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

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5
votes
2answers
354 views

“Jolly good” meaning “extremely good” in British English

Like the intensifier bloody, I assumed that jolly as an adverb and intensifier is not broadly used in the U.S. meaning very or extremely. According to Oxford Online Dictionary, jolly as an adverb ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

What's the difference between “dawn” and “dawning”?

I googled and I found nothing useful. I know what dawn means but I can't figure out if dawning is the same thing or has a different meaning.
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Does Bender from Futurama sound like a non-American? [closed]

Robot Bender is one of the main characters in the animated television series 'Futurama'. Bender — Best moments (5 minute video). Does Bender speak ‘proper’ American English? Does he have an ...
4
votes
2answers
169 views

Disambiguation of “fluff” vs. chiefly AmEng “lint” vs. chiefly BrEng “bobbles” vs. “pills” for French “peluches”

Robert & Collins French and English Dictionary, Ed. 1985 gives: lint: (US: fluff) peluches nfpl peluche (=bouloche): bit of fluff; fluff Collins French-English Dictionary Now, these are ...
4
votes
4answers
190 views

Collective “linens” vs. “linen” in AmEng vernacular

What's the difference in using the uncountable noun linen either in the plural or in the singular to refer to articles or garments, such as sheets, tablecloths, or underwear? How did originally ...
-4
votes
1answer
38 views

One translating Problem? [closed]

What Does the following sentence mean? the BIU Fetches a new instruction whenever the queue has room for 2 bytes in the 6-byte 8086 queue, and for 1 byte in 4-byte 8088 queue I thinks it means ...
3
votes
2answers
105 views

How to rephrase this sentence in order to be more American style?

I want to rephrase this sentence: A challenge that it needs to address is how to best perform feature selection. If the sentence looks like this, how to rephrase it: A challenge that ...
5
votes
2answers
252 views

“black ice” vs. “glare ice” vs. “glaze” in NAmEng

What's the difference between those varieties of ice forming on paved surfaces during the cold season? black ice sometimes called clear ice: a thin, nearly invisible coating of ice that forms on ...
5
votes
3answers
444 views

'Sag' and 'slant': Is the vowel /æ/ the same in both words?

/sæg/ /slænt/ Transcriptions from Cambridge American English Dictionary Both the words' IPA transcriptions have an /æ/ symbol. Do those two /æ/s sound the same? Are they both short or ...
3
votes
2answers
162 views

Specific terms for the tray and the bus-like cart used by vendors in theaters, stadiums, trains, etc

Is there a specific word in English for the bus-like (sense 2; sense 3 on AHD) cart and the tray used by vendors to carry their products through the aisles of trains, theaters, stadiums, etc.?
11
votes
3answers
332 views

Does “show” for “put in an appearance; arrive” sound any more or less informal/slack than “show up” in modern day English?

Is there a difference in register between saying: He failed to show for his appointment When will the bus show? -and- He failed to show up for his appointment When will the bus ...
5
votes
2answers
111 views

Pronunciation of -ar in Madagascar

In the movie by the same name, the characters pronounce Madagascar, /mædəɡæskɑɹ/. However, dictionaries only list the pronunciation /mædəɡæskəɹ/. Just as peculiarly, many pronounce templar as ...
3
votes
2answers
45 views

how to interpret this “that” question?

I can obtain knowledge by studying physics, which is nice. In the above sentence, does nice refer to knowledge or to physics? How can I make refer it to specifically to "knowledge"? Thanks
5
votes
2answers
790 views

How do Americans pronounce the 't' in “romantic”, “countable”, etc?

As for a 't' trapped between /n/ and a vowel, I've heard it pronounced in three different ways: Maybe the formal, standard way is to fully pronounce the /t/ sound: romantic: /roʊˈmæntɪk/ ...
4
votes
3answers
144 views

Difference between “devotement” and “devotion”

I had never seen or heard of the word "devotement" until reading it in my Chinese girlfriend's brother's college application essay. To me, it's always been "devotion." However, I noticed that Google ...
7
votes
3answers
354 views

Authors who “fracture” the language

What's this reportedly AmEng usage of fracture to mean go beyond the limits of (as rules); violate (M-W), as in "This writer fractured the English language with malaprops"? How does this word differ ...
7
votes
4answers
307 views

The rain is “lifting”

How can the rain "lift"? I mean, I can pretty well figure out that the fog or mist or smog, etc. "lifts", i.e. disappears or disperses by or as if by rising, but "the rain lifting" sounds like it's ...
0
votes
2answers
132 views

How may I write good English? [closed]

I am a senior professional from India. I studied most of my educational career in English medium. For professional reasons and personal fervor I want to write good English. I am looking for expert ...
7
votes
2answers
140 views

What do Americans call the fuel in a gas-powered car?

In Britain the usual fuel for cars is petrol, but some cars are converted to use gas, by which is meant natural gas. But in America the word gas is already taken (meaning petrol). So what does an ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

“Took off” or “taken off”? [closed]

My boss was talking to me. How could I have just taken off? My boss was talking to me. How could I have just took off?" Which one is correct. (or are they both wrong?)
1
vote
2answers
37 views

Why are both blazing or blazingly appropriate?

This SE QA explains that both blazing and blazingly are valid English words (despite what my spell-checker claims). Can anyone explain why they are both valid, and the difference between the words. ...
3
votes
2answers
62 views

Etymology of the phrase “goof off”

It seems clear to be an American idiom with the approximate meaning, "to waste time or procrastinate." My curiosity is about its possible relation to the Goofy, the Disney cartoon character.
2
votes
0answers
11 views

Special cases for adding an (s) in parenthesis to show one or more of something [duplicate]

Often times "(s)" is added to the end of a word to represent one or more of something: "He saved the file(s)." What do you do when the plural of the word is not created by simply adding an "s?" ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What does the slang word “can” mean?

What does the slang word can mean in the following sentences: Hey guys, do you know where the can is around here? I can't make make it to the phone; tell them I am in the can. Finally, our planning ...
-1
votes
3answers
76 views

What, exactly are “is”, “has”, “was”,etc [closed]

He is here. She was absent. He has returned. Apparently, these are tense-base verbs, but there's surely a more academic term for them. I am not a grammar, so I seek the aid of StackExchange.
9
votes
5answers
2k views

What does the phrase “What's your bag?” mean?

What does the phrase "What's your bag?" mean in the following 2 sentences: I tweeted to the Yahoo help center, and they replied: - Hey man, what's your bag? At a party, someone asked me: ...
0
votes
1answer
141 views

Modern use of “I should think” vs. “I would think” in speech

When I listen to old Tom Lehrer recordings he says, I should like to introduce... and it sounds a bit strange. However, yesterday I was building a shed with my wife and I said, much to my ...
3
votes
1answer
301 views

Meaning of the slang Boo

The following paragraph is from the story of Billy, Sally, and Joe: Billy and Sally were inside a dark room. - Billy yelled "Boo" and scared Sally. Then, Joe came in. - Hey, boo, come over ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Technique of pronouncing the rhotic “r”

I, as a German native speaker, have two "techniques" of pronouncing the rhotic "r." I describe them as follows: I move my tongue upward, so it touches the upper row of my teeth and then just make a ...
4
votes
3answers
200 views

Must “Eldest” Always Apply To People?

If you have a collection of things that are related to one another, can you use "eldest" to denote the oldest, or should that term only be used with respect to people? Another question on this site: ...
4
votes
4answers
155 views

How do some people develop the tendency to overuse particular words?

My ninth-grade history teacher said ultimately so much that a classmate and I started keeping tally each day. He once said ultimately 26 times in a 48-minute period. A co-worker's response to most ...
-1
votes
2answers
64 views

How can I say a job which completes 70-80%? [closed]

In English, if a job completed 100%, then I will say it is Completely done If it is done about 50 %, we will say partially complete How about case if it done about 60% to 70% or 70 to ...
24
votes
9answers
3k views

Does anyone use both “whinge” and “whine?”

The words "whinge" and "whine" have separate (albeit very similar) definitions in the OED, and they have distinct pronunciations. "Whinge" seems completely restricted to BritE; I have never heard it ...
7
votes
3answers
667 views

I haven't seen her “for”/“in” two days

What's the difference between using either for or in in the following examples? Bill hasn't taken a vacation for/in two years. Jack hasn't been to school for/in four days. I hadn't seen ...
0
votes
0answers
10 views

“When will you be leaving”, Why? when the subject is Person! [duplicate]

My confusion about The correct sentence is when will you be leaving. but i don't know why they use "will be leaving" instead of "will leave"? Many thanks.
0
votes
1answer
74 views

I am having difficulty structuring the following sentence based on the following words

I want to ensure that the following words are conveyed in the sentence: Competency Cultural-fit Inclusion (inside of culture) My attempt has been the following, but I feel it could be ...
5
votes
2answers
116 views

“Turkey Day” 100 years ago

I've perceived an uptick in the use of "Turkey Day" to refer to Thanksgiving, and I ran a basic sanity Check against Google Ngrams. It seems to be on the rise since about 1970, but I also noticed a ...
0
votes
1answer
570 views

Is the idiom “as neat as a pin” an American phrase?

I'm editing a novel set in 1930s England, written by an American author, and have been editing out any Americanisms I come across. I just read a line of dialogue containing the idiom "as neat as a ...
3
votes
3answers
304 views

What does this phrase mean: “they just can't keep their hands off the cookie jar”?

What does the following sentence mean? They just can’t keep their hands off the cookie jar (or outta the cookie jar) I came across this sentence in a movie. The context is racism and the social ...
-1
votes
1answer
72 views

A is B that is C, C refers to A or B?

He works in our company that is nice. In the above sentence, "nice" refers to company? or it can also refer to company? How about a general A is B that is C sentence?
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Rephrase the Sentence [closed]

I have a picture that I am trying to give a caption to. Following is what I have come up with, but it just not sounding right. It's picture of San Francisco downtown in the background and bay in the ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

Is this grammatical? [closed]

Could you tell us what's your favorite Google Chrome extensions? , The ones that you are using regularly and the ones that are cool no matter how much you use it or how popular it is.
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Why is the past tense of text, as used by some people, pronounced “text-ted” and not just “tested”?

Why is the past tense of text, as used by some people, pronounced text-Ted and not just tested? One wouldn't say risk-ked for risked, or ask-ked for asked?
1
vote
1answer
46 views

What is the meaning of ground truth?

I am reading the paper : http://mi-lab.org/files/2014/10/FlexSense_web.pdf . I have problems understanding use of ground truth the following : Main Pipeline Reconstructing the full 3D surface ...
6
votes
1answer
236 views

“Carbine” rifle | is there pronunciation demographic data?

Let me count the ways: Car-bine (like: dine, refine, canine.) Car-bean (like: green bean, ravine, serpentine.) CAR-buhn (like: ..like the right and proper way to pronounce the scotch 'Oban'.) ...
0
votes
1answer
444 views

Earlier in the day meaning? [closed]

Today ,while reading news paper I came across the sentence "she had gone shopping earlier in the day " ....what does it mean ......? My conjecture "yesterday ?
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Out or out of which is it? [duplicate]

Which is correct 1 Get out the house. Or 2 Get out of the house? I've heard that the American English standard is the first one and the British English standard is the second one. Is that true? The ...
0
votes
1answer
118 views

How can I rewrite the sentence in professional way?

I have a sentence. Could you help me to rewrite it more professional way? Thanks The advantage of these methods is that guarantee to achieve a good optimal solution, and thus these methods are ...
0
votes
2answers
853 views

What is British biscuit called in America? Cookie?! Cracker?

You find in dictionaries (OED for example) that what the British call biscuit, is called cookie or cracker in America. But, British biscuits are like these: while American cookies are like ...
0
votes
1answer
18 views

How should I capitalize “on which” using headline-style capitalization?

How should I capitalize on which in the headline The Construction of Those Terms on which the Parties Agree?