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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

6
votes
4answers
2k views

How do you pronounce “is there” in fast speech?

I'm not a native speaker of English, and I was recently puzzled with the question, "How can Americans put their tongue in z (is) position and then change to th (there) in such short time?" May you ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Correct way to introduce yourself [duplicate]

In an interview, what is the correct way to introduce yourself? Some use "myself" and their name, and some use "I'm ___." I'm confused about what I use. Please guide me.
6
votes
5answers
663 views

Do Americans leave the ordinal suffix out of dates?

Do Americans leave the ordinal suffix out of dates? By 'ordinal suffix' I mean '-th', '-nd', '-rd', e.g. 'April 17' instead of 'April 17th'. If they do, is there an explanation for this behavior?
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Answering “Have you got” questions with “I do”

For the question "Have you got any ice cream?" which is correct: Yes I do Yes I have or inversely No I don't No I haven't got any
6
votes
4answers
17k views

“Ground floor” vs. “first floor”

Is the bottom-most floor (on ground level not the basement) "ground floor" or "first floor" in America?
0
votes
2answers
37 views

Does MEMO mean memory? [closed]

Jezz.. How did I miss the memo of Brooklyn? Does MEMO mean memory ? Thank you very much.
0
votes
3answers
67 views

What preposition should I use when talking about computer and softwares [duplicate]

My question is about prepositions and what to use when talking about computer and software. I will Install a software (in,on,into) my computer a software was installed (in,on,into) my computer
1
vote
1answer
182 views

“In the cards”, “on the cards” origin(s)

In another question in EL&U "Positives changes on the cards" — meaning? , it came up that at least one of us AmE speakers had always heard this idiom as "in the cards" and never as "on ...
1
vote
2answers
68 views

'What are you' and 'what do you': same pronunciation in AmE…?

The ELL question Do Americans pronounce 'are' as 'do' in 'what are waiting for?' brought to my attention something I've not noticed before. In normal conversational (or faster) speech, it seems What ...
1
vote
1answer
877 views

Who is Taller/Tallest/The Tallest?

Who is ____________ , Sara or Janet? This is a confusing question because I'm not sure which is correct: tallest taller the tallest Seem to all work fine. Which one is considered "best"?
5
votes
2answers
4k views

“Cancellation”, “Canceled”, “Canceling” — US usage

I'm trying to figure out if there is a specific rule behind the word "cancel" that would cause "cancellation" to have two L's, but "canceled" and "canceling" to have only one (in the US). I ...
0
votes
1answer
178 views

Pronunciation of What do you want to do?

When I pronounce the question: "What do you want to do?", I hear some stress on the first syllable of "whaddya" and "wanna" and a bit stronger stress on "do". This is how I pronounce it: ...
6
votes
3answers
915 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
421 views

What does “We don’t do anything that’s not completely up and up” mean?

I found an amusing story titled “Lobster salad, but a key ingredient was missing” in today’s (August 11)New York Times NY/Region section. The article reports that Zabar’s, the famous grocery in ...
28
votes
8answers
4k views

How did “stuck-up” get to mean “snob”?

I was inclined to believe that the expression "stuck-up", meaning staying aloof from others because one thinks one is superior, had its origins with somebody's nose stuck (up) in the air and yet, ...
-1
votes
1answer
73 views

Possessive when both refer to a plural: “Hume's and Kant's moral systems” or “Hume and Kant's moral systems”?

Title says it all. What's the correct possessive to use when they both refer to the same noun? "Hume's and Kant's moral systems" or "Hume and Kant's moral systems"? Hume and Kant both have one moral ...
2
votes
8answers
4k views

How do American English and British English use the definite article differently?

I decided to make sure that I know this important difference between American and British English, so I wrote what I have found out so far and I would be grateful to anyone who reads this and tells me ...
1
vote
8answers
196 views

Word/phrase for remarks which often have a dark feel to them but whose meanings are not readily apparent? [closed]

I know someone who has a tendency to make strange remarks whose meanings are not readily apparent, remarks which often have a dark feel to them, but which are left unexplained, as if to hide ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Slang for giving the way to do something, not for giving the final thing itself

Someone asks how to grow a chicken, and suddenly some guy just drops a chicken already grown up. I need to find an algorithm to solve a given problem, but I don't want the code itself, just ...
1
vote
5answers
955 views

English- What are some other ways to say “make a difference” [closed]

I'm looking for other ways to phrase "I want to make a difference/impact" in a general and positive way. Something along the lines of making a change in the world or having a meaningful contribution ...
8
votes
2answers
647 views

Q: Why isn't he answering? A: 1) He must have already slept 2) … must have been sleeping?

I didn't reply to a ping in the chatroom. The English enthusiast suggested this about me at the time: He must have already slept. Hours (and dreams) later, I came back, I saw the above ...
0
votes
2answers
112 views

Proper use of “repertoire”

Could the word repertoire be used to describe one’s behavior as a façade?
2
votes
2answers
100 views

Where did the term “Square Meal” come from?

In several older TV shows (think Andy Griffith) I've heard the term "Square Meal" used to describe an ideal hardy and nutritious meal. The term can be applied to breakfast, lunch and dinner. Where ...
10
votes
1answer
12k views

Why is “fulfil” spelt as “fulfill” in American English?

In this answer, simplification is stated as one reason for spelling variations in American English. But unlike in color and favorite, the number of letters to spell the word in fulfil increases in ...
4
votes
2answers
513 views

What is the students' jargon or abbreviation for assignments made up of “only” data downloaded from the internet in English? (If it exists)

Japanese students call a report and essay made up by only putting data downloaded from the Internet e.g. passages from Wikipedia put together without including their own thoughts or creative ideas, a ...
0
votes
2answers
155 views

Is “I shut up” proper english grammar [closed]

So I saw that "shutted" isn't an English word, but "I shut up" doesn't sound proper. If you were to tell someone "I shut up", talking in past tense, would that be proper?
7
votes
7answers
6k views

Is there a word for one who enjoys to eat for the sake of eating (a food hedonist)?

Does such a word exist? I don't mean to excess (IE, a glutton), but rather one who eats because he enjoys eating. Essentially, I'm looking for a word that's synonymous with "a food hedonist", or "a ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

“Hot cakes” or “flapjacks” in 1890s American South?

Which term is more likely to have been used by my main character, a young man from a wealthy Macon, Georgia family, in 1893?
0
votes
0answers
50 views

Way to stick it to

I am watching American comedy, Weird Loners. Mr A is on the phone and talking with headhunter. Mr. A: Jerry (headhunter), come on. I love the salary but these benefits are crap. You call me back ...
3
votes
5answers
596 views

Expression for becoming homeless, which has the word 'street' in it? How about “pushed to the streets”?

If I lost all my money and became homeless, what standard expression can I use which has the word 'street'? Would it sound perfectly okay to a native English speaker if I said "I was pushed to the ...
1
vote
3answers
170 views

What does you are getting reamed mean? [closed]

Ms C is accusing Ms Z of eating the cheese that Ms C bought. Ms C and Ms Z are room mates. Ms C sees a therapist about it. Ms Z: I don't eat that kind of cheese. Ms C: You do eat that kind ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

“Balconies”, “porches”, “decks”, “terraces”, “verandas”, “lanais”, “galleries”, and “piazzas” in GAE and dialectal AE

In AE, a porch is apparently just about the same structure as a veranda, i.e. an open or enclosed gallery or room attached to the outside of a building. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/porch ...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

Pronunciation of diphthongs in English

I found a few similar questions, but none of them gave me the answer to this. I'm a native Serbian, so I have problems understanding diphtongs, because Serbian has none of them. Serbian has only five ...
-1
votes
1answer
21 views

Which verb form goes with “sweat”? [closed]

I just love the way the sweat glistens off your back in the sun I just love the way the sweat glisten off your back in the sun
0
votes
1answer
48 views

What does “I really cleaned out the place” mean?

In the comedy Weird Loners there is an exchange, You guys eat up, that's plenty. I really cleaned out the place. What does it mean?
2
votes
1answer
118 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Odd, affected pronunciation of “realtor”

A while back, I noticed that the voice-over on a commercial repeatedly used an odd pronunciation of the word realtor - "real-TORE", with a long O as opposed to "real-tur", like "doc-tur" or ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Word Stress Within the Phrase I'm expecting someone

I tried pronouncing the phrase: "I'm expecting someone". Phonetically it looks like: [aɪm ɪkspɛkt ɪŋ sʌmwʌn] I perceive some stress on the second syllable of expecting and the first syllable of ...
2
votes
1answer
312 views

What do “Bitches get stuff done“ and ”Bitch is the new black” mean?

There was the following passage in Maureen Dowd’s article in New York Times’ (April 18) criticizing Hillary Clinton of overcorrecting her self-image in the current presidential campaign under the ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it always appropriate to reciprocate when asked “How are you?” [closed]

This question is related to When someone asks how are you, are you supposed to answer, "Good," or "Fine," and ask back?. There, the answer by z7sg Ѫ claims it is sometimes appropriate not to ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Which one is better (or correct) expression? “go up 5 percent'” or “go up by 5 percent” [duplicate]

I ran into some curiosity on some expression just like, A) It took me a day to go up 5 percent. B) It took me a day to go up by 5 percent. I think the B is right, but someone is sometimes using the ...
7
votes
4answers
201 views

We might have to do some “fiddling”

I like the word fiddle, and I quite like the musical instrument too. If you're fiddling with a device, it means you're trying to repair it. It might be tricky because of all the tiny bits and pieces ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Can 'Dupe' be used as a verb instead of 'Duplicate'?

I've seen this only in one scenario, 4 players on 2 teams are choosing which type of car they will use, and when both players on the same team choose the same car, player 1 says to player 2, 'Stop ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Is it correct to use is+past-tense in this sentence? [closed]

Is it grammatically and correct to use is + the past tense (recognized) in this sentence? Is recognized as the most outstanding TVET school in Calamba, Misamis Occidental.
14
votes
5answers
17k views

What's the difference between “rent” and “hire” in British and American English?

The tip I used to teach was the verb, hire, should be used for things which are transportable hence, you hire a car, sports equipment, a boat, a bike etc. Rent, on the other hand, is primarily used ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

Pronunciation of Who is it?

I heard the question "Who is it?" in a movie. [Person A] knocked on a door. [Person B] came to open the door, but before that he asks "Who is it?" This three syllables question can be pronounced ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Stress and intonation in “I'm proud of you”

When I pronounce the phrase: "I'm proud of you" to communicate that I'm proud of the person I'm talking to, do I only need to stress the word "proud" a bit? I think that stressing the pronouns "I" ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Regional usage of “Violet” and “Purple”

I am looking to describe a flower such as the one in the following picture for a game: After showing the game to a number of beta testers, I noted that about half of them were fine with "violet" ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it acceptable in American English to pronounce “grocery” as “groshery”?

I caught myself pronouncing the "c" in "grocery" as an "sh" sound. Is this commonplace/accepted, or is it perhaps geographic? Does this occur with "c" in other words? As background, I was raised in ...
0
votes
2answers
199 views

Which word can describe programmer, coder and developer in computer science? [duplicate]

I have seen many questions here and there about programmers, coders and developers. Like "programmer vs coder vs developer" etc. All these words are having slightly different meanings. Can we describe ...