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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

4
votes
2answers
650 views

Does modifying a collective noun with a number make the subject plural?

The word dozen is a collective noun, i.e., singular when we think of them as groups and plural when we think of the individuals acting within the whole. So we might say: Talking about eggs: "A ...
4
votes
3answers
294 views

What were the British equivalents of Webster's dictionary and the Simplified Spelling Board that standardized spelling and usage?

I am familiar with questions about when to double 'l' and differences between British and American spellings. However, I stumbled across this image. As you can see, several words end in the double ...
10
votes
4answers
612 views

Ambiguous connotation of “just” - How do natives interpret these?

First of all, these questions are a bit related but not what I'm actually asking about: Is “I just spent all my money” grammatically incorrect? “I just ate them” and “I've just eaten them” - What's ...
5
votes
3answers
304 views

Is the expression “quote you happy” accepted English grammar? What is its history?

I'm editing a document written by someone who grew up in the UK, which contains the phrase "We'll quote you happy". That doesn't parse for me (I grew up in New Zealand), but a quick search about the ...
14
votes
3answers
684 views

Difference between styles of English in technical communication

I have a collaborative software project with two other users. Nearly every technical report and documentation written goes through the following editorial changes to some of the sentences (examples ...
-2
votes
1answer
237 views

Pronunciation of 'Superman'

How do you pronounce the word, Superman? For example the pronunciation of man seems equal in American and British English. But this is not the case for Superman. It seems that in American English, it ...
3
votes
4answers
163 views

Is the phrase “having a rave up” still in use?

I found the title of a 1965 album by the Yardbirds called Having a Rave Up quite funny when I first saw it. Dictionary.com defines "rave-up" as "a party, especially a wild one," and notes that this is ...
4
votes
8answers
748 views

Dinky cars (toy cars)

I came across this term while proofreading an unpublished poem by an Irish poet. The context is not important so I'll just say that it is clear that it means “toy cars”. I Googled the term and see ...
0
votes
3answers
806 views

Use “underway” or “under way” as an adverb?

Is it proper to use underway as an adverb? Or should under way be used? Merriam-Webster defines underway as an adjective and under way as an adverb. The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & ...
2
votes
3answers
604 views

Why is the word “movie” shown in spell check? [closed]

The spell check in Chrome or text-editors show the word "movie" as a spelling mistake, why?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is American English so wedded to the subjunctive? [closed]

In the sentence 'She suggested that they go to the cinema' there is no way of telling from the sentence in isolation whether it means that the speaker gave advice on attending a moving picture show, ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Where can I find a list of capitalisation rules for pure British writing?

Is there any quality English orthography book that contains rules for capitalising in pure British English? I’ve noticed that an American newspaper capitalises every word in the title of an article ...
1
vote
1answer
900 views

Pronouns for collective nouns (British and American)

British and American English differ in the way they conjugate verbs for collective nouns: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=877. For example, an American would probably say "China is winning" ...
4
votes
5answers
496 views

Accurate British English term for an oblong deck from shore out into a lake where you tie your rowing boat

This is a typical image of the structure in question: There are also some variations, shown in this Google image search. But I'm after the often not very wide, some 20-30 feet long wood ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is “fulfil” spelt as “fulfill” in American English?

In this answer, simplification is stated as one reason for spelling variations in American English. But unlike in color and favorite, the number of letters to spell the word in fulfil increases in ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

“Woman front bits” meaning

Whats does "woman front bits" actually means? This question is surprisingly inspired by one of the answers to this question: "Is there any slang I should avoid in the UK or Ireland". It is ...
10
votes
3answers
606 views

Very unusual meaning of “abortion”

The following use of the word "abortion" got my attention. It is from Graham Greene's The End of the Affair, published in 1951. Here is the context: "...Listen. I met a man on the Common today ...
5
votes
4answers
544 views

What is the name of this structure at kids playground?

We can usually find this structure at kids playgrounds. I want to know what it's called. I've searched online but couldn't figure it out but fortunately found the image below.
0
votes
1answer
7k views

How many types of English are there? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What's the difference between the various dialects of English? I know of American English and British English, but how many other types of English are there?
8
votes
6answers
8k views

Is there a different understanding of “rubber” in British and American English?

I was well aware of the different meanings of rubber, not least because there are the same definitions in my mother-tongue. However, while reading a text about differences between British and American ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

Apostrophe usage

I'm having a disagrement with the correct use of the apostrophe in the following sentence. It is your responsibility to declare your fuel purchase at the checkout and not the stores. I think ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

British pronunciation of “plait”

Having only seen this word in writing, I assumed it's pronounced "plate". howjsay (whose author is british) suggests the pronunciation that rhymes with "flat", but also offers the "plate" one. This ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Usage of “and” and comma when writing numbers UK style

I am trying to understand the rules for writing numbers in words under the UK rules (with "and"). I understand how to write small numbers (up to a few thousands), but I am not sure when to use "and" ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

“Enclosure” vs. “attachment”

If I understand it correctly, one usually uses the term enclosure when referring to extra documents to e.g. a letter. But what if these extra items are not other documents and papers? Say I have ...
2
votes
1answer
539 views

Regional usage of “Violet” and “Purple”

I am looking to describe a flower such as the one in the following picture for a game: After showing the game to a number of beta testers, I noted that about half of them were fine with "violet" ...
3
votes
1answer
199 views

Parenthetical commas and foreign English

I advise a friend on her writing, despite not quite knowing an adverb from a proverb (kidding (kinda)). Invariably, parenthetical commas such as the following: Jane, my assistant, opened the ...
2
votes
1answer
294 views

T-glottalization in West Country accents — is it a south-eastern influence?

English speakers from the West Country seem to glottalize their tees just like Estuary English speakers do. I can't find a word about T-glottalization in the West Country accents on the internet. I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

What is the name of this line in a letter . e.g we have subject etc? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it appropriate to use the salutation “Dear All” in a work email? Dear Mr.Dandy Rabbit, <----------------- What is the name of this line I ...
3
votes
3answers
792 views

Are you being served/helped?

Being an L2 English speaker, quite often I get into funny - and sometimes embarrassing - situations. It usually happens when I say something pragmatically inappropriate for a situation. For example, ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Difference in [ə] pronunciation at the end of a word in British and American English

I grew up speaking American English (San Diego to be specific). When I hear someone who speaks British English say a word that ends in [ə], like banana, I hear a weak but distinct 'r' sound attached ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

How to choose between British and American English for technical documents

I'm not a native English speaker. I'm Italian and I'm doing my thesis in the Netherlands. I have to write technical documents for non-native English speakers, so I didn't receive any advice for ...
5
votes
3answers
11k views

“Invite” vs. “invitation”

I hear a lot of people saying "Send me an invite". I always thought that it was an 'invitation'. Is "sending one an invite" accepted usage? Or is it incorrect? If I need to get my wedding invitation ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

“A hundred percent” vs. “hundred percent”

Which sentence is grammatically correct: I'm a hundred percent sure I'm hundred percent sure Any help would be greatly appreciated!
9
votes
3answers
39k views

Date format in UK vs US

Why is the most common date format in the US like mm/dd/yyyy, whereas in Europe (including the UK) it's more common to have dd/mm/yyyy? Looking around, I found that the US form is actually the more ...
2
votes
1answer
637 views

Is it “Sales collateral” or “Sales collaterals”?

My question is whether you use the plural or singular form — or either. Is there perhaps also a different usage in the US and the UK?
1
vote
1answer
4k views

Correct usage of “were” or “was”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? I am unsure whether to use "were" or "was" in the following instances ...
1
vote
2answers
283 views

How common is the short “be” in American English

A friend prompted me to look up the pronunciations of the homophones "be" (IPA: /bi/, /biː/) and "bee" (IPA: /biː/). We found that there are two ways to say "be" -- one is short and the other (the ...
2
votes
1answer
197 views

“Imitation jewelry” or “costume jewelry”

I've looked up the translation of the word bisutería in Spanish and it translated to imitation jewelry or costume jewelry. Which of the two is mostly used in British English?
0
votes
2answers
98 views

Is “after” in this context solely a local colloquialism?

There are a number of turns of phrase that I have to avoid as an English person speaking to an American audience. Would it be possible for someone to clarify whether this colloquialism is ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

“Wednesday week”

I know that the English will say "Wednesday week" to mean a week from Wednesday. Is there a name for this sort of construction? Also, I have a friend from India who will say "today morning". Is ...
1
vote
1answer
556 views

“Is” with singular and plural nouns

I came across the sentence My biggest grievance is grammar mistakes. I'd be inclined to write it as My biggest grievance is with grammar mistakes. or Grammar mistakes are my biggest ...
8
votes
5answers
501 views

Why do we use a French term for a currency-exchange office?

In British English and across Europe, the term Bureau(x) de change is used to describe what US English speakers would call a Currency Exchange or Foreign Exchange (office). Why do we use a French ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Divergence in meaning of “just about” between UK and North American English

Does anyone know anything about how the meaning of "just about" came to have opposite meanings in the UK and North America. For example, in the UK, The team just about won. means that the team won, ...
-4
votes
2answers
817 views

Is this correct sentence?

I wrote: it would never have been possible if i didn't have interest in the least bit but a friend of mine told it is wrong and should be: it would never have been possible if i had not ...
0
votes
2answers
853 views

Use Schedule and Timetable together

The context is a course scheduling and the process in creating one: course scheduling. I have looked up, that schedule is typically used American English and timetable is typically used in British ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

Meaning of “there is much competition in firms between different managerial logics”

I have some doubts about this sentence: Naturally there is much competition in firms between different managerial logics. Usually one dominant logic emerges successful. Does this mean that ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Synonyms / slang words in American English to express “I am very excited for something”? [closed]

In British English we can say "I am keen to do something with you". Also: "Would you like to go to a concert?" A: "I'm keen for that!". What are some equivalents in American English? Is it "I want to ...
9
votes
9answers
1k views

American Equivalent of “Bog Standard”

I'm searching for an American English phrase that is the most readily equivalent to the British expression bog standard (which means, as I understand, plain, ordinary or unremarkable). I'm tempted to ...
7
votes
9answers
2k views

“Skipping rope” vs. “jump rope”

Well it is summer time and I have to lose some weight so I have chosen the cardiovascular activity to do that jumping rope. While digging on some information I have asked myself a few questions: Why ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

“Available jobs to/for them”

First of all, English is not my first language. I have a question, maybe a basic one, about this phrase: The situation highlights the mismatch between some areas of training and available jobs ...