Questions about English used in the United States and Canada, but usually not Mexico.

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1answer
34 views

Difference between 'REVERENCE' and 'DEFERENCE'

MY EFFORT: this a straight-forward question. I was practising for 'SAT' and met a question which required knowledge of difference between the afore-mentioned two words. I have searched the following 2 ...
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2answers
24 views

“and would like” or “and you would like” [closed]

I want to be careful sending my email to the whole department. I need to be sure my word usage are correctly used. Is my sentence below correctly worded? If your name is not on the list, and would ...
1
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1answer
37 views

Why are curse words called “curse” words?

I understand that words like "hell" and "damn" are cursing the person they are directed to, but why would words such as "shit" and "bitch" be viewed as curses?
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1answer
66 views

Would 'play drums' and 'play drum set' be allowed in North American English in certain settings?

So far the discussion about 'play + the + (the name of a musical instrument)' as opposed to 'play + (the name of a musical instrument)' is hotly held at places, and it seems the version without 'the' ...
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2answers
62 views

“Barrow Pit.” Western American Term for Ditch

I'm from the American West and have heard a term local (northern Utah, southern Idaho, western Wyoming) rural farmers and ranchers use regularly with a half-dozen variations when they refer to ...
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1answer
78 views

Can we say “There should be any problem for Adam to eat that apple”? [closed]

There should be any problem for Adam to eat that apple. Is this a proper sentence? The use of any here seems to be an issue. For example it seems fine in sentences like: I couldn't find any ...
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1answer
80 views

Can we say “there should be any problem”? [closed]

Is this a proper sentence? "there should be any problem" I know we can say "there shouldnt be any problem" But can we say "there should be any problem" ?
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1answer
29 views

He is not even fluent in his mother tongue. OR He is even poor at speaking his mother tongue [closed]

He is not even fluent in his mother tongue. OR He is even poor at speaking his mother tongue. Which one is correct? If I wrong, What would the correct sentence be? Thank you.
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3answers
99 views

“trade” for “business deal; transaction” in North American vernacular

Harrap's New Shorter English-French Dictionary, Ed. 1982, states, trade [...] 2. (b) NAm (i) transaction (commerciale); (ii) clientèle f (d'une maison); carriage trade, grosse clientèle. ...
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0answers
35 views

Why do some people drop “the” when saying “At The Hospital”? [duplicate]

Frequently I hear friends saying "He was in Hospital". Here in Texas, and elsewhere in the US, we typically say "He was in the hospital". Any reason for the discrepancy?
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5answers
359 views

Ambiguous meaning of NAmEng sense of “skill” in Harrap's English-French Dictionary

Harrap's New Shorter English-French/French-English Dictionary, Ed. 1982, states, skill n 1. habileté f, adresse f, dextérité f; technical skill, habileté, aptitude f, technique; ...
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2answers
122 views

“[ball]park” in AmEng vernacular

Are the terms ballpark and park specific to baseball in AmEng, or can they also be used for every which athletic stadium in which ball games like soccer or rugby are played? For example, would a ...
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2answers
69 views

What do we mean by the phrase 'conventions of standard written English' [closed]

A question came and it had one of its options: correct according to conventions of standard English. I don't remember the question but the question was from a grammar section. I do not have an idea ...
2
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1answer
66 views

“wallet” vs. “[change] purse” in NAmEng and BrEng vernaculars

Is a man's change purse sometimes called wallet by their owner? If so, what would they usually call their actual wallet to distinguish it from their change purse? purse: a small bag, pouch, ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

“woodsy” vs. “woody” for “covered with trees/wooded” in NAmEng

What's the difference between those terms? Context would be a quaint little village nestled into a hillside covered with trees, sort of like this one. WOODY: 4. Abounding in trees; wooded. ...
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2answers
244 views

“black ice” vs. “glare ice” vs. “glaze” in NAmEng

What's the difference between those varieties of ice forming on paved surfaces during the cold season? black ice sometimes called clear ice: a thin, nearly invisible coating of ice that forms on ...
3
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1answer
87 views

“slick” vs. “slippery” for a road, sidewalk, etc. in NAmEng vernacular

What's the difference between these terms? slippery : tending or liable to cause slipping or sliding, as ice, oil, or a wet surface: a slippery road. Random House Kennerman Webster's College ...
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1answer
140 views

Foods that “insult” the body

How common is the word insult in the sense "[cause] bodily injury/trauma" in modern day English? Is it chiefly medical speak, or has it spread into general print that even the layperson knows what it ...
3
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0answers
76 views

English and Double Abbreviation Possibilities [duplicate]

I've always wondered (and as a child caused quite a few frowns from my English teachers) working this out.. If we can abbreviate words like: Would and Not to Wouldn't Could and Have to Could've ...
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3answers
46 views

Do I need a comma before as in this sentence: does as start a nonrestrictive element?

The second part of my argument is that, as an English naval captain, Avery has a duty to focus solely on defeating the enemies of the King. OR The second part of my argument is that as an English ...
4
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2answers
158 views

Can you hear the difference between 'Writer' and 'Rider'? Why?

Apologies in advance for the slightly blog-like nature of this question. The Background Some of the comments in relation to this question here: Unvoiced /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ in word final position ... ...
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1answer
81 views

“France” pronunciation; /æ/ vs. /e/ in American accents

Native North American speakers! Please, help me understand one thing: I thought I understood the difference between the /æ/ and /e/ sounds, but now I doubt that anyone can. Please listen to the US ...
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2answers
83 views

A word or term for driver /car taking no passengers

I need a term or a single word in traditional English or modern English which specifies "a car which has nothing but the driver & empty seats" Please help.
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2answers
124 views

'to blind someone with science' — Not known or rare in the US?

This definition states (my emphasis) blind with science (British & Australian) if you blind someone with science, you confuse them by using technical language that they are not likely to ...
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2answers
12k views

Origin and variants of phrase: “let's blow this popsicle stand”

I'd like to know the origin and precursor or derivative variants of the phrase "let's blow this popsicle stand". Reliable, conclusive, source-supported, authoritative and consistent information about ...
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4answers
74 views

Are there specific situations where one spelling variant is recommended over another?

I am not a native speaker of English so I get confused when writing since there are sometimes two different spellings of words in English — by which I mean an American spelling and a British spelling. ...
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1answer
124 views

What is the best dictionary for learning a contemporary American accent? [closed]

I’m using the Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th edition, 2011). I know how IPA phonemes work and can also fathom American notations. So, which dictionary would best help a rookie to learn ...
2
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1answer
77 views

Are there linguistic markers that indicate to subordinates a desire to be addressed less formally

It's a bit of a shame that Is "pal" too informal when the other person is much older than me? was closed, as it dabbles in a difficult topic for all non-native speakers of English. Although ...
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3answers
236 views

order of using surname and given name

I am a South Indian. As per the passport my surname is Michael and my given name is Sukumar. How shold I write my expanded name (full name)- as Michel Sukumar or Sukumar Michael
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0answers
73 views

“Tried to” versus “try to”: The -ed suffix as an intervocalic tap [duplicate]

This question isn't answered here: Differentiate between past and present just by pronunciation when word is followed by d- or similiar sound That question asks about what happens when the ...
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1answer
1k views

Can I call you? [closed]

Can I call you tomorrow? Can't I call you tomorrow? I know the first one is right but what about the second? I never heard anyone say the second one unless "Why" is put in front of it. The ...
1
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1answer
104 views

Any rule for using nationality as a noun? [duplicate]

As you know there are times when using a nationality (without any modification) is a correct way to refer to a person of that nationality and there are times when it is incorrect. For example "He is a ...
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1answer
4k views

“I'll be sure to do something” vs “I'll for sure do something”

I'm not a native speaker but work in an English-speaking international environment. One American guy wrote me: I'll be sure to let you know We at our company usually say: I'll for sure let ...
2
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1answer
518 views

Pronunciation of the words “clothes” and “February” in American English

What is the correct pronunciation of the words "clothes" and "February" in the American English? A lot of people pronounce "clothes" as /kloʊz/, dropping the 'th', as for "February", I hear that the ...
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2answers
240 views

Fast speech and palatalization T+D

when the phrase "I understand you" is pronounced, does the palatalization happen in fast/connected speech? In other words, does the D+Y sounds more like a J sound as in Joke). Here's the way I ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Is “offloading a passenger” idiomatic?

Merriam-Webster and Oxford seem to suggest that we can offload things, not people, yet "offloading a passenger" is quite prevalent in Philippine English. Is it a phrase that somebody from the inner ...
2
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1answer
462 views

What is the history of “partner” being used to refer to boyfriend–girlfriend relationships?

In North America (especially Canada and the United States), the word partner is more and more commonly used to describe someone who would otherwise traditionally have been called a boyfriend or a ...
3
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2answers
215 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 ...
2
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1answer
117 views

Diminished “R” Phoneme in NE AmE & BrE

Q: New Englanders habitually mute or diminish the R phoneme (?) in many words, (park, car, Harvard, etc.). What is the name of this characteristic of their speech? So many of the patterns of New ...
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1answer
2k views

“Gun an engine” vs. “Rev an engine”

The driver of the van brakes sharply at every red light or junction and guns the engine when we move off. I begin to sweat—travelling sideways isn't helping. Apple Tree Yard "To gun the ...
2
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1answer
178 views

Is there an AmE/BrE difference whether “by date X” means by the beginning or ending of this date?

A job application in England wants applications to arrive by the 30th. I understand this to mean by the end of the 30th (in London time). The accepted answer to this question appears to indicate the ...
0
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1answer
308 views

Calculus vs calculation

It is becoming more popular on American talk shows to say "calculus" instead of "calculation." To my mind, calculus is either a branch of Mathematics or a stone like in the gall bladder. Any comments? ...
2
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1answer
2k views

The word “cooker”

According to Merriam-Webster, one of the definitions of the word "cooker" is "a person who tends a cooking process (a cook)." The dictionary provides the following example sentence: Dad was the ...
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3answers
936 views

What does “consound” mean?

Hello and happy holidays. While reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, I came across the expression "consound it" in Huck's dialogue parts. "Consound it, Tom Sawyer, you're just old pie, 'longside ...
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0answers
59 views

they would've got away with/would've gotten away with it [duplicate]

Which is right: They would’ve got away with it. They would’ve gotten away with it. I am interested in what we would say in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, not in the ...
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3answers
983 views

Water caltrop in American English

There's a moderately popular fruit found in India known as panifal or singada in Hindi. The fruit comes from an aquatic plant that grows in stagnant or slow-moving water up to 10-15 foot deep. Here's ...
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3answers
571 views

need confirmation or needs confirmation

I receive an issue reported in an issue tracker. That issue requires confirmation to check if it is a real issue. How should the label be names as: Need confirmation or Needs confirmation?
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3answers
319 views

What's the etymology for the term “greensheet”?

I've been looking for the etymology of the word greensheet, specifically when used in the context of academia. I know it's just another way to say "syllabus", but where did the "green" in greentext ...
1
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2answers
175 views

Were American, Australian, and New Zealand English dialects ever spoken in Britain before the colonization of these lands? [closed]

Were American, Australian, and New Zealand English dialects ever spoken in Britain before the colonization of these lands?
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1answer
1k views

Stative verbs in the continuous form?

As a nonnative speaker of English I was always taught in school that there are verbs that cannot be used in the continuous form, i.e. the stative verbs. However, I've seen some stative verbs used in ...