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

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11
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4answers
1k views

Do brides in church weddings go up the aisle toward the altar or down the aisle toward the altar?

Nigel Rees, The Cassell Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins (1987) has this entry regarding the question "WHY DO WE SAY ... BRIDES GO UP THE AISLE?" Sir Thomas Bazley fired off a letter to The ...
5
votes
2answers
169 views

What is the etymology of “word!” [duplicate]

Many people have begun to use the word "word" seemingly as an exclamation point or as a means to be emphatic. Where and why did this begin?
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Difference between “how you are” and “how you were”

I heard in a talkshow that someone said. "I wanted to see how you were doing after the operation" My question is what the difference is to: "I wanted to see how you are doing after the operation" ...
2
votes
4answers
320 views

What's it called when someone is trying to end a conversation?

Everyone does the thing where while speaking to someone you'll start inching away in order to end the conversation. Or you'll say something thats a conversation ender like "time to get back to work" ...
4
votes
3answers
284 views

Is or Was when talking about a historic figure in the present?

If I ask someone the question "Who is Martin Luther King Jr." is that correct compared to "Who was Martin Luther King Jr.?" Which one is the correct sentence and how?
2
votes
1answer
210 views

The word “cooker”

According to Merriam-Webster, one of the definitions of the word "cooker" is "a person who tends a cooking process (a cook)." The dictionary provides the following example sentence: Dad was the ...
1
vote
2answers
129 views

What is a word which describes something you are looking for

The word would fit within the following context: I found the ______ of my search. I know there there is a simple word which describes an object which is being searched for, but I just can't ...
2
votes
3answers
277 views

Road to English fluency for advanced speakers [closed]

I have been learning English all my life. I have been in the US for three years. I consider myself an advanced English speaker. There are many resources on the internet that are geared towards ...
1
vote
2answers
172 views

Difference between 'voting' and 'casting a vote'

What's the difference between them? A man was talking to another person while the elections were being held. I overheard them. But I'm confused here. English is not my mother language and I have ...
0
votes
3answers
133 views

Walk across/through/on the crosswalk?

What is the correct collocation here? Do you walk across the crosswalk, through the crosswalk, or on the crosswalk? Or can you say cross the crosswalk?
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What does the expression “Word.” mean? [duplicate]

I was watching the 1989 movie "Bill and Ted's excellent adventure" a couple of weeks back and in one scene Bill replies to some statement (I forgot whom he is replying to) with just "Word." What does ...
23
votes
7answers
3k views

How do native speakers answer questions like “what's cooking”?

I work in an office environment as a software developer in Massachusetts, USA and every so often have some colleague ask me a question like "what's cooking? anything good?" When they say that they ...
1
vote
3answers
268 views

How to avoid using lot of I's in the personal essay? [closed]

I am writing my statement of purpose for applying to grad school. When I read my statement of purpose I see a lot of "I"s: I did this I worked on this I want to I got to learn this I got ...
18
votes
7answers
6k views

Asking female employees to come to my room [closed]

I have a few female employees working at my office, and being a manager, I need to text them via Skype or Messenger to come to my room. How can I ask them politely to come? Please come to my room ...
0
votes
0answers
12 views

What is the proper usage of “The… of…” and “A … of …”? [duplicate]

I wrote an article, and will submit it soon. I am troubled in its title: "The Speedy Application of Augmented Dickey-Fuller Test for Stationarity Analysis with causfinder Package in R" I have learnt ...
-2
votes
1answer
147 views

Is there any difference between 'plaid' and 'tartan'?

It seems to me that some Americans will say plaid where we will use tartan. Whilst tartan refers to woollen cloth woven in one of several patterns of coloured checks and intersecting lines; plaid ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

When to use named and called? [duplicate]

I am writing my Statement of Purpose. I am writing a sentence such as I moved to a small town called Falmouth where I .... Should I use named or called? I moved to a small town named ...
0
votes
2answers
60 views

A term for Not Applicable in the context of UI/UX [closed]

I want to give an option to a user to check if an option is not applicable for her. However the two words in "Not Applicable" are too huge for my GUI. Suggestions Would be greatly appreciated :)
0
votes
2answers
67 views

What is a “turkey walk”?

I once read that a "turkey walk" was going to be held on a Sunday at 8.00 a.m. in a small town in New England. I tried to find it in dictionaries and I also googled the expression, but got no ...
5
votes
3answers
555 views

What does “consound” mean?

Hello and happy holidays. While reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, I came across the expression "consound it" in Huck's dialogue parts. "Consound it, Tom Sawyer, you're just old pie, 'longside ...
2
votes
4answers
360 views

Up Hill vs. Down Hill [duplicate]

The expression "It's all up hill from here!" and "It's all down hill from here!" mean that things will only get better or things will only get worst. Metaphorically going uphill can provide for a ...
2
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

What is an Anglepoise lamp called in America?

What word do Americans use to refer an Anglepoise lamp?
0
votes
1answer
82 views

What does “even the keel in favour of ” in the sentence mean?

Even the legal framework that is supposed to provide a modicum of protection to workers is fraying. For instance, the state’s unwillingness to use the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act or the ...
0
votes
3answers
285 views

What is a “plumber's wife”?

This is about an expression used by a female manager at a hotel in Philadelphia (PA) some years ago. She was showing me around as part of my employment interview, and during this made a statement that ...
1
vote
2answers
129 views

What does this sentence imply, as worded, in terms of the amount of Caucasians, e.g. some, all or another amount of Caucasians? [closed]

"Next time Caucasians might think about voting with facts and common sense instead of with their white guilt."
8
votes
7answers
1k views

Word for mildly popular (used as a compliment)

I'm trying to find a word for something meaning not explosively popular or successful, yet not a failure. It should not be intended as criticism and should represent something not necessarily new but ...
5
votes
2answers
292 views

What did “eating 'mad cow'” mean in the 1800's?

In the December 1885 Lippincott's Magazine article COOKHAM DEAN, about an artistic area 40 miles up the Thames from London, Margaret Bertha Wright (an American author) wrote: Probably nine-tenths ...
1
vote
2answers
65 views

“He would go to the theater if I would go with him” - is this a correct sentence?

How to say properly in American English this sentence: "He would go to the theater if I would go with him". Does it look absolutely fine? First of all, I'm curious about two "would" in one sentence.
2
votes
1answer
65 views

What does “telling the truth has become a societal antiquity” mean?

What does "telling the truth has become a societal antiquity" mean? I saw it on a random post earlier today. I guess it could mean that it's an outdated method: that many people resort to lies.
1
vote
0answers
84 views

already , southern pronunciation ≈ [ʰɑɾi] “oddy”

Cut to the chase pals Could anybody confirm the southern pronunciation of "already" as something like oddy ? if so, What's its phonetic transcription? is there any eye spelling for it? I've noticed ...
0
votes
2answers
126 views

Associates vs employees

I've noted that some US companies (I've seen that in less-than-stellar retail and fast-food chains) call people working for them "associates", rather than "employees". What would be the difference ...
-3
votes
1answer
68 views

What exactly does “Standard” refer to in “(U.S.) Standard System”? [closed]

Why do Americans refer to the US imperial system of measurement as the standard system? In addition to the fact that the metric system is widely accepted as the standard system, the alternate term, ...
5
votes
2answers
349 views

19th century American English “slang”?

As I was doing a bit of research online I stumbled on this Children's Corner page 311 from the American Farmers' Magazine 1858. And, frankly, there are a lot of words that look totally foreign to me. ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

“Sport” vs “Sports” Origin

I was recently reading this article on the use of "math" vs. "maths" as a collective noun (Americans use the former, Brits the latter). However, the trend seen in "math/maths" is reversed in ...
-2
votes
1answer
71 views

Is “originally first” a grammar error?

I understand that the phrase "originally first" is repetitive, but is it a grammatical error? For more context, the phrase appeared in the following sentence which was marked wrong for repetition. ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

What's the word or phrase for “reading strategy/orientation”?

In English, we read from left-to-right, top-to-bottom. In traditional Japanese, text is read up-todown, right-to-left. Is there an English word that describes the "reading strategy" of a particular ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

what does this mean “ I got 70 + application forms” [duplicate]

Today I saw, someone has written I got 70+ application forms What is the purpose of the plus sign in that statement?
-1
votes
1answer
93 views

no more feed the children commercials (and so on) [closed]

No more feed the children commercials. With 40 million over weight americans negros to eat, the african cannibals would have food for years I don't understand causality or a causal relationship ...
0
votes
2answers
295 views

I'm writing an email to an investor. Please help me to improve my sentences [closed]

I am sending a detailed document about our idea, as requested by an investor. Are the sentences correct? Do they need any improvement? As per our conversation yesterday, I am sending you a ...
-1
votes
3answers
404 views

If Americans go to the toilet in the bathroom, where do they take a bath?

As far as I am aware, in the US it is very common to refer to the room that contains the toilet (device for disposing of human waste) as the bathroom. If this is a separate room from the room that ...
-2
votes
1answer
4k views

Difference between “I've got a cold” and “I've gotten a cold” in American English [duplicate]

I once heard there is a difference in meaning between these two sentences in AmE. Is there any? The possible duplicate Difference between "I have got" and "I have gotten" does not ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

'Grasshopper' as a term for a neophyte

What is the origin of using the word "grasshopper" as a term for a neophyte or trainee? The most reliable reference I have is Urban Dictionary, who claims that it is from a 1970's television series ...
1
vote
1answer
848 views

Where and how do I use the word “apparently”?

Does this word "apparently" mean that something is obvious or does it refer to something that seems true but actually isn't. Apparent means illusion, right? People use this word quite often and I ...
1
vote
1answer
405 views

Using a name as a contraction with “is”, syntax looks possessive?

"Bob is fat" Would it be proper to do "Bob's fat"? To me, this looks possessive, as if we're talking about his fat rather than using "fat" as an adjective. What's the proper way to do this?
3
votes
3answers
445 views

Water caltrop in American English

There's a moderately popular fruit found in India known as panifal or singada in Hindi. The fruit comes from an aquatic plant that grows in stagnant or slow-moving water up to 10-15 foot deep. Here's ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Which organizations responsible for formalizing English Language (British and American) [duplicate]

I need this information to make my own English language site, but I do not want to use copy-paste from other sites or books. I need to find the source of information to make a correct content. If ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

How should I arrange a foreign word and its translation in middle of sentence?

I'm having trouble with this sentence: "I possess what in spanish we call ganas, the desire, to attain a graduate degree." I think it's clear what I'm trying to say, but it sounds wrong. It ...
1
vote
1answer
391 views

Why does Northern Ireland pronunciation sound similar to American?

Recently, I started watching a TV show The Fall, which takes place in Northern Ireland. Their intonations and accents are unique, but their pronunciation sounds a lot like North American English to ...
0
votes
1answer
132 views

What do “doe” and “save us the conversation” mean? [closed]

First, I wanna ask the meaning of the word "doe". Is it like "buddy" or "pal"? Seems it has lots of meanings. Second, I wanna ask the meaning of the sentence that saves us the conversation. ...