This tag is for questions related to English as spoken in the isles of Britain and sometimes Ireland.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

-1
votes
1answer
732 views

Definition for a sentence used in thesis/dissertation cover pages [closed]

I was looking at some cover pages and see that most of them use the following sentence; A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF.... What does it really ...
-1
votes
1answer
238 views

Pronunciation of “Oceania” in British English

How is Oceania properly pronounced in British English? Is it /ˌəʊʃɪˈɑːnɪə/, or /ˌəʊʃɪˈɑːnə/? I know a lot of people who use the latter, but I have always been taught the former.
0
votes
1answer
417 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 ...
5
votes
9answers
1k views

What is “plaice” in the US? Would love a good fish and chips

When we went to the market, at the fisherman's counter we asked for plaice with which we would make fish and chips. Now here in the States when we ask for plaice, they don't understand what we mean. ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Meanings of word “nick” in British English

Word nick seems to be used to describe many things. According to the dictionary, the main meanings are: a small notch, groove, chip, or the like, cut into or existing in something. a hollow place ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

If I go to a Language School, do I go to school?

My friend, aged 21, has just started taking classes at a language school, and will shortly be doing 4 hours each weekday there. It feels very odd to be saying "How's school going?" – we finished ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How to write out numbers in compliance with British usage?

This question regards the numbers from 1 to 999. We can ignore commas, hyphens, and spaces. What I'm interested in is when and where to use the word "and". There are a few interesting cases: 1) 20 ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

“Exercise” but not “exercize”

Many words are spelled with -ise in British English and -ize in American English: realise/realize sanitise/sanitize scrutinise/scrutinize But exercise can only be spelled with -ise, never with ...
1
vote
0answers
209 views

Help sheet for determiners and prepositions [closed]

I'm trying to produce a simple help sheet for foriegn speakers on English determiners and prepositions. Specifically, a basic description of when to use each type of determiner, and then the list of ...
3
votes
1answer
503 views

Why is there a difference in the adoption of “Kindergarten” in American and British English?

As someone living in the US, I've heard the term "Kindergarten" used quite frequently. However someone from the UK was mentioning to me that the term is really not used that much in British English. ...
5
votes
1answer
223 views

Are constructions like “That's me out, then” primarily British rather than American?

Prompted by comments to this question on English Learners (about "That's you done"), I've been searching Google Books for similar constructions of the general form that's [pro]noun adjective (for this ...
0
votes
1answer
174 views

How to say 100,500 [duplicate]

How do you say the number 100,500? Is it one hundred thousand five hundred? For some reason that doesn't sound write in my mind. The number 10,500 is ten thousand five hundred. Please correct me ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What would be the British Equivalent Words to “Freshmen” “Sophomore”

I know that to describe which year you're in, with American English, people usually use words like: Freshmen - 1st year college/university student Sophomore - 2nd year Junior - 3rd year Senior - ...
-2
votes
2answers
414 views

Parenthesis and quotations having punctuation before AND after them [closed]

I'll have to come up with some examples to show you my question: I know if a sentence is inside either, the punctuation is inside (I also know I use a lot of comma splices. I think of the way the ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

English phonetics References [duplicate]

What are some great references on English pronunciation practices? The book The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations was mentioned in an answer on this site. Is it considered authoritative? What ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Is 'read' still synonymous with 'majored' in BrE? [closed]

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_American_and_British_English#university "She read biology at Cambridge." That doesn't mean 'she read a book or something about biology at Cambridge'?
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

Is this a polite way to ask questions? [closed]

I want to send questions to someone, I want to ask you if this way is polite and if there are better ways: I want to ask you questions, your answers would be appreciated I want to ask you ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

“courgettes” vs. “zucchini” under a historical perspective

In this TimLymington's answer it is said: Interestingly, there is another vegetable with the same identity problem; what the British call courgettes and the Americans zucchini. What is the ...
2
votes
3answers
167 views

What word describes the shape of a whirlwind when seen from above?

What word describes the shape of a whirlwind when seen from above? Swirl Whorl Radial The shape they make when seen from above resembles a radial pattern or even a whorl.
-1
votes
1answer
208 views

Interpretation of 'have' as stative or dynamic

Please bear with me. It's been a long time since I looked up grammatical concepts. The sentence is: I can quite clearly see the bewildered looks you will be having on your faces on reading this. ...
2
votes
2answers
120 views

Does your name belong to you?

I'm having trouble deciding whether the word 'name' can be used possessively. Currently I'm thinking it's correct to say: Patients' names have been altered to provide anonymity However it just ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

“Normalise” or “normalize” (British English)?

Is normalise perhaps obsolete in British English, and normalize preferred instead? I have done some Googling, it seems British English dictionaries prefer normalize, but I haven't found any ...
4
votes
2answers
296 views

Have American English speakers always used the term “last name” instead of surname?

I am aware that speakers of British English generally use the term "surname" and AmE speakers use "last name." What I want to know is how long it has been this way, i.e. if AmE speakers ever used the ...
-1
votes
3answers
167 views

“Testification” in US English

The usage of Dieter Wisclieceny’s statements and testifications from the Nuremberg Trials as the basis for the interrogation and trial of Eichmann is also accurate. In Microsoft word, the ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Who would say “letters of love” as opposed to “love letters”?

From what part of the world would a person refer to love letters as letters of love?
0
votes
3answers
135 views

Although correct, is “the above” to be avoided?

Although the phrase the above is not exactly incorrect, should it be avoided? For example, imagine a letter with a heading "Re: Order for 79 purple cardboard slugs". Should a paragraph in the letter ...
2
votes
1answer
645 views

difference between American and British /ӕ/ sound

When I presented British /ӕ/ sound to three Korean English-familiar persons online - they are doing answering English-related questions activities [case 1; case 2], and asked what sound it’s like /ӕ/ ...
1
vote
2answers
498 views

Losing bottles and bottling out

ODO's definition for bottle includes the following: 2 [mass noun] British informal the courage or confidence needed to do something difficult or dangerous: I lost my bottle completely and ran ...
5
votes
1answer
933 views

What is a person if they are described as a “wet hen”?

In Terry Pratchett's Discworld books (Witches Abroad in particular), the character Magrat Garlick is often called a "wet hen" by at least one of her witch colleagues. Web searches only yielded the ...
4
votes
3answers
718 views

Why is the Yorkshire dialect called 'Tyke'?

From Wikipedia: The Yorkshire dialect refers to the varieties of English used in the Northern England historic county of Yorkshire. Those varieties are often referred to as Broad Yorkshire or ...
1
vote
2answers
194 views

Does the word “indefatigable” have positive or negative connotation?

Example usage: Terence, you have indefatigable enthusiasm. The effect it has on people is inspiring. In the sense of exuberance, but you feel positively about it.
1
vote
1answer
2k views

deceit vs deception

There seems to be a boundary between these concepts, but I can't quite work out where it is. Camouflage and mimicry are deceptions; telling untruths is deceitful. In common usage we would say, 'The ...
0
votes
1answer
435 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Software to change American punctuation to British [migrated]

My apologies if this is off topic. American and British writing have different punctuation styles. Is there any software that can change American style punctuation to British? I am referring to ...
-1
votes
1answer
136 views

(Presumably) an address without preposition

I'm trying to translate a contract between two parties, and I came across this: Package and delivery Dual Gadgets, Kempston, Beds UK as defined in TERMS 2001. and Delivery Point The ...
-2
votes
1answer
168 views

“Cant fight no more”, is this grammatically correct? [duplicate]

"Cant fight no more", is this grammatically correct? If not, what is the correct way of saying this? Thanks!
1
vote
1answer
117 views

When it come to bicycle tyres, what does “cheerful”, “sprightlier” mean?

The usage of those words can be found in this review of a certain make of bicycle tyres. Unable to understand what the author is trying to say using those adjectives, since they are usually used to ...
0
votes
2answers
209 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
222 views

In England, do people use “people” or “persons” more?

In England, do people use "people" or "persons" more? And do you use the phrase "Keep it on your person"?
3
votes
3answers
789 views

British term for 'washroom'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Washroom”, “restroom”, “bathroom”, “lavatory”, “toilet” or “toilet room” What is the British equivalent of the American 'washroom'? (Besides 'loo', of course, as it is ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

“Fall term”, “autumn semester”, “autumn term” or “fall semester”?

Please clarify which is UK English, American English, and where and when to use which: Fall term (American English?) Autumn semester (UK English?) Autumn term (wrong?) Fall semester (wrong?)
4
votes
1answer
655 views

What does “to have a little form” mean?

In the article, "Not nein...but TEN reasons why we should love Germany", the following phrase is being used: LET’S face it, Britain and Germany have a little form over the past century. ...
1
vote
5answers
8k views

What do you call a person who always has a pleasant smile on his face?

What do you call a person who always has a pleasant smile on his face. Is there anything better than calling him a "Pleasing personality"?
5
votes
1answer
194 views

Cardinal British Dates - A Kiwi Original?

I had never heard the use of cardinal numbers in dates when speaking until I moved to New Zealand. It seems particularly prevalent in TV and radio advertising, but doesn't seem to follow either ...
6
votes
1answer
278 views

Why is “accidentally” pronounced “accident-ly” instead of “accident-tal-y”?

Why is accidentally pronounced accident-ly and not accident-tal-ly? Incidentally, some other adverbs have this same phenomenon, where some dictionaries show the second-to-last syllable as being ...
-1
votes
1answer
233 views

Why are there differences between US and UK English? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where do accents and dialects come from? I have heard a lot about US and UK differences in spellings and their accents but then why are there differences? What's their ...
3
votes
2answers
197 views

“Go shut the door” or “Go and shut the door”: AmE/BrE difference

The usage you put the verb (in its infinitive form) right after "go" is used in AmE but not in BrE, as I heard. For example, Go shut the door. However, I doubt this is true and want to know the ...
0
votes
5answers
256 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

French Letters and condoms

Repartee (inexact quote) from a TV show: Person A: Now, we're going to be getting some letters from French people. Person B: It could be worse. You might be getting French letters. (laughter) ...
3
votes
6answers
989 views

Word or phrase to refer to self-employed professionals working from home in the UK?

Other than homeworkers (which is vague), freelancers (which is, to my knowledge, US-specific, and non-exclusive to this), what other words do self-employed people working from home describe ...