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

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1answer
72 views

Is “Goldbrick” commonly used in American English?

I came across the slang term "Goldbrick" in the American WWII cartoon Private Snafu The Goldbrick (Warning: possibly sexist at the start, and possibly racist near the end). I'd never heard the word ...
26
votes
6answers
2k 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, ...
2
votes
4answers
408 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?
5
votes
1answer
87 views

How do I interpret “emissions of car operated over” in this sentence?

I was trying to answer a question on skeptics.stackexchange.com, where we found this paragraph in a scientific report: This compares to 1,374 tons per day statewide for passenger cars. While ...
19
votes
7answers
770 views

Eww! Has it crossed the pond yet?

I hear eww (sometimes spelt as ew) fairly regularly on American sitcoms, usually uttered by a scatterbrained beautiful blonde girl when she sees or hears something disgusting. I don't recall it ever ...
0
votes
3answers
162 views

All I know vs. Alls I know

Are the two sayings proper English? "Alls I know" and "All I know" Alls I know just sounds bad to me, but while people agree, no one can tell me if it is right or wrong.
2
votes
1answer
6k views

How do I use “as of now” correctly?

Just to clarify, I am not a native English speaker. I occasionally hear from other non-native English speakers the use of the phrase: "As of now" with the meaning of Currently. Initially I did not ...
7
votes
1answer
189 views

Batman vs. Maxwell Smart. Who said, “Good thinking, …!” first?

Recently, I've come across the catchphrase, "Good thinking, [name/noun]!" three times on ELU. The first was in a question referring to Terry Pratchett's catchphrase "Good thinking, that man!" 1 The ...
2
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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
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1answer
178 views

Can “unto” be used instead of “onto” in American English?

Is there a difference in how the preposition "onto" is used in British and American English? I always understood it to match the following dictionary definition I found online, and was not aware of ...
-1
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2answers
51 views

Take my word for it or take my word for this? [closed]

Me and a friend got into an argument. He says that you can say "Take my word for this". I say that the proper use is "Take my word for it". Could someone elaborate on each of those and tell us who is ...
1
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1answer
51 views

What's the subordinate clause type for these two that-clause sentences below?

I am always confused about what type of subordinate clause "that" can connect. So there are two sentence below: So far the torpedo has proved a damp squib, with observers arguing that Europe has not ...
5
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3answers
362 views

Interpretation of a quote from “Easy A” (the 2010 film) [closed]

In the 2010 film "Easy A", there is an exchange between several characters: Rhiannon: George is not a sexy name. George is like what you name your teddy bear, not the name you wanna scream out ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
332 views

Is a 'peeve' the same thing as a 'gripe'?

Many times on this site have I heard something described as a 'peeve'. My sense is that this is American. Although the verb, usually in the passive - he was peeved because he had been given the ...
17
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5answers
9k views

Can or should “ask” ever be used as a noun?

"The ask is that you provide me with..." I started hearing "ask" being used as a noun a few years ago. Is this a recent trend? Is it an East Coast thing, unique to North America, or just unique to ...
0
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2answers
35 views

How to phrase “analysis into a company”

I want to say : Analysis conducted at a insurance company showed that... or Analysis into a insurance company showed that... What is the best way to phrase this?
1
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0answers
76 views

British English vs American English [closed]

As an English learner it always make me confuse to know that a specific word / phrase use in which English language countries ? Is there any way that I can check a word or phrase to know that it uses ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Usage of too while comparing two places

While in a conversation about a place xyz which is facing water scarcity, if another place abc is also having water scarcity, which sentence would be correct:- I know xyz has water scarcity, but is ...
2
votes
2answers
149 views

In the cards or on the cards?

This seems to be a BrE/AmE distinction - is it? And do Americans use the phrase with more of a mystical Tarot card slant, compared to its British English meaning of simply 'likely to happen'?
2
votes
2answers
175 views

Can the word “facet” be used in a sentence like this one?

Leadership skills are also a valued facet in a friend. Can facet be used in this way?
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4answers
118 views

Word for a salesperson's enthusiasm

Suppose you visit a shop looking for something to buy. Every time you pick up an object, the shopkeeper goes gaga over the features of the product and why it's a must-buy. I'm searching for a single ...
0
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0answers
40 views

Differences between begin and start? How to use them? [duplicate]

I would like to know when to use begin and when to use start. They have same meaning,so it is hard to ditinguish them.
0
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1answer
2k views

date has already passed OR date has already past? [closed]

Which is correct : date has already passed , or date has already past ? Thanks
4
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5answers
777 views

What's the US slang term for “following someone in a car”?

I heard this somewhere on YouTube and I wish I could recall where exactly. The person was recording himself from a dash-cam while driving, and when he noticed that a cop was following him, he said ...
14
votes
3answers
23k views

How do you pronounce “melee”? [closed]

I've heard meelee, meyley (maylay), and mehlay. Is there any "correct" way to pronounce it in the U.S.?
2
votes
1answer
122 views

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word read?

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word usually read out loud? For example, with "Anglo-Saxon", do we say: "It is spelt as ...
15
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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
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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
370 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
354 views

What is the history of the word “lobby”?

I would like to know if the word "lobby" would have been used in 1890s Georgia (United States) and to what exactly this word would have referred in that time.
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Is the [ʊ] sound pronounced with lip rounding?

This [ʊ] sound is the vowel sound for words like hook, pull, and good. When I began to learn English a bit more seriously two decades ago, I used a book that taught me to pronounce it shorter and ...
9
votes
9answers
1k views

American Equivalent of “Bog Standard”

I'm searching for an American English phrase that is the most readily equivalent to the British expression bog standard (which means, as I understand, plain, ordinary or unremarkable). I'm tempted to ...
1
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3answers
5k views

Synonyms / slang words in American English to express “I am very excited for something”? [closed]

In British English we can say "I am keen to do something with you". Also: "Would you like to go to a concert?" A: "I'm keen for that!". What are some equivalents in American English? Is it "I want to ...
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 ...
13
votes
4answers
39k views

“flat” vs. “apartment”

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 8th edition Flat: noun. [ countable ] ( BrE ) a set of rooms for living in, including a kitchen, usually on one floor of a building. Apartment: noun. ( ...
1
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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: ...
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 ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

“Bring” vs. “take” in American English

English (other than American English) has a clear differentiation between the two words. Both are about translocating something. In "bring" the something of somebody is moved to where the speaker is ...
1
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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
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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?
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5answers
201 views

What is the word/reference for a paranoid reluctance to answer something because of bandwagoning superstition?

Let's say there's a large group of people who are under a negative influence but are forced to keep quiet about the fact or they may face brutal consequences. My idea comes from the book "Watership ...
0
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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 ...
4
votes
2answers
220 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 ...
0
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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 ...
0
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3answers
2k views

Comma usage: “In July of 2012 …” or “In July of 2012, …”

Consider the following sentence: In July of 2012 Jesse informed us that she was engaged to be married and asked if she could add her fiancée to the lease, beginning the 15th of August 2012. ...
0
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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.