This tag is for questions related to English as spoken in Great Britain, and sometimes Ireland.

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257 views

Is British English Outdated in Technical Writing?

I learnt English as my second language right from my school level and for the British colonial history of my country, my education was mostly in British English. In fact, during my school years, ...
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2answers
1k views

Latin abbreviation to use in English to replace “as such” [closed]

I was wondering if I can use "et al." in order to say "as such" after a list of elements in a sentence given as example. If not: What can be the correct Latin abbreviation to use to replace "as ...
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2answers
4k views

“Records” or “record”?

I would like to know what the difference between records and record is. Which would be correct — John Allen's Records or John Allen's Record?
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2answers
165 views

Exact word when we throw a rope in english

What's the exact word for throwing a fish hook or a rope whose one end we are holding. Any help is appreciated.
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4answers
311 views

Which mood is created with “everyone should visit”?

Which mood is created with the sentence, "Everyone should visit..." with the use of the auxiliary verb? I have decided already that it is not the imperative mood.
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2answers
156 views

What's the British equivalent of American “Formica” for faux wood?

In America, the word "Formica" refers to the laminate wood surface of a certain era. (Correct me if I'm wrong on this, as I'm not an American.) This word has a certain retro feel to it. So it would ...
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1answer
85 views

What does the term 'grocer' mean in this song? (British usage)

In the song "Waiting for Margret to Go," which is about the death of Margaret Thatcher, the artist says "Grocers and Methodists lay her down low". What is the artist referring to by "grocer"? Is it ...
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1answer
214 views

Different ways of saying Aluminium [closed]

this is a very short question but me and a couple of friends have been discussing this for a little. Does anyone know why Americans and British people especially insists on saying "Aloominum" and ...
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4answers
588 views

Adjective to describe very abusive language or nature [closed]

I would like to know appropriate adjective(s) to describe a person's abusive language or nature used describe swearing at somebody. Edit: I want a more British and formal English. Something that can ...
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3answers
1k views

Which one is more British: “car hire” or “rent a car”?

I am wondering which one is more commonly used in the United Kingdom: car hire or rent a car?
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2answers
191 views

what does the sentence “You wouldn't know a hospital corner if it bit you on the arse” mean?

The conversation goes something like this: Woman: I'll change the bed sheets. Man: No, I'll do it! Woman: I can make a bed! Man : You wouldn't know a hospital corner if it bit you ...
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3answers
158 views

The other end of an “offer” [closed]

In replying to this email, sender: I believe you were interested in applying for a Moffat Scholarship Award (etc. etc.) my response: Thanks for your email and I appreciate the offer. But I'm ...
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2answers
252 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 ...
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2answers
161 views

“Mobile” vs. “cellphone” in AE

I already heard Americans use the term "mobile" for "cellphone" -- which I thought was chiefly BE -- and so I wish you could tell if such usage of "mobile" has any currency in GAE? Unless it might be ...
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1answer
527 views

To whom does “British” refer?

I've seen from sources claim that the word "British" can be used to refer to different things. Some say Great Britian, some the UK, and some even the UK including her overseas territories. Which of ...
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1answer
376 views

Is “be-gruntled” a word? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When does a word become a ‘word’? Someone in work asked about the welfare of my girlfriend, to which I replied "She's fine, a little be-gruntled but fine." People knew ...
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1answer
2k views

“your heart just shrank” vs. “your heart just shrunk” [closed]

If I say: Your heart just shrank two sizes too small. Is the verb shrank correct as is? Or should it be in participle form? Your heart just shrunk two sizes too small. Which one would be ...
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4answers
803 views

What's the Australian or British way to say 'Ticket collector'? [closed]

I know Indians say ticket collectors while in Australia people are confused with this phrase. Please let me know how you would say that.
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2answers
545 views

What does it mean to be “clipping an r”? Why is that a qualification for celebrities to be invited to the royal wedding?

The Washington Post (April 24) ran an article about the royal wedding under the title, “In London, the royal wedding haters have had enough.” I was interested in the expression, “the wedding ate the ...
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1answer
67 views

Does “hosting a dinner” mean it is paid for?

Does "hosting a dinner" (in the UK) mean it is paid for, or just that it is being organised on behalf of the attendees?
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1answer
929 views

word meaning 'the day before'

I am looking for a word meaning 'the day before' that fits within the following sentence: 'day before the day the conference started' Alternatively a neater way of saying the same thing would be ...
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1answer
2k views

“Nice to talk to” or “Nice to talk too”

One of my friends has corrected someone on their grammar on a social media site. And they think they should say "Nice to talk too". I think it is "Nice to talk to", because "too" is an adverb meaning ...
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2answers
392 views

whiskers vs sideburns usage in UK vs US English?

Is the word whiskers more like UK English and "sideburns" more like US English? I see the term originates from "Ambrose Burnside" who was American so the word "whisker(s)" can be older than the word ...
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5answers
341 views

Word for person who was ignored by everyone while alive, but whose importance was realized after he died

Is there a single word for a person who was ignored by everyone when he was alive, but later people realized his importance after he died? It can also be related to his work, teaching or something ...
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2answers
234 views

An expression for law students using “tuppence”

Has anyone heard of an expression, from the Renaissance or older, containing the word "tuppence" which describes a student of the law or someone without a great deal of experience or training in it?
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3answers
50 views

`Good/correct English' for a 'pay back the effort' [closed]

I'm looking for a term/expression/word that is less plumb then Introducing the following concept is difficult but will pay back in the end.
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1answer
88 views

what does “withhold no sacrifice” mean? [closed]

Reading Churchill's speech, I don't think I understand the following "withhold no sacrifice, grudge no toil, seek no sordid gain", what does this statement mean?
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2answers
136 views

What's the difference between respected and respectable? [closed]

He is highly [respected/respectable] owing to his good manners and gratefulness. I know the difference but I can't decide which one to choose, either he is respected (the passive form)or he is ...
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1answer
42 views

Nuances when returning physical mail in the UK [closed]

“Return to sender” carries very little meaning to the sender: Who returned it? The postal service, the intended recipient, or some other person? Why was it returned? Was it considered spam, was the ...
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1answer
72 views

What does plate mean in “we're running you in two plates”?

I find the following line in Tom Stoppard’s play The Invention of Love. Mark Pattison, Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford, is speaking to entering students in the 1860s: . . . if ...
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4answers
104 views

What's the oral address of “fellow student”?

I have known "fellow student" is a formal address and we used this in somewhere formally. But in oral situation, how to introduce a senior student to my friends when we face to face? If I say "this is ...
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4answers
215 views

Did I show you my graduation photo or have I shown you my graduation photo?

So I was on my way home from school, and I overheard two people talking about something. The one asked the other: ''Did I show you my graduation photo?'', I asked my self whether it shouldn't be ...
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1answer
523 views

“Go ahead” vs. “Carry on” in AE usage

Back when I was a student, I can recall my nonnative English teachers -- after discussing a certain word, or phrase, or passage from a text with the class -- saying for me or some other guy to please ...
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2answers
3k views

What is the difference between the word around and round

When I am writing I come across these two words a lot and I was wondering what is different about them and how they would be used in different contexts
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1answer
3k views

Why do English people pronounce 'sixth' as 'sicth'? [duplicate]

It's common practice in Ireland (and the US as far as I know) to pronounce the x in the middle of sixth: six-th [sɪksθ]. However, I've noticed from visits to England as well as watching British ...
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2answers
128 views

What does it mean? [closed]

"Thou hast been smitten?" https://www.google.nl/search?q=What+does+Thou+hast+been+smitten+mean%3F Doesn't deliver real results.
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2answers
397 views

“On the air” OR “On air”

Do you remember Northern Exposure? I hope so. Chris had a light-sign in his office: http://nevergoodbye.com/go/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/totalchris.gif And when you search google images for "on the ...
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3answers
2k views

Good synonyms for “waste of time”? [closed]

Can't think of any off the top of my head, and the thesaurus comes up with bland results.
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2answers
440 views

Grammatical error in following sentence

I am an IT Professional with over 12 years experience in Website Development, IT Management, IT Support and project management. I have the following strap line on my resume A dynamic, creatively ...
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1answer
426 views

How can I explain a word used in a previous sentence?

I am defining a "thing" with an adjective. Example: X is a small y. Then I want to give a clean and simple explanation for the adjective small --because it can mean several things and I want to ...
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1answer
741 views

What happens when baker's, butcher's, etc. are in the plural?

If the singular it is: The baker's and the butcher's are closed on Sundays. Which one is the plural? Bakers and butchers are closed on Sundays. Bakers' and butchers' are closed on ...
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1answer
691 views

Goodbye - is it very formal?

I'm writing about cultural differences - not for scientific purposes - and am trying to find out about more and less formal ways of saying goodbye in English. On a scale of formality (from least to ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the meaning of “at its discretion”?

What does "at its discretion" mean in the following sentence? Dual Gadgets undertakes, at its discretion and cost, to repair or replace defective equipment covered by warranty in 3.b., provided ...
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3answers
80 views

In search for universal formal greetings [closed]

I am dealing with a system which is supposed to autoreply to certain emails. It cannot start with 'Dear (forename)' as it cannot parse a forename from email address or original email. It also cannot ...
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1answer
48 views

Is “would you be keen to consider___?” too cheesy to use?

On a formal / professional email, is the following question acceptable, or is it too much politeness it looks unprofessional? The intention is to ask someone, who is not a subordinate, to do ...
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1answer
108 views

Should British r be spoken out in liaison?

For example, the r in "better" is not pronounced in British English. How about the "r" in "a better idea"?
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2answers
288 views

How do you write the expression of disgust that sounds like “er”?

My daughter said to me this morning (the context is irrelevant): Er, it's all wet! The interjection I have written here as Er was synonymous with Yuck. Its wetness did not cause great happiness. ...
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1answer
63 views

Difference between 'get at' and 'get on at'

E.g. 'My boss is always getting on at me even if I haven't done anything wrong.' 'Her parents keep getting at her for skipping classes.' I'm wondering whether these phrasal verbs have ...
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4answers
54 views

What are the following actions called

If you speak, and another person keeps doing/saying the following at near enough everything you say: Oh here we go again Oh bloody hell Sarcastic laugh Mumbles something to show disapproval but ...
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4answers
109 views

A word to describe a person who is in top/winning bracket of a competitive game

I am looking for a word that would describe a player who is, for example, in a TOP 10 chart and is eligible for a prize. That means that if he would suddenly lose his/her position and get ranked 11 or ...