This tag is for questions related to mutually intelligible variations within a language.

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3
votes
2answers
56 views

Why are *accept* and *except* commonly misspelled as each other? Are they homophones?

Why are accept and except commonly confused for each other when writing? This is unlike most cases, where misspellings come from homophones. In my idiolect at least, accept is /ək.'sɛpt/, and except ...
12
votes
4answers
526 views

In the context of cooking, what is the difference between “flipper” and “spatula”?

I'm genuinely confused about this because at first I thought a spatula was a cooking tool resembling a flat pallet attached at an angle to the handle that could be used for activities such as flipping ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Where does the intrusive R come from in “warsh”?

My grandmother, who grew up in western Pennsylvania, pronounced wash and Washington with an intrusive R: “warsh” and “Warshington.” Where does the intrusive R come from in that dialect? It doesn’t ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

In a combination of two vowels (such as “ae”), what rule determines if the first (“a”) or second (“e”) is silent?

In a combination of two vowels (such as "ae"), what English rule determines if the first ("a") or second ("e") is silent? For example, in the word "praetor", the vowel "a" is silent but in the word ...
5
votes
1answer
73 views

Usage, prevalence of “rooster sauce” and “cock sauce”

Sriracha sauce is a kind of chili sauce named for Si Racha, Thailand, but in the United States many people call it “rooster sauce” or “cock sauce” after the prominent rooster logo on a popular brand ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

“Balconies”, “porches”, “decks”, “terraces”, “verandas”, “lanais”, “galleries”, and “piazzas” in GAE and dialectal AE

In AE, a porch is apparently just about the same structure as a veranda, i.e. an open or enclosed gallery or room attached to the outside of a building. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/porch ...
1
vote
3answers
92 views

Dialect “rules” and the pronunciation of individual words

Consider an American actor who is tasked with mastering British Received Pronunciation for an upcoming role. If he has a talent for vocal mimicry, as many actors do, he should have no trouble picking ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

“Flash (one's attention/eyes)” for “focus/direct (one's attention/eyes)”, and “flash one's eyes at” for “stare with lust or passion at”

As far as your English variety goes, is it acceptable in every which register of speech and writing, and rather common usage, to say "flash" for "focus/direct (one's attention/eyes)", but also for ...
5
votes
7answers
450 views

African American Vernacular English

I was going through some articles about "African American Vernacular English". Article 1. Article 2. These articles give some examples, but they do not clearly specify hard rules to be followed in ...
3
votes
1answer
203 views

Why is the term “isn't it?” so predominant in Indian English?

I apologize in advance if I am ignorantly and incorrectly assigning this to Indian English. When I was in medical school, I had a number of professors who were native to India. Being a school ...
3
votes
2answers
129 views

Is “because-noun” a new preposition?

There are a handful of articles suggesting that a new preposition has appeared in the form of "because-noun": The Atlantic Stan Carey Grammar Girl Isn't "Because (of)... whatever" a causitive? ...
-2
votes
1answer
80 views

Various meanings of “mind and do” which can mean “be cautious/careful to do”, “take notice/give heed and do”, and “behave obediently and do”

How would you native speakers define the meaning of "mind and do" in the following examples: I will mind and do as I am told, Master Yoda... Mind and do your work properly... As long as you mind ...
10
votes
7answers
609 views

Using “them” instead of “those”

Background: Nowadays, I see this usage a lot. I don't know if it was this common in the past. For example: "one of them people" When I did a research about it, some people say it comes from a ...
1
vote
2answers
126 views

Is this correct English or is it slang from a particular region?

Is it correct to ask "Are you in area?" when you are asking if someone is from that city or township?
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Resources that discuss “Jewish” English (English influenced by Yiddish grammar)

I'm looking for some resources that discuss English spoken with influence of Yiddish/Hebraic grammatical structures. For instance, things like: You want I should... "Do you want me to..." I ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

When is “all y'allses” used?

I have a student from Virginia who says she has heard the use of all y'allses; does anyone know about this? Is it that the second person plural being used is all y'alls (with the -s at the end here ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Calendric vs Calendrical

When choosing an adjective to refer to the nature of a calendar system, such as how we have months of varying length, is it more appropriate to use calendric or calendrical? Is there any difference, ...
9
votes
1answer
183 views

Walking and Talking L's

I have a friend who always pronounces the l's in walk and talk. Is this regional? Is there anywhere that standardly pronounces the l?
4
votes
1answer
103 views

What's the origin of “dinkum”?

Dinkum as a noun means work, especially hard work. As an adjective, like fair dinkum, it means honest or genuine. Other than saying it's chiefly Australian and New Zealand, the OED simply says ...
2
votes
5answers
175 views

Is Missouri called /mi.'zuɹ.ə/ outside of Missouri?

Here in Missouri, most people born here pronounce the state as /mi.'zuɹ.ə/ (instead of /miz.'uɹ.i/ or something like it). This is a lot more noticeable in the south/central, rural parts of the state. ...
6
votes
5answers
241 views

How widespread are snow goblins?

I live in the Northeastern part of the US. We've had a lot of snow recently. Part of living in a snowy area is clearing the collected snow pack from the wheel well so that it doesn't interfere with ...
1
vote
1answer
349 views

What is the difference between “so to do” and “to do so”

I believe that both are correct. I.e. I have got the Christmas Eve off this year but my partner has failed so to do. is equivalent to I have got the Christmas Eve off this year but my ...
0
votes
1answer
115 views

Meaning of “Smiles Slip”

I don't quite understand something: source Brazil will, in one form or another, be ready for the World Cup. But when it comes to hosting the tournament, those famous Brazilian smiles may ...
2
votes
3answers
149 views

Give it me! Write me! [duplicate]

Our young grandson, who is a Mancunian, says 'give it me', and 'give it me back', which is a northern British standard. It made me think that it is not only northerners who omit the indirect object ...
7
votes
4answers
156 views

Is the word 'staithe' used outside of Norfolk?

In Norfolk a landing stage for unloading boats is called a 'staithe'. The Norfolk Broads and rivers are dotted with staithes. Notices proclaim things like 'Public Staithe', or Private Staithe'. But I ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Where did “duck, duck, gray duck” come from?

Duck, Duck, Goose is a common children's game but a typical Minnesotan calls the game a slightly different name: Duck, Duck, Gray Duck. I have never talked to anyone outside of Minnesota that knows of ...
2
votes
2answers
192 views

Use of the word 'together' as in the Norfolk dialect

In the Norfolk dialect, which I learned at my mother's and grandmother's knee, the word 'together'(pronounced 'tergatha') is used in an additional sense. If there are two people outside I might say ...
4
votes
2answers
399 views

Origin of “chuck a wobbly”?

Chuck a wobbly is Australian slang for someone throwing a tantrum, and I like it because it invokes amusing imagery. I'm not certain of its origins however. I can see how it may be equivalent to the ...
5
votes
2answers
114 views

“Them” as a plural definite article

Hey, teachers, leave them kids alone! Intuitively "them" here sounds like it works like a plural "the". Which varieties of English is this usage found in? When it occurs, does it encode a ...
3
votes
2answers
515 views

Pronunciation of final T sounds in English

What's the word to describe the phenomenon of the final 't' sound becoming a stop without aspiration, vs. how it sounds at the beginning of a word? Does any one particular dialect/accent of English ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Pronunciation of “scone”

The argument about the pronunciation of scone:- skoʊn, skɒn noun 1. a small, light, biscuitlike quick bread made of oatmeal, wheat flour, barley meal, or the like. reappeared in the pub ...
2
votes
3answers
590 views

Is it ever correct to use “end” after the name of a month?

I’ve heard some people say things like September end or June end when I’m used to hearing the end of September or the end of June. Is the former usage (meaning, the “something end” collocation) ...
3
votes
2answers
615 views

Regionalism or just bad English?

I've encountered a particular type of writing occasionally and it being, derp, in writing, it's hard to tell whether there's an accent behind it. The English used seems to me to be simply incorrect, ...
2
votes
3answers
227 views

The case of “y'all”

What cases can "y'all" work in? A prior question asks about the 'proper' usage of "y'all", but it and its answers only address nominative case (all examples are nominative). I think that there are ...
8
votes
3answers
332 views

Morally speaking, 1+1=2

I asked a question over on math.SE and as part of an exchange someone said: Morally the function is csc φ in the limit for the reason you mention. ...a pretty funny thing to say. I asked them ...
2
votes
1answer
343 views

“Perhaps” or “Maybe”?

As a non-native speaker of English, I was once told in London by a learned British man that I should not use 'maybe' for 'perhaps' in the UK, as by doing so, I'd be following an American usage (so ...
7
votes
1answer
830 views

Distinguishing /f–t–θ/ in th-fronting and th-stopping dialects

In standard English, the digraph th is a dental fricative [θ, ð]. Several dialects feature th-fronting, where th becomes a labiodental fricative [f, v]; others feature th-stopping, where th becomes a ...
3
votes
3answers
518 views

Elision in the pronunciation of “probably”

A student of mine has pointed out that in casual speech, my tendency is to pronounce the word "probably" as something like prah-lee. I am a native speaker of American English without a specific ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Origin of “cracked the shits”

I heard someone use the expression "he cracked the shits" today which is universally recognised (at least in Australia) to mean "lost his temper". It struck me that it is a strange expression and the ...
3
votes
2answers
592 views

Palatalization of the initial “s” in words starting with “st-”

Sometimes I hear native speakers pronounce the s at the beginning of a word as [ʃ]. For example, straight as [ʃtreɪt], or struggle as [ʃtrʌɡl]. It sounds like German words. Is it a certain English ...
2
votes
2answers
227 views

How widely used is the word “tush”

In my dialect of American English, the word "tush" or "tushy" is a dimminuitive of "rear end" (e.g., something you'd say about a baby, not as harsh as "butt" and a word you aren't ashamed to say to ...
1
vote
1answer
252 views

Is “gonna have to” an Americanism?

First of all, I have read the answers about "gonna have to" usage, and they are quite clear: I am gonna have to vs I have to and why-prefix-a-request-with-im-going-to-have-to-ask-you The ...
15
votes
3answers
883 views

Non-rhotic dialects and intrusive r

I am from New England (northeastern US) and it's my understanding that we have a non-rhotic dialect in this region, which is unusual compared to the rest of the US. It is common to drop the final r ...
7
votes
3answers
682 views

meaning and usage of 'teh'

“I wouldn’ say no teh a bit o’ yer birthday cake, neither.” “He usually gets me ter do important stuff fer him.”                —Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Hagrid’s ...
3
votes
3answers
332 views

Which are the word orders that can be found in English?

Besides SVO, which are the word orders that can be found in English? Are there any that are peculiar to dialects such as Singlish or Indian English? Please provide an example sentence for each order ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Origin of using “gets to”

As I was writing an email to someone today, at the end of the message in jest I wrote: Well, I best gets to workin’. After I wrote it I looked at the phrase I best gets to. It came to me as if ...
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/ ...
4
votes
3answers
723 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
232 views

Can you buy things “for cheap”?

The first line of this news story says: Call it space grave robbery for a cause: imagine scavenging defunct communication satellites for their valuable parts and recycling them to build brand new ...
4
votes
2answers
391 views

Differing pronunciations of “divisive”

I've always pronounced it dɪˈvaɪsɪv (rhymes with incisive). Today at his press conference, President Obama pronounced it dɪˈvɪsɪv (rhymes with dismissive). I've heard the latter pronunciation off ...