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

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4
votes
4answers
486 views

“Equal” versus “Equals” [duplicate]

I've seen variants of this question, but nothing explicitly like the one below: Three feet equals/equal a yard. Which is correct? Is there a definitive explanation? Please indicate BrE vs AmE ...
8
votes
7answers
645 views

What do British and American post boxes say when they don't want any advertising?

Advertising leaflets shoved en masse into mail boxes are one of the banes of modern society. In Germany, putting a note saying "Bitte keine Werbung" ("No advertising please") on your box protects ...
-1
votes
1answer
47 views

American Novels in Colloquial Language [closed]

I would like to know the names of novels that uses a lot of American colloquial expressions and idioms and it would be great if the novel portrays the exact way people talk in normal circumstances. ...
22
votes
6answers
2k views

Phrase: “Colder than a witch’s kiss!”

The following was used in a radio broadcast (The Adventures of Harry Lime, 14th December 1951, episode 20 “An Old Moorish Custom”) as Harry was hit on the back of his head with a rifle butt by a giant ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Base on home work

Which one is right I wanna used was or where it were a puppy or it was a puppy I think it were a puppy am I right I need some help am kinda baffle thank you
5
votes
3answers
177 views

What does the slang term “Joe Gland” mean?

In the 1985 novel Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle I came across the following paragraph: They took out identification cards. Clybourne glanced at them, but Jenny thought he looked at ...
2
votes
3answers
259 views

Usage of 'customs' in lieu of 'immigration'

Over at the Travel SE beta (it's in private beta so I'm not sure how many here will be able to access it), I came across a question whether the OP uses "clearance through US Customs" when I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Is British English the one used in European academia?

English is used all over Europe in (more or less) academic papers and books that are not necessarily related to reviews and publishing houses based in UK or US, and that are not necessarily intended ...
9
votes
9answers
1k views

A word for old-fashioned, dirty bar/place (spit-and-sawdust)

Is there a (common) single word for an old-fashioned, non-modern, simple, dirty, untidy bar/place ? A noun would be preferable. Details: There is an informal British term: spit-and-sawdust ...
1
vote
7answers
127 views

Eliminate to be verb [closed]

How can I eliminate the weak "to be" verb (DOES) in the following sentence: She does not assist in accomplishing...
6
votes
3answers
482 views

Etymology of 'Pizzazz'

A question from December 2011 asked What is the social context of "pizzazz"?. I'm curious about the word's etymology. I checked some reference books, but they showed very little agreement ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

using has to or have to [closed]

I have example of two sentences here He has to write a report.' with he, she,it we will be using has. but why we are using have here instead of has with "She" She doesn't have to wear a uniform ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Plural form of these two sentences [closed]

I'm helping my cousing with some English exercises but I don't imagine what would be the plural form of these two sentences: What is this? What is that? I'd say:" What are these?" and "What are ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Synonymity of “is that so” and “really”

Do these have the same meaning? Oh is that so? Oh really?
0
votes
2answers
121 views

Is the English-speaking Internet community moving towards Americanized spelling?

Some of my spelling checking software failed to recognize the American spelling of the words "organize" and "realize" when a British English dictionary is being used. Curious, I looked up the British ...
2
votes
3answers
237 views

correct idiom for if you were me

I am looking for an idiom that can be used for this like "if you were me you would have done the same thing " OR something like empathy , think from my sight, is there any idiom for such scenerio? I ...
2
votes
1answer
875 views

Is the idiom 'keeping well' recognized only in British English?

I've seen the idiom 'keeping well' being used to mean 'in good health' in some contexts where British English is expected. But Americans seem surprised by it. Is that idiom uncommon in American ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

It looks like not funny -> does it make sense? [closed]

My friend recommanded some game , so I saw game images and I told my friend that it look like not funny? My friend say what mean??? please correct
12
votes
4answers
9k views

Why does 'coed' only mean female coeducational students?

As an adjective, the word coed, short for coeducational, indicates an institution that teaches both males and females. However, as a noun, it can only mean "a young woman who attends college". Why is ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

Does the English language have an official Academy?

For some languages, there are academies that decide topics such as grammar and spelling of things, for example, for the Spanish language, there are 22 academies in 22 different countries, all making ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Simple past or present perfect when describing a series of recent actions

I, as an American, would opt for the simple past rather than the present perfect in the following sentence: Today she has gone to a class, and after that she has been shopping. Is this sentence ...
1
vote
3answers
716 views

Which word to use, “again” or “anymore”?

I'd like to describe an action which I'm used to do but I won't do it in the future. Which word is correct, for example: Just a little more work, I'll never need that tool again. Or: Just a little ...
1
vote
3answers
104 views

“To tame” for “to cultivate [vegetables, a land, etc.]” and “to domesticate (or farm) [poultry, fish, etc.]” in AmE

The Harrap's New Shorter French and English dictionary Ed. 1985, defines both verbal and adjectival "tame" as Americanisms for respectively "to cultivate" and "cultivated", as of a plant or a land ...
30
votes
6answers
51k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
202 views

Is “teen-ager” correct? Still used? Etymology?

I was reading an article in The New York Times published in 1990 and came across the spelling of teenager as 'teen-ager'; is this American spelling? Archaic? The young man, who often said he only ...
0
votes
2answers
239 views

Grammar check on a sentence with one subject, many verbs in sequence, and no conjunctions between them

Here is a sentence from my article. Just wondering if there is anything wrong with having sentences which are too long. He created some data, put up some samples, initiated a sequence and finally, ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

“high-reliable”, “highly reliable”, or something else?

There was a discussion with my colleagues about a paper that I am currently writing and in which I use phrases like "a high-reliable system architecture". Some of my colleagues hold the view that this ...
-1
votes
2answers
62 views

What does perpendicular to mean? [closed]

I am reading a math books and i cant understand this the xz plane is perpendicular to the y-axis, and the yz plane is perpendicular to the x-axis. On googling perpendicular means two lines ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How to use hyphens appropriately when listing multiple hyphenated terms?

If multiple hyphenated terms share the same latter half, and I wish to list them without repeating that latter half, how should the hyphens be placed? For example: I will be investigating control ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

What do you call the directions orthogonal to uptown/downtown in Manhattan?

While in many places, the notions of "uptown" and "downtown" can be somewhat fuzzy and vague, in Manhattan, these two words have clear definitions - if you are standing on nth Street, then uptown is ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

American English [duplicate]

I notice that Americans use the word 'gotten' when we in Britain just use 'got' - is 'gotten' accepted American English, that is, used and accepted in English examination papers, or is it a type of ...
1
vote
3answers
87 views

Verb mix-up in a sentence

I have this sentence, and I have a feeling that the verbs and subjects do not agree with each other, and it continues to bother me. How can I fix it? Furthermore, both mates in a couple could also ...
3
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
71 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
286 views

“Baby is creeping” vs. “baby is crawling” in AmE

Years and years ago, I remember reading in a book on AmE usage that the phrasal turn a baby creeps before it walks was to some extent more common to AmE than to BrE, which preferred exclusively the ...
2
votes
4answers
353 views

“In charge of” for “under the care of” in AmE

Checking on the validity of "to charge" as a correct fit for "to claim", "to assert" in some previous OP, I came across the expression "in charge of" pointed up by the Collins dictionary -- besides ...
-5
votes
4answers
168 views

Adjectival “Anglican” for “English”, and “Anglicanism” for “Anglomania” in AmE

Harrap's New Shorter French and English Dictionary, Ed. 1985 [Harrap's Shorter French Dictionary], points up adjectival "Anglican" as an Americanism for "English", and "Anglicanism" as an AmE ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

“Facade” vs. “façade”

I know that both facade and façade are valid in British English. Is that also true for American English? Or should facade be used when writing something for American customers? This is something that ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

I don't understande the usage of “either” in this sentence

"I couldn't sleep last night. I bet you guys couldn't either". Does the second sentence mean "I bet you too, guys"? Is it correct to use "either" like that or is it just slang?
9
votes
9answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

“Oestrogen” and “oesophagus” — why are they spelled differently in British English?

Within Biology, there are some biological terms that differ in spelling between the British English and American English dictionaries. For example, oestrogen and oesophagus, as well as the word ...
1
vote
1answer
278 views

“Decide/Intend on [gerund]” vs. “decide/intend to [infinitive]”

In analogy with "plan on [gerund]", do the gerund constructions above have any currency in AE, or are these chiefly dialectal and might sound folksy to most ears? E.g. We decided on taking our ...
-2
votes
1answer
69 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
526 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
128 views

What adverb, typical of AmE, coincides the most with the BrE sense to “quite” [=to a noticeable or partial extent]?

As long as -- seemingly -- the adverb "quite" in AmE idiomatically carries an emphatic sense to it -- pretty much similar to saying "completely" or "absolutely" as in "That girl looks quite pretty!" ...
7
votes
8answers
10k views

“have” vs.“have got” in American and British English

I have looked through several questions and answers on EL&U, and often there is an indication that American English prefers "have" while British English prefers "have got". In addition, there are ...
0
votes
1answer
667 views

Does the electricity “go or cut” “off or out”? [closed]

Which of the following choices are correct? While I was reading a book last night, suddenly the electricity ______. cut off cut out went off went out What are the differences ...
3
votes
1answer
323 views

What is the IPA for “trade”?

Some of my students have a disagreement about transcribing the pronunciation of "trade" in American English. Some say it's (a) [t͡ʃeɪd] while others (and they point to dictionaries that support them) ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

“Nuke the fridge”

I don't get what this phrase means. I tried googling it, but the answers weren't satisfactory. Could someone please tell me its meaning? I'm guessing it has something to do with TV shows (I first ...
12
votes
4answers
6k 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.