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

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3
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1answer
45 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
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?
3
votes
5answers
322 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
102 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
50 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
74 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
114 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
61 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
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0answers
90 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
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3answers
39 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
votes
2answers
135 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
70 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
74 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
80 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
4k 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
71 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
114 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
76 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
161 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
72 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
736 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
vote
1answer
89 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
3k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
305 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
226 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
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
votes
1answer
416 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
2answers
173 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
115 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
158 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
votes
1answer
244 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
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
799 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
926 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
427 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
294 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
vote
2answers
171 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?
1
vote
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
760 views

Where did we get “buster” as in “Look here, buster”?

Americans, at least, have for some time used buster in speech or dialogue as a generic form of address. It has a range of tonalities, from light to affectionate to grimly confrontational. Listen, ...
-1
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1answer
217 views

Translating from American to Canadian, when these are used as verbs, is it “log in” and “log out” or “login” and “logout”?

This is not a duplicate of questions such as“Login” or “log in”? or “log in to” or “log into” or “login to”. The reason is that this question deals specifically with converting from American English ...
7
votes
3answers
553 views

Why do midwesterners say “the cancer”?

I was watching the TV show Fargo, which takes place in rural Minnesota. Most of the locals on the show speak with a recognizable midwestern accent, and there are some regionalisms that are common. The ...
6
votes
4answers
24k views

Why is mutton used for both sheep meat and goat meat?

The meat of an adult sheep is called mutton. The meat of an adult goat is called chevon or mutton. In the English-speaking islands of the Caribbean, and in some parts of Asia, particularly ...
-1
votes
1answer
183 views

American Novels in Colloquial Language [closed]

I would like to know the names of novels that uses a lot of American colloquial expressions and idioms and it would be great if the novel portrays the exact way people talk in normal circumstances. ...
2
votes
3answers
656 views

Using the word “doc”

Merriam-Webster obviously says that the word is an abbreviation for doctor, and I also acknowledge the fact that it's less formal than doctor. My question is: when talking to your doctor, would it be ...
0
votes
1answer
7k views

Why do English people pronounce 'sixth' as 'sicth'? [duplicate]

It's common practice in Ireland (and the US as far as I know) to pronounce the x in the middle of sixth: six-th [sɪksθ]. However, I've noticed from visits to England as well as watching British ...
0
votes
1answer
225 views

Noun for something important

Is there a noun for something important, something that plays a big role in a given situation? The term game changer doesn't fit the description in my opinion (because it implies the important thing ...
5
votes
7answers
483 views

“Would you mind and do something” in nonstandard colloquial AmEng

Does Would you mind and do something instead of Would you mind doing something sound acceptable in spoken AmEng, or is it an attempt to imitate or render colloquial speech in not so formal writing? ...