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

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13
votes
7answers
4k views

How many of the “Top 10 favorite British words” are understood by Americans?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary online shows “Top 10 Favorite British Words”. I’m interested in knowing how many of the listed words are understood or accepted by Americans as English, whichever British ...
2
votes
3answers
95 views

Why 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'.
2
votes
1answer
23 views

Is British English the one used in European academia?

English is used all over Europe in (more or less) academic papers and books that are not necessarily related to reviews and publishing houses based in UK or US, and that are not necessarily intended ...
9
votes
9answers
1k views

A word for old-fashioned, dirty bar/place (spit-and-sawdust)

Is there a (common) single word for an old-fashioned, non-modern, simple, dirty, untidy bar/place ? A noun would be preferable. Details: There is an informal British term: spit-and-sawdust ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Do these phrases have any sense? [on hold]

To besmirch the honor of mr. Johnson. When we compare mr. Johnson with mr. Jackson, we disrespect the latter one (is it understandable that 'the latter one' refers to mr. Jackson?).
0
votes
3answers
62 views

what's the meanings of unplugged?

English is my second language and I'm wondering what's the exactly meaning of "somebody unplugged"? Such as "Joe Biden unplugged"?
1
vote
7answers
110 views

Eliminate to be verb [on hold]

How can I eliminate the weak "to be" verb (DOES) in the following sentence: She does not assist in accomplishing...
5
votes
3answers
601 views

Do you know the meaning of the American idiom “pot calling the kettle black”?

I just want to conduct a research about this American idiom and how native American people use it. Can you guys answer my questions in the following orders? If you have better questions, I will be ...
-1
votes
2answers
52 views

us english vs uk english [on hold]

Why US and UK English is different. Though both are English, why there are different words in both countries like movie in UK and Cinema in US.
6
votes
3answers
404 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

using has to or have to [on hold]

I have example of two sentences here He has to write a report.' with he, she,it we will be using has. but why we are using have here instead of has with "She" She doesn't have to wear a uniform ...
14
votes
3answers
687 views

Difference between styles of English in technical communication

I have a collaborative software project with two other users. Nearly every technical report and documentation written goes through the following editorial changes to some of the sentences (examples ...
20
votes
15answers
3k views

What is a term for someone who doesn't know what they haven't experienced?

I'm struggling to find a word or short term for a person or group of people who do not experience jealousy/remorse/etc. due to a lack of something. For example, people from the middle ages could not ...
0
votes
1answer
15 views

Plural form of these two sentences [on hold]

I'm helping my cousing with some English exercises but I don't imagine what would be the plural form of these two sentences: What is this? What is that? I'd say:" What are these?" and "What are ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

Synonymity of “is that so” and “really”

Do these have the same meaning? Oh is that so? Oh really?
0
votes
2answers
64 views

Is the English-speaking Internet community moving towards Americanized spelling?

Some of my spelling checking software failed to recognize the American spelling of the words "organize" and "realize" when a British English dictionary is being used. Curious, I looked up the British ...
2
votes
3answers
177 views

correct idiom for if you were me

I am looking for an idiom that can be used for this like "if you were me you would have done the same thing " OR something like empathy , think from my sight, is there any idiom for such scenerio? I ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Why is the English devil “old”?

Looking up the etymology of the Devil's nickname, Old Nick, I came across this article in OUPblog written by Anatoly Liberman For some reason, devils, at least in English, are often called old: ...
2
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

It looks like not funny -> does it make sense? [closed]

My friend recommanded some game , so I saw game images and I told my friend that it look like not funny? My friend say what mean??? please correct
12
votes
4answers
7k views

Why does 'coed' only mean female coeducational students?

As an adjective, the word coed, short for coeducational, indicates an institution that teaches both males and females. However, as a noun, it can only mean "a young woman who attends college". Why is ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Does the English language have an official Academy?

For some languages, there are academies that decide topics such as grammar and spelling of things, for example, for the Spanish language, there are 22 academies in 22 different countries, all making ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Simple past or present perfect when describing a series of recent actions

I, as an American, would opt for the simple past rather than the present perfect in the following sentence: Today she has gone to a class, and after that she has been shopping. Is this sentence ...
-3
votes
3answers
274 views

“You really take the biscuit!”

Is there an American version of "You really take the biscuit!"? As in taking the last biscuit, i.e. it's incredible how selfish you are.
1
vote
3answers
560 views

Which word to use, “again” or “anymore”?

I'd like to describe an action which I'm used to do but I won't do it in the future. Which word is correct, for example: Just a little more work, I'll never need that tool again. Or: Just a little ...
1
vote
3answers
83 views

“To tame” for “to cultivate [vegetables, a land, etc.]” and “to domesticate (or farm) [poultry, fish, etc.]” in AmE

The Harrap's New Shorter French and English dictionary Ed. 1985, defines both verbal and adjectival "tame" as Americanisms for respectively "to cultivate" and "cultivated", as of a plant or a land ...
28
votes
6answers
37k views

“Oriented” vs. “orientated”

What are the origins of the word orientated? As far as I know, the correct spelling is oriented and orientated is not an alternative spelling but an error that is in common use. Is it for example ...
0
votes
3answers
69 views

Derogative vs Offensive

Is a derogative comment an offensive comment? To what extent are these two words synonyms?
2
votes
1answer
155 views

Is “teen-ager” correct? Still used? Etymology?

I was reading an article in The New York Times published in 1990 and came across the spelling of teenager as 'teen-ager'; is this American spelling? Archaic? The young man, who often said he only ...
0
votes
2answers
203 views

Grammar check on a sentence with one subject, many verbs in sequence, and no conjunctions between them

Here is a sentence from my article. Just wondering if there is anything wrong with having sentences which are too long. He created some data, put up some samples, initiated a sequence and finally, ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

“high-reliable”, “highly reliable”, or something else?

There was a discussion with my colleagues about a paper that I am currently writing and in which I use phrases like "a high-reliable system architecture". Some of my colleagues hold the view that this ...
-1
votes
2answers
46 views

What does perpendicular to mean? [closed]

I am reading a math books and i cant understand this the xz plane is perpendicular to the y-axis, and the yz plane is perpendicular to the x-axis. On googling perpendicular means two lines ...
3
votes
1answer
699 views

How to use hyphens appropriately when listing multiple hyphenated terms?

If multiple hyphenated terms share the same latter half, and I wish to list them without repeating that latter half, how should the hyphens be placed? For example: I will be investigating control ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

What do you call the directions orthogonal to uptown/downtown in Manhattan?

While in many places, the notions of "uptown" and "downtown" can be somewhat fuzzy and vague, in Manhattan, these two words have clear definitions - if you are standing on nth Street, then uptown is ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

American English [duplicate]

I notice that Americans use the word 'gotten' when we in Britain just use 'got' - is 'gotten' accepted American English, that is, used and accepted in English examination papers, or is it a type of ...
1
vote
3answers
58 views

Verb mix-up in a sentence

I have this sentence, and I have a feeling that the verbs and subjects do not agree with each other, and it continues to bother me. How can I fix it? Furthermore, both mates in a couple could also ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

“Trace” as a synonym for “trail” in AE

As far as AE is concerned, does "trace" mean just about the same as "trail" in "break/blaze a trace", and -- if indeed it does -- can "trace" be used pretty much interchangeably in every which literal ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

“Put over” for “put off” in AE

In AE, can "put over" interchange with "put off" in the sense "postpone" in all contexts, or only in some specific ones? I'm all the more anxious to know the answer as I didn't get any hits searching ...
-1
votes
2answers
147 views

“Baby is creeping” vs. “baby is crawling” in AmE

Years and years ago, I remember reading in a book on AmE usage that the phrasal turn a baby creeps before it walks was to some extent more common to AmE than to BrE, which preferred exclusively the ...
2
votes
4answers
188 views

“In charge of” for “under the care of” in AmE

Checking on the validity of "to charge" as a correct fit for "to claim", "to assert" in some previous OP, I came across the expression "in charge of" pointed up by the Collins dictionary -- besides ...
-4
votes
4answers
135 views

Adjectival “Anglican” for “English”, and “Anglicanism” for “Anglomania” in AmE

Harrap's New Shorter French and English Dictionary, Ed. 1985 [Harrap's Shorter French Dictionary], points up adjectival "Anglican" as an Americanism for "English", and "Anglicanism" as an AmE ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

“Facade” vs. “façade”

I know that both facade and façade are valid in British English. Is that also true for American English? Or should facade be used when writing something for American customers? This is something that ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

I don't understande the usage of “either” in this sentence

"I couldn't sleep last night. I bet you guys couldn't either". Does the second sentence mean "I bet you too, guys"? Is it correct to use "either" like that or is it just slang?
9
votes
9answers
951 views

What's the word for someone who always likes being different?

...particularly with respect to the use of technology, taste in music, movies etc. I have seen my share of people like this who like to go "alternative" just to set themselves apart and I would like ...
1
vote
4answers
80 views

Word for “growing in intelligence”

I'm looking for a word whose definition is something along the lines of "growing in intelligence". I'm trying to use it in a sentence like "the people are getting smarter and smarter throughout the ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

“Oestrogen” and “oesophagus” — why are they spelled differently in British English?

Within Biology, there are some biological terms that differ in spelling between the British English and American English dictionaries. For example, oestrogen and oesophagus, as well as the word ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

“Decide/Intend on [gerund]” vs. “decide/intend to [infinitive]”

In analogy with "plan on [gerund]", do the gerund constructions above have any currency in AE, or are these chiefly dialectal and might sound folksy to most ears? E.g. We decided on taking our ...
-2
votes
1answer
62 views

“…Enough that one can do” for “…enough to do” in AE [closed]

In AE, can the phrasal turn "...enough that one can do" be used interchangeablyn with "...enough to do" in just about every which context? Sam is spiritually strong enough that he can stand with ...
5
votes
6answers
481 views

What is the origin of the -ass speech?

I am spending one month in the US and it seems that everything is "big ass", "lame ass", and "crazy ass". What is the purpose of modifying every adjective with "ass"? Is this an Americanism or some ...
2
votes
4answers
94 views

What adverb, typical of AmE, coincides the most with the BrE sense to “quite” [=to a noticeable or partial extent]?

As long as -- seemingly -- the adverb "quite" in AmE idiomatically carries an emphatic sense to it -- pretty much similar to saying "completely" or "absolutely" as in "That girl looks quite pretty!" ...