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

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3
votes
2answers
40 views

it's good for your dime

I was listening to Moonshine a Kill the Vultures tune. I'm not sure about the meaning of: it's good for your dime Does he mean it is cheap? complete sentence: I got moonshine Drink it ...
0
votes
2answers
24 views

What is a less litigious synonym for “plaintiff”?

I'd like to say something like "the complainer" for a one-off incident where a person complained about another person, but without implying that they complain habitually (i.e. complainer), and without ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

One word verb for “Used to tell”

please give me a good One word verb for "Used to tell". Sentence : My father used to tell me, “Mr. X reads newspapers , magazines published all over the country......." Please make the whole part ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Is it good to leave things out on the pitch?

Started re-watching The West Wing recently, and came across the phrase "leave it all out on the field": Everyone's walking around here like we're finished. We have 365 more days… For both of us, ...
10
votes
1answer
248 views

From the Spanish “xaquima” to the AmE “hackamore”

A hackamore: is a type of animal headgear which does not have a bit. Instead, it has a special type of noseband that works on pressure points on the face, nose, and chin. It is most commonly ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Are the phrases “for example” and “such as” interchangeable? [closed]

I'm writing a survey. Are the phrases "for example" and "such as" interchangeable? Consider the following... How often do you use public transit "such as/for example" buses? Are they the same or ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

How is the term “African-American” politically correct?

First, a note: This question is meant to have no explicit or implicit political/sociological connotation whatsoever, and is indeed born of actual and deep curiosity as to what is in the author's ...
0
votes
2answers
24 views

For a business document, what term would be used for stating the last time the document has been modified?

I need to translate a german business document where in the footnote of each page a single word or term determines the last approved modification of the document. So far, I found "as of", "as from", ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

In an official business document, what term do you use for cost estimates in work days?

For a translation of a german document to english, I need a term for extimating how long a task will take. I've found that some people seem to use "rate per day" or "man-days", where the latter would ...
8
votes
2answers
343 views

“the 'first/last' of the [day/night/week, etc.]” for "the 'beginning/end' of the [day/night/week, etc.]

Where in the U.S. and Canada do they say, at the first/last of [the day/night/week, etc.] for at the beginning/end of [the day/night/week, etc.]? Luck had it that they only experienced a very ...
0
votes
1answer
42 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
26 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
vote
1answer
43 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?
0
votes
1answer
74 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' ...
5
votes
2answers
99 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 ditches,...
-2
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
154 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" ?
-1
votes
1answer
31 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.
3
votes
3answers
107 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. ...
0
votes
0answers
39 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?
1
vote
5answers
371 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; ...
3
votes
2answers
127 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
84 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
votes
1answer
83 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
135 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. (...
5
votes
2answers
281 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
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
142 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
votes
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
57 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
235 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 ... ...
0
votes
1answer
92 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
101 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.
4
votes
2answers
201 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
21k 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
80 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
129 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
votes
1answer
79 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
324 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
1
vote
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 ...
-1
votes
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 second ...
1
vote
1answer
130 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
6k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
783 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
255 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
votes
2answers
2k 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
votes
1answer
525 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
votes
3answers
295 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
votes
1answer
119 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 ...
10
votes
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 engine" ...