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

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15
votes
2answers
882 views

The U in “Glamour”

Why, in US English, does the word glamour retain its u while humour, neighbour, and others have shed it?
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Separate vs. joined words (hyphen or not) [duplicate]

English is not my native language, and sometimes it's confusing.. Especially uk-english vs. american and hyphens Can someone explain a bit when to use which of these? It's for a global english ...
2
votes
1answer
371 views

Difference between “ditch”, “trench” and “gutter” [closed]

I have been trying to understand the difference between the three, is this a usage difference between American English and British English? What is the difference?
-1
votes
1answer
81 views

How to write the date of an event that lasts a few days [American / British English]

I saw this topic: How to write the date of an event that lasts a few days But have some questions. Firstly, I would like to know how to say the same but in British English. I think that "The event ...
4
votes
1answer
87 views

Does the term 'silly season' still exist?

It used to be the case that the summer period, from roughly early July to early September, in Britain was known as the 'silly season' to newspaper people. It was a time when newspapers were short of ...
0
votes
1answer
166 views

Is the word 'stroke' understood, in meaning one of these / \? [closed]

All the meanings of the word 'slash', other than an oblique forward or backward stroke are either violent or obscene. They include cuts made with swords, lashing with a whip, cutting maliciously car ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

How to reply to someone's welcome [closed]

What should we say in reply to a person who welcomes us to a particular place, for example one says: You are welcome to ABC company. or I welcome you to our home. or Welcome Mr. Abc ...
4
votes
1answer
297 views

What is the reason that American English and British English use “Post” and “Mail” with different frequencies?

Common usage in the UK is that a postman of the Royal Mail Service delivers the post, and someone may post a letter (see BrE Ngram), whereas in the USA, usage has become equally common that a mailman ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

what is the meaning of “the family dynamic” and “Textbook Case”? [closed]

I encountered the terms “the family dynamic” and “Textbook Case” in the play The Pain and the Itch by Bruce Norris. I want to know what they mean. At page 58: Clay: Kelly was abused. Carol: ...
1
vote
6answers
136 views

Proper usage of “trying”

Let's say there is an atmospheric condition where the water in a bucket partially freezes then reverts back to a completely liquid state and vacillates back and forth but never actually freezes. Is ...
0
votes
2answers
221 views

A common word for something Simple yet Powerful [closed]

As the title says: what is a common word for something simple yet powerful?
0
votes
3answers
128 views

Word for sharing an old experience with someone new

Jamais vu is when an experience that is old to you suddenly seems new. But I'm looking for something even more specific. Is there a word for that feeling you get when an old experience is refreshed ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Should TPS (transactions per second) be upper or lower case [duplicate]

If one wants to write shorthand for transactions per second what would be correct casing? TPS or tps? As SI unit, s is always lowercase and thus I believe it should be written as "tps". On other ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Could anyone care less? [duplicate]

I've noticed recently that where in England we say "couldn't care less" in the US the negative is avoided and the phrase becomes "could care less". This is rather jarring because of the contradictory ...
0
votes
2answers
355 views

“3-month retreat” or “3-months retreat”? [duplicate]

Which one is the correct (or more commonly used) form: "3-month retreat" or "3-months retreat"? How about "3-day" vs. "3-days" and "3-week" vs. "3-weeks" in the same context? (This is retreat as in ...
0
votes
2answers
540 views

How to distinguish “can” and “can't” pronunciation in American English? [duplicate]

I am a student in China learning American English. I have listened to some videos and found it hard to distinguish can from can’t. I am looking for some advice that may help me.
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Plural of “is” — “ises” or “isses”?

If I had many is words, how would I refer to them in the form of a plural? Could I use ises or isses? Example: You use entirely too many isses in your sentences.
-1
votes
1answer
57 views

Would you guys change the following sentence suitable for my cover letter? [closed]

I need your help guys:) I am applying for an instructor position at a university in the States. Would you please change the following statement appropriate for my cover letter? "My bachelor's degree ...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

Present Perfect, American English and “since”

I'm wondering: I was always taught at school that when using "since", you always have to use Present Perfect (BrE), e.g. Since when have you played chess? But is Since when did you play ...
3
votes
2answers
439 views

Is there an English variant of “Zeitgeist” other than “spirit of the times”?

Is there a cut-and-dry English word that means the same, or roughly the same, as the German word "Zeitgeist," other than its literal meaning of "spirit of the times"? I've grown sour on its presence ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

Rising out of its own momentum

The bellow rose and fell, then it blared out one last time, rising out of its own momentum as if it were escaping finally, after centuries of waiting, into silence. The beady night noises closed in ...
1
vote
2answers
297 views

“Named for” vs. “named after”

As a Brit, I'm used to the phrase named after being used to say how something got its name. For example, in Wikipedia's List of eponymous roads in London, we read that Addison Road is named after the ...
-1
votes
2answers
58 views

How to state the negotiation failed? [closed]

Are there any grammatical errors in the sentence? "I regret to inform you that "name of company" people are looking for students who are from CSE/IT background. We tried to negotiate, but it ...
2
votes
4answers
409 views

Which of “chafing at the bit” or “chomping at the bit” is more accepted/proper?

I've used "chafing at the bit" for quite some time, but have also heard "chomping at the bit" as a way to indicate impatience, etc. Which of these two is the more "proper" or accepted variant?
-2
votes
1answer
107 views

How to express “Help someone secretly”

One of my friend always helps me but does not want me to know that he helps me. Is there a word or phrase to describe this secret helping? Also, if someone wanted to thank the secret helper, is there ...
-1
votes
3answers
217 views

What does “tearing your résumé apart” mean? [closed]

I gave my résumé to a person and she replied back as follows: When you look at the below list of issues, you’ll probably think I'm tearing your résumé apart. I guess I am, in a way. But, I ...
1
vote
7answers
506 views

An exact word for the opposite of academic progress? [closed]

I have been confronted with a word so many times for which I couldn't find any equivalent in English. What is an opposite term for academic progress? I mean specifically when one is no longer doing ...
-1
votes
2answers
2k views

a definition of the phrase “ On both accounts” [closed]

hi I have a problem with this phrase " on both accounts". what's the definition? I see this phrase in TOEFL IBT tes 7. the student said two characteristic of something and the teacher said that. ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Pronunciation problem [closed]

I am from India. I am very eager to learn English. So I am used to add some English words with my language. But My friends says that you are having problem with your pronunciation. I tried a lot of ...
2
votes
3answers
75 views

Is “for short” correct?

In conversation I used the phrase "for short" in the context: "I will call you blank for short." I know I've heard the phrase before, but I'm wondering if it is actually acceptable English? If ...
2
votes
3answers
953 views

Where does the slang word “bad” + “ass” (badass) come from?

What is the origin of the word badass? Why a "bad" ass/"bad" + "ass"? What is an ass that is bad and how can an ass that is bad describe a tough person?
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Meaning - lawin'

As Calpurnia, one Miscellany 195 character in the story, notes, ‘First thing you learn when you’re in a lawin’ family is that there ain’t any definite answers to anything.’ I hazard that ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

What does “Prepare to have your pleasure glands carpet-bombed” mean?

Check it out inside, man. It's bigger than your house. (describing a van ) Prepare to have your pleasure glands carpet-bombed. Watch out for the floors,'cause they're marble. From the movie judgement ...
5
votes
1answer
149 views

When did it become common to 'double the conditional'? [duplicate]

Twins is a 1988 comedy featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito as genetically engineered twins. The fact that they’re genetically engineered is used to explain the differences between ...
0
votes
1answer
157 views

What does “on the couch” mean? [closed]

What does this mean ? I'm on the couch tonight for sure From the movie Judgment Night (1993).
1
vote
2answers
123 views

What does “stick a bulls-eye on your back” mean? [closed]

What does this mean? It's too bright up there, you might as well stick a bulls-eye on your back. From the movie Judgment Night (1993).
9
votes
5answers
2k views

'Little' and 'small' in British vs American English

Is the preference for 'little' over 'small' one of the things that differentiates British from American English? I find expressions like "I'm only little" or "She's only little" in British children ...
4
votes
2answers
388 views

Meaning of Down to the?

What is the meaning of down to the? E.g. in this statement: In order to use this feature, the statements must be exactly the same - down to the number of spaces, tabs, capital/small letters. ...
2
votes
2answers
268 views

Why is there “Black English” but not “White English”?

African American Vernacular English is shortened to a less precise phrase "Black English". Also, Black English is used in a broader sense: Black English is a term used for both dialects of English ...
-1
votes
2answers
203 views

Grammatical correctness of the sentence [closed]

Here is a sentence which doesn't really sound grammatically correct. I would appreciate if any one can have a look and let me know if the sentence could be improved. After all, when someone spends ...
4
votes
2answers
222 views

What led to the increased usage of “schtupping”?

I was listening to a television show the other day and one of the characters used "schtupping": schtupping — to have sexual intercourse with Dictionary.com notes that the term's origin is ...
3
votes
2answers
319 views

What does “pedigree” mean in this context?

"He constantly punishes himself psychologically. In his eyes he is inferior in pedigree to those very confident college graduates against whom he competes." The context on the story is the person who ...
0
votes
1answer
109 views

Can we use both British English and American English in the same article?

Can we use British English trends and American English trends (such as spelling, or turns of phrase) in different sentences in the one topic?
16
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “Clearasil-scented grammatical sloth” in casual American speech mean?

John McWhorter, associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University comments on the growing sophistication (or devolution) of English language among Americans in the ...
3
votes
3answers
320 views

Is it possible to learn English by just listening and speaking (without knowing formal grammar rules) [closed]

My native language is Chinese. Most people in my country grow up without having been taught formal grammar. I am surprised to find foreigners being taught Chinese and learning grammar rules that even ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Comma after “first” [duplicate]

Can anyone justify the presence and absence of comma after first in the sentences below? First we’ll create a screen for the user to log in. First, we’ll define the AniJS helper and then ...
0
votes
1answer
148 views

How to distinguish the meaning of “repair” and “ fix” [closed]

Are both the same? When do we use "fix" and when do we use "repair"
6
votes
1answer
482 views

Quotation ascribed to Benjamin Franklin, “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

There is a cottage industry in the United States of manufacturing quotations and ascribing them to the American Founding Fathers. A recent one, "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to ...
-2
votes
2answers
308 views

What does 'are you implying me' mean? [closed]

I was showing off for a woman and I told her that I am falling for an older woman. She replied back saying, "Are you implying me?" I am confused about its meaning. What does it mean?
0
votes
0answers
70 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “slaved out”

As i was reading a character's biography : Jack, a small orphan child on transport ship that crashed on the Pitch Black planet. During the movie it is discovered that the child dresses like a ...