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

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0
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2answers
11k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

American refusal of the IPA: why?

Are there any historical or political reasons for the rather consistent refusal of the International Phonetic Alphabet on the part of American academics? Did Mark Twain's ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

What's a word for someone who is constantly asking for same thing?

Hi I'm looking for a word for someone who is constantly asking for something and keeps wanting updates about it. The closest words I can think of is pushy and, to a lesser extent, annoying. But ...
1
vote
2answers
27 views

What do you call someone who keeps asking other people to buy them things when they can just buy it themselves?

What do you call someone who asks other people to buy them things when they could just buy it themselves.
0
votes
4answers
33 views

What's a word for “newcomer to politics”?

Incumbent means someone who currently holds office. Is there a word that describes someone who is completely new to politics, like "rookie" does for sports. I feel like "rookie" doesn't fit well ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

What should I call classwork at the start of a period?

So as far as I can remember, whenever a teacher gives you work at the beginning of a class period, they are called "Drills" or "Warm-ups"; however, friends that I have talked to from other schools ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

American and british english [on hold]

Does institutions use american or british english? For example, does Green peace use american or british english? Do you know other examples? (I'm sorry for eventual mistake, i'm not native). Thank ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

How will “winning” be percieved?

If I use the phrase "winning business" as a byline to a logo. How will it generally be percieved? 1) Like a winning business 2) Like the act of winning business 3) Doesn't make any sense to have ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

“call someone/something” vs. “call someone/something up” for "make a phone call to someone/something

What's the difference between call and call up to mean make a telephone call to? Is the latter any more informal than the former, or is it mainly a regional thing? call someone or something up ...
69
votes
14answers
10k views

Is it conceivable that President Obama might use the word “queue”?

President Obama in a press conference, in London today, has said that if Britain votes to leave the European Union and makes separate application to the United States for a trade deal, she will be at ...
0
votes
2answers
20 views
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Order of words?

Which is the most correct to write? Printed Arabic-English Text Recognition. or Recognition of Printed Arabic-English Text. In my opinion, both are correct but since i am not a native ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

May “in with” be used to mean “among?”

I was thinking about how little I use the word among and how I would phrase the dictionary's example sentences for it. Most of it involved substitution with the word with. Then I noticed something. ...
3
votes
7answers
8k views

US and UK English: queue or wait in line?

What do you usually say, depending on the context and depending if it's US or UK English? wait in line or queue
0
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0answers
38 views

AmE: virgin forest

First time coming across the term virgin forest. Wiki gives a bunch of alternatives: Old-growth Forests An old-growth forest — also termed primary forest, virgin forest, primeval forest, late ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Is there any specific word for showing dislike facial expression? [on hold]

Sometimes women twist their faces to express their dislikeness. Is there any specific word for showing such facial expression?
4
votes
1answer
14 views

Please help me to understand the following definition of “Precautionary Principle”

for "precautionary princple", it gives the following definition. where there are threats or serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific cerntainty shall not be used as a reason for ...
2
votes
2answers
61 views

polite questions vs. direct questions: real life reactions [closed]

In English courses (especially business), we learn to use polite questions. So we know that you shouldn't say "excuse me... where's the nearest supermarket, please?" but rather "excuse me... do you ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Difference between meaning of abstain and refrain [closed]

What are the basic differences between abstain and refrain? Do both words serve the same purpose or not?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is the phrase “Hello, my dear fellow” considered weird nowadays?

I was wondering if the "Hello, my dear fellow" salutation is considered weird nowadays. A friend of mine (one British chap) once said it sounded "gay" =) I'd like to ask native speakers' opinion. ...
6
votes
2answers
334 views

Should I pronounce little as ['lit(ə)l] or ['lid(ə)l]

I guess some people may give a down-vote to my silly question, but I still want to make it clear, at least for myself. Since English is not my first language, I watch a lot of online videos learn the ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Meaning of “Students in all majors” versus “Students of all majors”

I would like to know the difference between these sentences: I want to send an email to students of all majors I want to send an email to students in all majors How did of/in change the meaning of ...
0
votes
1answer
165 views

What is the origin of “Act your age, not your shoe size”?

I have been thinking about this saying a lot in the past week (and yes I saw Prince in concert 30 years ago, and the Ramones the same night), but I have heard it since I was a child. I guess I find it ...
22
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
145 views

Why do Americans 'tell' you Good Morning?

Why do Americans 'tell' you Good Morning? Isn't it a greeting rather than information? This is a quote from a book I am currently reading, "She went through to the kitchen to tell her children ...
-1
votes
2answers
69 views

Why can't I use “have” in given example? [closed]

How come in following sentence "have" is an incorrect word to use and "has" is correct one? "Working for many years in academic and administration fields have not only contributed to my professional ...
0
votes
7answers
108 views

Looking for suitable word for doing errand jobs / petty jobs [closed]

I am looking for a suitable word for doing errand / petty jobs. Clerk is not the right word.
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Is there a word meaning “of or like the squid”?

I would like to know if there is a word for being of or related to a squid like there are words for humans, eagles, and lions, i.e. hominine, aquiline, and leonine. I don't expect the word (if there ...
1
vote
2answers
20 views

what is word used to describe that “meaning has lost from originality”

I remember that many words on time get separated out from its actual meaning and people start using it for random cases to express different emotions or cases. There is word that describes this ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Is the third conditional disappearing in American English?

New Zealander here. I came across a sentence similar to the following: If I moved, I might've been found. To me, this is grammatically incorrect. It should be: If I'd moved, I might've been ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Using a comma to seperate these clauses? [closed]

English is my second language. A co-worker who edits my work wrote the following two phrases: This way, workers can install the guardrail for the next level from a lower platform eliminating the ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Is “take a bath” or “bathe” used to mean “take a shower” in some English dialects?

By analogy with Portuguese tomar banho [de chuveiro/ducha], which along with tomar uma ducha/chuveirada (Br.)/duche (Port.) means, take a shower, are there any parts of the English speaking world in ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Is it acceptable in American English to pronounce “grocery” as “groshery”?

I caught myself pronouncing the "c" in "grocery" as an "sh" sound. Is this commonplace/accepted, or is it perhaps geographic? Does this occur with "c" in other words? As background, I was raised in ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Difference between 'REVERENCE' and 'DEFERENCE'

MY EFFORT: this a straight-forward question. I was practising for 'SAT' and met a question which required knowledge of difference between the afore-mentioned two words. I have searched the following 2 ...
-1
votes
2answers
69 views

What do we mean by the phrase 'conventions of standard written English' [closed]

A question came and it had one of its options: correct according to conventions of standard English. I don't remember the question but the question was from a grammar section. I do not have an idea ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

Piece of time/fragment of time/portion of time/bits of time

I have a question regarding the use of certain words to express an idea that implies portions of time. Is a “piece of time” an idiom or does it literally mean a “fragment of time”? I would really ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

At the heart of the party/in the center of the party/at the center of the party

I have a questing regarding space prepositions. For instance, if I want to specify that a woman and I are dancing at the central part of a room where a loud party is taking place, would it be correct ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

laden vs. loaded [closed]

I was justed asked whether it's a british idiom to say something, for example a car is 'fully laden' as in American English 'loaded' would be used. Does anyone here know about this issue? Thanks ...
2
votes
2answers
15k views

Independance or Independence?

What other words are like "independence" in British English where you replace the 'a' with an 'e'?
0
votes
3answers
428 views

What's the “butter zone”?

An episode of Mythbusters about a steam machine gun and beating polygraph tests referred to the "butter zone". What does the phrase mean? Onelook.com couldn't find a definition. Urban dictionary has ...
7
votes
10answers
913 views

word(s) to describe someone judge others by one tiny detail

I wonder if there is a word or a few words or phases that describe a person very often: judge a person based on one or two tiny details or critise harshly over small mistakes that one made ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Whats the opposite of the dependent [closed]

I'm creating an application/website, that you can control "assets" with. (The fact this is an app/website is irrelevant, I'm just giving some detail) Inside these assets, you can define attributes, ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

“Am I (ever) [adj.] ” vs. “How [adj.] I am”

What's the difference between saying, Boy, am I happy to see you again! Damn, am I ever lucky to have a friend like you! -and- Boy, how happy I am to see you again! Damn, how lucky ...
0
votes
1answer
134 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
90 views

APA: Paper in past tense but is/was verb confusion for alive author

I want to state, "One advocate for the issues based teaching style is/was Brian Schultz." He is alive, but my paper is in past tense. What do I do?
1
vote
2answers
320 views

Is “hail from (somewhere)” necessarily formal English?

Macmillan dictionary says hail from is "formal". link Cambridge dictionary notes hail from as "formal" in British English but doesn't say this for American English. link Oxford Learners ...
11
votes
2answers
61k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
83 views

Phrasal verbs with synonymous opposites

There are some cases in English where one can substitute in a word that normally has an opposite meaning, but instead produces the same meaning. For examples, consider the following meanings and ...
6
votes
3answers
254 views

What is the origin of the suffixes “statin” and “medin”?

In medicine, there are the terms "statin" and "medin". For example, there is somatostatin and somatomedin (growth hormone). It's obvious that somato- is Latin, but what about the rest? Were "statin" ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Is “go exercising” ungrammatical or non-standard?

Friends, I think the phrase "go exercise" is spoken in colloquial English. But I can still find the phrase "go exercising," even in Google books. Like the excerpt below: I like to exercise, but ...