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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6answers
1k views

Polite, non-profane equivalent to ‘kick a**’

So, you have a web site to which you've posted a review stating "How to Kick Ass". This gets censored, which I can understand. What's a very colloquial, not necessarily modern slang, easily ...
3
votes
4answers
26k views

Difference between “get” and “take”

What is the difference between "get" and "take"? Both are used to describe receiving something. By intuition I mostly guess which one to use, but would like to know some rule which will stick in my ...
-1
votes
1answer
52 views

Checkboxes vs. Checkboces [on hold]

I know that you can say both e.g. indexes and indices, but does it apply to all the words with similar ending? I'm interested about checkboxes vs checkboces in particular.
1
vote
0answers
15 views

Usage of loss or losses (for undesirable heat produced)

I am working in the field of electrical engineering where losses may appear due to for example and in short, pulsating magnetic fields in magnetic materials (Core losses) or electric current (Copper ...
6
votes
6answers
713 views

non-condecending term that has the meaning that is usually associated to 'first world'

I've always thought of the 'first world' as countries with modern technology and science, proper education, viable economies, and freedom from other social issues which allows individuals to enjoy a ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

How do i know if the word is stressed? [on hold]

Yesterday I had a lesson about stressed words. My question is how do i know if the word is stressed or not without listening to the pronunciation? Examples: He wants a job that lets them travel. ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

“you” in spoken, quoted dialogue

My partner and I have been having a debate about the proper way of relating dialogue in spoken English. Our problem is as follows: It often happens in conversation that one wishes to relate a ...
2
votes
3answers
42 views

What is the short for “focusing on the key component of the problem?”

I am writing a research essay which contains something like "a policy that focuses on the key component of the problem." I am struggling to come up with a short name for this policy because I need to ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

The difference really cannot [on hold]

Is there any different in meaning between I cannot really and I really cannot?
0
votes
0answers
24 views

The difference really cannot

Is there any different in meaning between I cannot really and I really cannot?
3
votes
3answers
224 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Cultural connotation of American English — some examples?

I am from India and we speak English there as well, albeit not as culturally refined as I see in the US. In India, and perhaps in the UK, English is spoken in a straight and 'as it is' manner. For ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Repeated usage of “can” [on hold]

A shop can be up- or downgraded or the user credentials * be changed with the help of [...] I have two questions in this sentence: The construction "up- or downgrade" (omit the grade from the ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do Americans call hair that turns white “gray hair” not “white hair?” [closed]

I searched on YouTube for the reason why hair turns white then I found that Americans called it gray hair not white hair. In my opinion, its color is white so I don't understand why they call it gray ...
1
vote
2answers
42 views

Why is 'sort of' pronounced /sɔːrdəv/ in AmE though /t/ is not between vowels?

Sort /sɔːrt/ of /əv/ Why is "sort of" pronounced /sɔːrdəv/ in American English even though /t/ is not between the two vowels /r/ & /ə/?
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Which is correct: “Real Madrid compete very well,” or “Real Madrid competes very well?” [duplicate]

I think there's a difference in the ways in which sports announcers from the U.S. and U.K. refer to the teams. If my memory serves me correctly, I think announcers in FIFA from the U.K. will use forms ...
2
votes
4answers
6k views

How do they express the time, in American and British English?

I don't know if this is a good question. But as far as I know, and as I do it, American English also say "after" other than "past" in expressing times. For example, a quarter after six instead of, a ...
11
votes
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

'Ours' meaning 'our home' - where is it used outside the UK, if anywhere?

In expressions like: Let's go back to ours and have some food. There's a party at ours on Friday. There's a bottle of brandy at yours, isn't there? 'ours' and 'yours' are synonyms for ...
1
vote
5answers
58 views

Antonym for “unify” that sounds equally as eloquent?

Is there an antonym for the word unify that sounds just as "eloquent" as the word itself? I feel like separate isn't really that great of a word.
0
votes
0answers
20 views

What is the difference between “Faith” and “Confidence”? [closed]

What is the difference between "Faith" and "Confidence"? When to use what? Need an example of the usage.
10
votes
3answers
6k views

Where do “shenanigans” come from?

Shenanigans, or shenanigan, also with several variant spellings, can be dated to 1855 USA in both the OED and Etymonline, but the OED simply says "Origin obscure" and Etymonline throws a few guesses ...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

To gain/acquire/obtain comfort with something abstract - is this idiomatic, or at least acceptable?

I am encountering the expression "to gain comfort", "to acquire comfort", and to "obtain comfort" more and more lately. Example: "This issue was looked at in depth in 2013 and we obtained comfort at ...
4
votes
2answers
49 views

Is 'yeah-nah' a uniquely Australian idiom?

There is a response in Australian English that means "Yes I hear you and empathise with your situation, but no this course of action won't work for me." [Yeah-Nah] I assumed this was a normal part of ...
3
votes
5answers
312 views

How do I pluralize the coffee drink “shot in the dark”?

For those that do not know, there is a coffee drink that is sometimes called a shot in the dark. It consists of an espresso shot poured into a regular cup of Joe. Suppose that I would like to order ...
2
votes
2answers
57 views

Is 'surface street' specific to southern California?

In Los Angeles, California, the US, the phrase surface street is in common use. It refers to an ordinary city street, as opposed to a controlled-access freeway. Presumably the word surface comes ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

“Why has this watch stopped?” Thought Ahmed,

"Why has this watch stopped? " Thought Ahmed, How to change this sentence into Narration? I tried to make its Indirect speech, but I could not change it.
-1
votes
1answer
43 views

Choose the option that best corrects the comparison error in the following part of the sentence - (accomplished and intelligent like Merlin)

Although Merlin was renowned for his superb wizardry and general sagacity, Mingo, his unheralded apprentice, was every bit accomplished and intelligent like Merlin. a. accomplished and intelligent as ...
2
votes
2answers
467 views

Is this proper English: “I am student”? [closed]

So, I have a debate with my associate. We are debating whether one can say something like "I am student." It was argued that this was proper and that indeed you can use a verb followed by a noun ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

Is the usage “… is/are hurting” from a victim's perspective grammatically correct?

I recall listening to a statement by Obama one or two years ago (also after a shooting incident, most likely) where he remarked something like "... our people are hurting". Since he was referring to ...
17
votes
11answers
5k views

Idiom: in my neck of the woods, AmE

Idiom: in my neck of the woods (AmE) The meaning of this expression is: in the region where I live. I once tried to find out how a word that referred to a part of the body could later develop into ...
4
votes
2answers
406 views

What does “wildin'” mean?

In Rihanna's song "FourFiveSeconds", this line is sung in the chorus: 'Now I'm four, five seconds from wildin'...' I searched on Google for the definition of "wildin'" and got this: wildin' ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

“Late to the party” vs. “late for the party”

I've heard both versions, usually in similar contexts. Which one is correct or more correct — or more prevalent — in the USA? He: This deal ends at 7 p.m. She: Sucks, I am late to the party.
4
votes
3answers
385 views

“Tommyknockers”: why the “tommy” prefix in AmE?

From The Tommyknockers by Stephen King: Late last night and the night before, Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers, knocking at the door. I want to run, don't know if I can, 'cause I'm so afraid of ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

English Pronunciation Easter Eggs [closed]

I have been wondering recently if there are any Pronunciation "Easter Eggs" in the English language (not unlike how "Ghoti" is pronounced like "Fish"). Are there any others? Please provide phonetic ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

What do you call a building, or rooms within it, where doctors see their patients?

My understanding is as follows. Is this universally agreed? The OED sense 2a of surgery explains its use to describe the room where a doctor sees his patients. The OED gives no indication that this ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

Pronunciation of 'finance' and 'financial' in the media

This is just something I've noticed over the last few years in the English (UK) media and I wondered if there is some explanation for it. It used to be that 'financial' and 'finance' were pronounced ...
0
votes
3answers
72 views

Which is more appropriate: “I gonna” or “I am gonna”? [closed]

I want to ask about verb "to be" in gonna, specifically about which form is more accurate. I am gonna or I gonna and They gonna or They are gonna
0
votes
3answers
69 views

Does vacillation imply intention or a mind? Can non-intelligent things vacillate?

A friend and I are arguing about this. Does vacillation imply a mind? Can a non-intelligent thing vacillate? In the context of video games my friend mentioned that his ping was vacillating. I argued ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Which of the following sentences is correct? (“Due to address” vs. “Due to addressing”)

Due to address the convention in July, Brown planned to address the issue of low-income housing in his speech. Due to addressing the convention in July, Brown planned to address the issue of ...
3
votes
8answers
704 views

What do you call someone who doesn't back down? [closed]

I'm looking for a word that describes a character in an essay I'm writing. I need a word for someone who doesn't back down, something like "brave" but not quite, more like "courageous". This person is ...
2
votes
5answers
214 views

Is “key” as an adjective, meaning “crucial”, standard in American English?

As an adjective, key can mean "Of crucial importance" (Oxford). For example: the key facts are the most important facts, or a key worker is an employee whose role is especially vital. In British ...
3
votes
4answers
8k views

First use of the slang term “Scrub”?

The slang term "scrub", when referred to a person, can mean several things. It seems like the original usage as an adjective is someone who is not good at something - video games, sports, etc. I am ...
0
votes
4answers
157 views

Is there any specific word for showing dislike facial expression?

Sometimes women twist their faces to express their dislikeness. Is there any specific word for showing such facial expression?
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Pronunciation of 'cos' (as in the mathematical term)

What is the correct pronunciation for the mathematical abbreviation 'cos' when it is not pronounced in its complete form 'cosine'? I pronounce it as 'k-aw-ss', but a couple of Canadian friends I have ...
2
votes
2answers
101 views

Is “have/has got” a perfect for BrE, but not AmE?

In BrE the past participle of get is in most cases got, while in AmE it is almost always gotten. Does that imply that in the context of BrE "have/has got" is a genuine perfect construction, whereas ...
11
votes
23answers
5k views

A single word that means “mental reaction speed”?

I'm searching for a single-word descriptor that means "mental quickness", "mental reaction speed" or very similar with little additional connotation (unlike alacrity or wits). EDIT: The word has to ...
70
votes
1answer
250k views

What's the difference between “requester” and “requestor”?

Both are in dictionaries. I've heard people insist "requester" is correct for a person who requests something, and that "requestor" is wrong there, leaving me to wonder how it is used. Requestor ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

'Yet' in affirmative statements in American English (except in 'is yet to' and 'have yet to')

I know for a fact now that 'yet' is heard used in American English in affirmative statements like the following. 1 and 2 (and perhaps 3) are okay but 4. I just can't seem to see the rules with this. ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Hi everyone. I need your help. I wrote this essay and I think it's full of mistakes. Anyone can you correct me? Would be appreciated [closed]

What a beautiful morning! Waking up next to a little angel made me realize how beautiful it is be a mother. A couple who I have not known for very long asked me to watch their 6-month-year old baby ...