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

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3
votes
3answers
210 views

What is the origin of “pre-plan”?

Although I searched fairly extensively, I couldn't find any references as to the origins of pre-plan. According to Online Etymology Dictionary, pre-arranged and prearranged have existed since 1792 ...
1
vote
3answers
16k views

“Do you have” vs “Have you got”

I am studying English and I want to know the main difference between “Have you got?” and “Do you have?” questions. Are they the same? Is one more formal than the other?
3
votes
3answers
13k views

“If I go..” vs. “If I will go..” referring to the future [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Future tense in conditional clauses Which one is correct? option 1: If I go there, I can meet her or option 2: If I will go there, I can meet her I clearly ...
3
votes
2answers
137 views

Why do people finish speaking by saying “so”? [duplicate]

I often experience people who when they get to the end of what they were saying, they finish their sentence with the word "so" as if they are going to say something else, but they don't. Example: "I ...
0
votes
1answer
175 views

US English - need for determiners (a/an) in each item of a list (already parallel)

I have been all over every grammar site I can find (including this one) and cannot find a definitive answer. I am looking for a rule that says in a list of singular nouns, each noun must have its own ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

Non in front of hyphenated adjective

If one wishes to add "non" in front of a hyphenated adjective, should one add a hyphen after "non?"
0
votes
2answers
79 views

Punctuation inside of quotation marks with technical phrases [duplicate]

If I am not mistaken, one should insert a period, question mark, etc. inside of the quotation mark in quoted speech. For example, The man continued, "The sky is purple today." My question ...
0
votes
3answers
147 views

Does “next highest” mean higher or lower? [closed]

A friend of mine recently argued about an interpretation of some by-laws. Specifically, what "next highest" meant. My interpretation: if you have roles A, B, C, where A is the highest role, then B is ...
15
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

English pronunciation: I'm sorry for your loss [closed]

the phrase "I'm sorry for your loss" phonetically looks like [aɪm sɔri fər_yər lɔs]. When I heard this phrase in a movie, it seemed that the words "sorry" and " loss" were a bit more louder, but I may ...
-1
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “ambush Prince Charming's wife” mean? [closed]

In the 2014 film “The Other Woman”, there is an exchange between several characters King Kate: So what do I do now? So I'm, now I'm Barb Melman? Barb Melman got divorced and now she has cheek ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Stress pattern of “trust me”

Are the words "Trust me" equally stressed? The vowel in the word "me" is a bit more tense (like in meet) I think. It's a two syllable phrase: [trʌst mi]
21
votes
6answers
1k views

Etymology of “cut someone some slack”

Teenagers. All the literature tells you one thing and one thing only – that whatever they are doing, give them a break, cut them some slack, it's normal. From the novel, Apple Tree Yard I'm ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

Is “I'll be John Brown” a common phrase?

The phrase: I'll be John Brown! is an occasionally-used term in North Carolina. Mostly thought to replace taking the Lord's name in vain (GD). Is it used elsewhere? How long has it been ...
0
votes
2answers
27 views

driver: is there a sense specific to sound technology? [closed]

I need to an explanation for the following word : the word is Driver , and the article where the word is written is about HeadPhones Driver - in computer terms - usually means the software that you ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Socket or outlet, which one do you use when explaining to a child? [closed]

I'm just curious.... In the USA, how do you explain to a child 'don't put anything in the electrical outlet' or 'don't play with a wall socket'?? How do you say the same thing around the globe?
0
votes
2answers
183 views

What is meant by “we got a live one” in following context?

Here is the clip from "Finding Nemo" where "live one" was used. http://youtu.be/zycSnw5PP0g?t=2m19s
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Why it is okay to omit “the” in some cases only? [closed]

I am wondering why saying: Learn physics with Mr. Brown sounds okay but if Mr. Brown teaches vegetable names, for example, it sounds awkward to say: Learn vegetables with Mr. Brown Or Learn ...
11
votes
5answers
6k views

Difference between “garbage” and “trash”?

What's the difference between garbage and trash? Is the difference significant?
-3
votes
5answers
487 views

What is the Single Word for Burning Alive?

Is there any single word substitute for 'Burning Alive'? We've Behead for 'Cut off the head'. Similar way, What is the Single word equivalent for 'Burning Alive' If any?
6
votes
4answers
764 views

“Sign into your account” or “Sign in to your account”? [duplicate]

Which is correct? Is it that you are signing "into" your account or "in to" your account?
0
votes
1answer
70 views

what is the origin of the word “OK” [duplicate]

I'm trying to find out where does the word OK come from?
7
votes
5answers
9k views

“Badly” versus “poorly”

I was saying to an American friend, "I pronounce still bad," which she said is a mistake, saying it should be poorly. Well, I get that part, but when I asked if I can say badly, she said I ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

What exactly does “already” mean when used in the imperative mood?

This is a question about American English usage of the word "already". As a UK resident I don't completely understand when I hear Americans give commands like "Stop it already!" In the UK the word ...
2
votes
4answers
82 views

Is the stress necessary on Don't in Don't mention it

the phrase "Don't mention it" phonetically looks like [ doʊnt ˈmɛn ʃən_ɪt ] I think the primary stress is on the second syllable "ˈmɛn". Am I right? But my question is, is it important to add any ...
4
votes
1answer
628 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) ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Preventative vs. preventive

In this answer about the non-word disabilitated, the word preventative is compared (unfavourably, if my reading of the implication is correct) to preventive. However, I have always used preventative, ...
1
vote
2answers
585 views

Talkies, Motion Pictures, Movies, Films and 3D

The term talkies, i.e. talking pictures, I was surprised to learn was not coined in 1927 after the release of The Jazz Singer, but in 1913. The term is now obsolete whereas motion picture, meaning ...
10
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
161 views

is there a word for arguing no one?

I'm wondering if there is a word for when someone is making an argument but there is no one on the other side of the argument. it's like they've made a statement against an opinion, even though no one ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How to respond politely and professionally to an email requesting information? [closed]

I have received the following email Hello, Thank you for applying to UCB. We would like to call you briefly between the hours of 10:50 A.M. EST and noon on January 31. Please provide ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

I need to find out how to say this word who've

I don't know how to say this word so I need to find out how to say so that I can do my home work I am in 4 grade and I am doing my selling homework and I need you to help me find out how to say this ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Is there a RULE (not opinion) for when it's okay to replace “is” with “'s”? [closed]

I wrote a sentence in which instead of saying, "God is" I said, "God's". Someone saw this and corrected me that I have to write "God is". This made me scared that I might not be able to simply ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

What do you call one who has been challenged? [duplicate]

How should I refer to one who has been challenged? One who offers a challenge is a "challenger," but what would be the appropriate term for the person who receives the challenge?
-2
votes
4answers
122 views

What is my co-worker asking? [closed]

My American co-worker sent this to our group chat: Can an undatable man be transformed into a datable man? I am not asking if you think such a thing can be done in real life. I am asking ...
1
vote
3answers
80 views

Correct translation for the light switch for a website

I'm looking for the correct translation for a website (http://www.configurator.simonurmet.com/). I'd like to refer to the whole object, I don't need the name of each part for now. The "whole ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Being watched but not seeing the observer

What is the word that describes the situation in which one is being watched, but cannot see the observer. As though the watcher resides in a tower, while the subject walks the streets.
2
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
188 views

What's the etymology for the term “greensheet”?

I've been looking for the etymology of the word greensheet, specifically when used in the context of academia. I know it's just another way to say "syllabus", but where did the "green" in greentext ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

“shyer” or “shier”

My Longman dictionary states that the comparative of 'shy' is 'shyer'. However, at least two online dictionaries also give the form 'shier' as being acceptable: The Free Dictionary and ...
6
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
650 views

Is “defensible driving” defensible?

This stems from an answer on the Bicycles StackExchange site: http://bicycles.stackexchange.com/a/28633/1464 I think many people have heard of driving (or riding) "defensively." I understand this to ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

Is the phrase “move over” an official English idiom? And if so, is it only in American English?

Is the phrase "move over" an official English idiom known worldwide? I would like to know: Is it an official English idiom (not slang or colloquial)? Is it known outside of the US (e.g. in the UK, ...
8
votes
1answer
565 views

What does “I have no shame when it comes to ignorance” mean? [closed]

Does it mean one chooses to be ignorant regardless of shame, or submit to shame while admitting ignorance? Interviewer: Tell me about your first felony arrest? Candidate: I have no shame when it ...
34
votes
15answers
8k views

Words with opposite meanings in different regions

I can't recall it, but there is a word in American English which now means the opposite of itself in British English. What words are there that have opposite (not just different) meanings in different ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the source of “Long time no see,” and when did it enter U.S. English?

A question from almost two years ago asked "In which countries is that “long time no see” greeting common?" The question drew a number of answers that were squarely on point, but also a couple that ...
31
votes
6answers
88k views

What is the difference between dialogue and dialog?

I am American, and I always thought the difference between dialogue and dialog was one of meaning, the way Merriam-Webster has them listed: 2 entries found: dialogue (noun) dialog box ...
26
votes
2answers
5k views

How and when did American spelling supersede British spelling in the US?

Considering that Webster published his first dictionary in 1806, is there a recognised tipping point (year, decade, etc.) that marked the move from traditional British spelling to Webster's American? ...
1
vote
3answers
136 views

On the circuit - what does it mean?

What does on the circuit mean in the following sentence from Michael A. Stackpole's book 21 days to a novel? She wants to make it big in Hollywood or New York or on the circuit. Update 1 ...
-1
votes
1answer
643 views

Are you sure to delete or are you sure you want to delete

When the user wants to delete smth on the website I am showing a message for him/her to confirm. What is the grammatically correct way to say so Are you sure to delete this item or Are you ...