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

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1
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4answers
105 views

Word for someone who only likes familiar things?

A "xenophobe" is someone who is uncomfortable with things or people that are different or unfamiliar. Is there a word for the other side of the coin, someone who is most comfortable with things that ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Convolve vs. convolute

I understand that for common usage these words have distinct meanings. However in mathematics there is a process called convolution, and sometimes you hear "you need to convolve X" and sometimes "you ...
4
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Take your hands out “of / from” your pockets

Which is proper: Take your hands out of your pockets. Take your hands out from your pockets. Is there any difference in American English and British English? P.S. Also reading the ...
24
votes
8answers
5k views

What's the English equivalent for the Italian slang expression “magna magna”

"Magna magna" is a typical Italian slang expression used by common people to give vent to their frustrations and disappointment with politicians when cases of corruption and personal interest in ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Different-colored or different colored? UK vs US English

Can I write "differently colored" instead? What expression most British or Americans would rather use? "socks, different in color" "socks of different colors" "a different color of each sock"
0
votes
2answers
577 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
34k views

Proper use of the phrase “of all time”

I have a client who insists on using the following sentence in his web site: Lance Armstrong is the most successful American bike racer of all times. I think that "of all times" should be "of ...
22
votes
1answer
551 views
+500

British Mass Nouns versus American Count Nouns

British English often employs mass nouns where American English would only employ count nouns. Count nouns are nouns which take pluralization and numerical quantifiers like 'many'. Mass nouns can't be ...
6
votes
5answers
150 views

What's the more common way to refer to a road with 180° curves?

A hairpin road is a road with hairpin turns or bends. According to Wikipedia: A hairpin bend , named for its resemblance to a hairpin/bobby pin, is a bend in a road with a very acute ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

a game of thrones content

Ser Waymar met it with steel. When the blades met, there was no ring of metal on metal; only a high, thin sound at the edge of hearing, like an animal screaming in pain. 'at the edge of hearing', how ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Difference between variants of pronunciation such as /fɑg/ vs. /fɔg/ for “fog”?

Some dictionaries give two variants of pronunciation (with /ɑ/ vs. /ɔ/) for words like: fog, log, loss, etc. I think that the variant with /ɑ/ has nothing to do with the cot–caught merger because ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Spend on or spend?

Which is correct? The average time spent on reading in my country is disappointing. Or The average time spent reading in my country is disappointing Generally for this sentence, do we ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

American English usage of “Making” food

I've noticed that quite often Americans will refer to "Making Eggs" or "Making a pizza" When infact they are cooking eggs (chickens make eggs) or cooking a pizza (assuming its pre-made in a factory) ...
-4
votes
0answers
45 views

I can understand English, but I can't speak! [migrated]

This is my problem: If an English man is speaking, I can understand him well.. I've read too many English novels and story,, I can understand an English movie without any subtitle.. and when I ...
1
vote
2answers
304 views

Is the adjective “big” in Disney's new film The BFG redundant?

"The BFG" stands for "The Big Friendly Giant". But I'm curious, is the "big" part of the title considered redundant because "giant" already means big? Otherwise, I suppose there are small giants and ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Can I use “sleep-in” as a noun like “lie-in”?

I have some questions about "sleep in". Do you use the expression "to have a lie-in" in the US, Canada and other English-speaking countries? Can I use "sleep-in" as a noun like "lie-in"? "Have a ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Difference between “stove” and “range”? [on hold]

What is the difference between "stove" and "range"? Does one or the other imply a set of burners for heating food situated above an oven? I'm primarily interested in answers for American English. ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Thanks for reaching out vs other “Thanks for contacting us” greetings [on hold]

Hi I have noticed that more and more American companies respond to enquiries with "Thanks for reaching out to us" To an Australian it seems a little dramatic like it is implying that I have a major ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

What do you call 'underground floors' in AmE and BrE?

I understand that the word basement means: the part of a building that is wholly or partly below ground level [Merriam-Webster] But I wonder what American English and British English call 'the ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

How is a misuse of punctuation spacing perceived by native British and American people?

I am a Frenchie and an English enthusiast. In my language, we use spaces before quotation marks, exclamation marks, and colons. While I'm aware that this is not the case in English, there are times ...
0
votes
2answers
91 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
301 views

Origin of the slang AmE and BrE usage of “beef”

Beef began its life as an intransitive verb in 1888 and soon took on the noun meaning in 1899 appearing in such expressions as "What's your beef? and "I had a beef with him" (not a steak). Beef ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Drop Off Address meaning [closed]

I'm translating an English wordpress theme and I found this: Drop Off address It's a taxi taking theme and maybe it related to transportation.
2
votes
9answers
6k views

How do American English and British English use the definite article differently?

I decided to make sure that I know this important difference between American and British English, so I wrote what I have found out so far and I would be grateful to anyone who reads this and tells me ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

Use of “Sure” in reply to help offering and to appreciation

In American English, "sure" is often heard in reply to offering help or expressing appreciation. I was wondering if it may not be a good choice? For example, - Would you like a cup of water? - ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Collective nouns/ uncountable nouns with verbs [closed]

After growing up in the US but living in the UK for 14 years, I've noticed that collective nouns are usually treated as singular in the US and plural in the UK. Examples would be as follows: a group ...
3
votes
3answers
291 views

In which countries would “tags” be understood to mean “License plates and stickers that show the registration is currently valid”?

On our sister site a user recently used the term "tags" in relation to taxis in China. I thought it might man some kind of official authorization to operate a taxi. But upon clarification I was told ...
0
votes
0answers
51 views

Scientific word for “difference in type” [closed]

There's an adjective used in scientific community which means difference in type (as opposed to e.g. amount). Anyone know the word?
29
votes
17answers
3k views

Opposite idiom for putting my foot down

I got stumped when trying to write the opposite of "putting my foot down". As an example i'll give some context. I said: "In these instances I always put my foot down, but you make me X", where X ...
-4
votes
5answers
7k views

what is formal way to ask “may we know why this happened and how it happened?” [closed]

what is formal way to ask "may we know why this happened and how it happened?" is this phrase correct .What is the formal and better way of asking this
1
vote
2answers
51 views

Trying to understand the sentence: “doesn't” vs “will not” [closed]

While doing an exercise, I came across the following sentence: If a Carl doesn't come to the party, I'll be really upset. Shouldn't be it like this? If a Carl will not come to the party, I'...
0
votes
1answer
182 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
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0answers
21 views

One could've it mistaken for…?

am currently writing a document that describes a person's behavior. And in one of my paragraphs, I have this three girls laughing so hard at a rooftop and a person from below might've mistaken their ...
5
votes
5answers
44k views

“Do you have” vs “Have you got” [duplicate]

I am studying English and I want to know the main difference between “Have you got?” and “Do you have?” questions. Are they the same? Is one more formal than the other?
0
votes
1answer
52 views

In terms of poetry, what is the Thomas code?

I was reading a book review of Wittgenstein's Mistress on goodreads, and I came across the sentence, "Without such accessible lecture notes, I may not have ever cracked the Thomas code and may never ...
45
votes
16answers
7k views

Is “act like a mensch” too localized for ELU readers (U.S. and/or British English)?

This question was motivated by an interesting comment that was made at http://academia.stackexchange.com/posts/comments/123681?noredirect=1 Part of Answer: I don't think that particular research ...
5
votes
2answers
221 views

“Everything is up for grabs”

(from an article in The New Yorker about Donald Trump's campaign) Asked by the Associated Press about the possibility of a Trump Presidency, she said, “I don’t want to think about that possibility,...
6
votes
5answers
14k views

Which is correct, “on-line” or “online”?

I am still seeing uses of on-line, though I think it is incorrect. For example: A web browser enables a user to go on-line/online. Can you tell me which is the more appropriate to use, on-line ...
13
votes
5answers
25k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
6k views

Quotation ascribed to Benjamin Franklin, “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

There is a cottage industry in the United States of manufacturing quotations and ascribing them to the American Founding Fathers. A recent one, "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to ...
2
votes
3answers
259 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 ...
-1
votes
0answers
15 views

“Beyond the iPhone” vs “The iPhone and beyond”

What would be the correct way to express evolution/forecast that will come in the future from specific event (in this case the invention of iPhone)? Beyond the iPhone The iPhone and beyond Or none ...
2
votes
1answer
20 views

“The Latest on” vs “The Latest in” [closed]

What is the proper usage of "The Latest", describing what the website is about? As an example I've came across some websites/newspapers that are using "The Latest on Apple ", "The Latest on ISIS ...
0
votes
3answers
137 views

Word For Horribly Complicated For No Reason? [closed]

I've noticed that some people really love to overcomplicate things to seem intellectually superior. For instance, say I somehow dropped a pile of clothes on the ground. They'd then ask me: "When would ...
5
votes
2answers
65 views

'Hanger' or 'coat hanger' for AmE?

Is the term hanger or coat hanger used more often in colloquial speech in American English? I'm afraid Google Ngram is of no help here, as the first word has several meanings, plus we are talking ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Can I use word 'gathering' for virtual presence

I was on a group chat with my team, there I have said "Thanks for gathering real quick". I some how feel that this is incorrect, as I am thinking that gathering is generally used when you are ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Meaning of 'to put sth. under the mind for sth.'

I found the following phrase when reading Ralph W. Emerson's The Poet: The world being thus put under the mind for verb and noun, the poet is he who can articulate it. I am not entirely sure ...
14
votes
1answer
638 views

What was “static electricity” known as before the discovery of electricity?

People must have dealt with static electrical discharge for thousands of years; well before they began to understand the principles of electricity. What would a static discharge be called in early ...
7
votes
3answers
15k views

Is “targetted” a standard British English spelling?

Wiktionary says that the difference between "targetting" and "targeting" is that the first one is a British spelling and the second one is American. Meanwhile, Oxford Dictionaries says that "...