg pretty bad ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Is the use of the word 'hence' improper in business writing?

I'm a professional technical writer. I used the word 'hence' in my conclusions a couple of times. The client (from Canada) let me know that it sounds like something straight out of a "Shakespeare ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

What's the best way to get rid of international accents? [closed]

I have lived in the United States for more than five years now, and I am over 20 years old. Although I do not have that many problems with my verbal or written skills, it is not hard for people to ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Use Schedule and Timetable together

The context is a course scheduling and the process in creating one: course scheduling. I have looked up, that schedule is typically used American English and timetable is typically used in British ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Point of difficulty in how punctuation should be handled in and around quotations relating to software logging statements

I sent an e-mail to somebody in the office this morning that had to do with some logging statements in our software, and I wasn't quite sure how to handle commas and such around the quotation marks. ...
15
votes
8answers
6k views

When did the term “flip flop” displace the term “thong” in North America for a type of sandal?

To Australians like me "thong" means a kind of sandal such as recently repopularized by the Havaianas brand but we know it means a kind of G-string in other English-speaking parts of the world. To ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

What's the meaning of “unplugged”?

English is my second language and I'm wondering what's the exactly meaning of "somebody unplugged"? Such as "Joe Biden unplugged"?
4
votes
3answers
237 views

OED Appeals: Antedatings of “party animal”

The OED has made a public appeal for help in tracing the history of some English words, including: party animal noun earlier than 1982 When the OED added its entry for party animal, ...
1
vote
2answers
169 views

what is the opposite of cynical? [closed]

How would you describe a person who is the total opposite of cynical? I thought of 'idealistic' or 'straightforward' but they don't seem right.
33
votes
6answers
86k views

“Oriented” vs. “orientated”

What are the origins of the word orientated? As far as I know, the correct spelling is oriented and orientated is not an alternative spelling but an error that is in common use. Is it for example ...
1
vote
3answers
553 views

Difference between floor and storey

I've read once about "x stories" .. Want to know if there is any difference between storey and floors. Or they are just alias for each other used in difference variations of english language ?
8
votes
5answers
7k views

What's the equivalent phrase in the UK for “I plead the fifth”?

In the United States, a person under examination on the witness stand may "plead the fifth" to avoid self-incrimination. In other words, a person asserts his or her Fifth Amendment right. Citizens of ...
1
vote
1answer
198 views

What does “A Gossip Girl in Sweet Valley with traveling pants” mean?

In the 2010 film Easy A, there is an exchange between several characters: Rhiannon: Aren't you supposed to be like, eternally in love with him, and shit? Olive Penderghast: Yes, I believe ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Omission of 'for' with various quantified time intervals: influence of verb

I came across these two examples, given to illustrate 'a case' where the inclusion of the preposition for is considered optional in the paper "Acquisition of Preposition Deletion by Non-native ...
0
votes
3answers
51 views

Act practice test, need help understanding why I'm wrong

Two different types kayaks are being compared. A new paragraph is started to compare their equipment. The first sentence says. "Equipment for both types of kayaks are similar, and fairly simple." ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Processor vs Processer

Is there any difference between "processor" and "processer"? Some spelling dictionaries only have the -or form, and some have both. Is it a US vs UK English thing? Or something else? More ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

“Meet up” vs. “meet” vs. “hook up”

What's the difference between meet up, meet and hook up as a synonym of meet up? The Free Dictionary has the following definitions: to meet up: to see and talk to someone familiar or someone ...
9
votes
13answers
2k views

What's the word for someone who always likes being different?

...particularly with respect to the use of technology, taste in music, movies etc. I have seen my share of people like this who like to go "alternative" just to set themselves apart and I would like ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Etymology of reduplicative compound “nitty-gritty”

I've always been curious about that one and I've come across many contending theories for the etymology of nitty-gritty. English is quite fond of these reduplicative compounds. I'd like to know ...
4
votes
3answers
682 views

'-gate' as a suffix to coin words related to scandals and corruption cases

I noticed that for corrruption/scandals the usage of '-gate' suffix is pretty common, as we have recently seen with 'datagate' and before with 'watergate' Can anyone explain what the relation between ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

What is the meaning of the name “Wilber” in English? [closed]

I'm thinking of picking Wilber as my English given name recently, since it has similar pronunciation with my Chinese given name. But I'm not sure about the meaning of Wilber in English, especially ...
7
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the history and geographic area of the word “finna?”

In St. Louis, I learned of the word, "finna." I know it is slang/contraction for "fixing to." By asking dozens of people, I've learned that it is used by people of many different races and cultural ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do 'fine words butter no parsnips'?

I was at a dinner last night where some rather nice herb butter was served with the vegetables. Conversation close to me then turned to the English expression 'Fine words butter no parsnips'. It ...
12
votes
5answers
16k views

Why does “klick” mean kilometer in US military slang?

Wiktionary says it is either likely a pseudo-condensed pronunciation of kilometer or onomatopoeic of the sound of a military odometer. Though kilometers are not commonly used to measure distance ...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

Triple Commas not acceptable?

I'm wondering why this phrasing: I spend most days thinking about the future. Hoping that I'm on the right path, I do my best at everything I can. is preferred over this one: I spend most ...
1
vote
6answers
184 views

Is “evidence” as a verb an Americanism?

We need to evidence the agreement with these forms. Is this usage predominantly American?
0
votes
1answer
85 views

What should I call the disposable paper wrappers for straws?

Just for personal reasons I would like to know what to call the disposable paper wrappers for drinking straws. If there is no name can I name it a paper? Paper wrapper?
17
votes
9answers
2k views

What does it mean when Americans say “We love you” in an email? [closed]

I was just having an email conversation with 3 of my community advisors and they said "We love you". I found that weird? The community advisors teach me about how to behave in America and what the ...