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Questions tagged [transatlantic-differences]

Differences between how English is used on one side of the Atlantic compared with on the other side; specifically, the difference between Canadian and American English on one side and Irish and British English on the other.

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98
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8answers
19k views

Which is correct: “__ is different from __” or “__ is different than __”?

As someone who learned English later on in life, I was taught that different from is the correct grammar to use: this is different from that. However, it seems these days everyone uses different than ...
18
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5answers
32k views

Why is “t” sometimes pronounced like “d” in American English?

Why, in American English, is the word Italy is pronounced /ˈɪdəli/ and not /ˈɪtəli/? What is the rule that is followed in the pronunciation of Italy to make the letter t pronounced like a d? Why is ...
13
votes
8answers
147k views

Is there a rule in British English about how to pronounce “either”?

There are two common pronunciations of "either": British /ˈaɪðər/ and American /ˈiːðər/. If Americans are more or less consistent in this regard, then the Brits seem to be freely using both. In fact, ...
28
votes
13answers
58k views

American vs. British English: meaning of “One hundred and fifty”

I've noticed that Americans do not say "and" when speaking numbers: for example, 150 would be pronounced "one hundred fifty". I and most other British-English speakers would pronounce it "one hundred ...
12
votes
6answers
6k views

Is using the present perfect old fashioned?

I was talking to a Singaporean (English is her native language. I think, closer to American rather than British) friend. I learned in English class that you can use present perfect when there is a ...
57
votes
5answers
481k views

“Fill out a form” or “fill in a form”

Does one fill out a form or does one fill in a form? I've gotten different answers from the people I've asked. Google search results: fill in a form — 14,200,000 fill out a form — 7,000,000
21
votes
7answers
4k views

Are “traitor” and “trader” pronounced the same?

Are "traitor" and "trader" distinguishable when spoken with any English accent? My English-speaking friends seem to pronounce them exactly the same way.
5
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6answers
15k views

Short, Politically Correct word for Native Americans [closed]

No more than four syllables, more PC than Indians. EDIT: I arbitrarily chose four syllables because any more seemed like a mouthful. I like to be PC and not have to stumble over 6+ syllables.
10
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1answer
11k views

UK English: Is “dived” a valid word?

Proofing a manuscript, I found this in the middle of a chase scene: Spotting an opening, I dived into it and was horrified to find it was a dead end. Is “dived” a valid past tense of the verb “...
31
votes
3answers
182k views

“Programming” versus “programing”: which is preferred?

I was surprised that my spell checker did not complain for programing with one m, so I Googled it, and found on free dictionaries that both forms were acceptable. Which one is more common? Does it ...
29
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8answers
9k views

Why do Americans add “The” in front of a team name, but the British do not?

I'm not certain that there is an answer to this one: Americans refer to our teams as The Example: The New York Yankees The British in my experience do not. Example: Manchester United I know ...
8
votes
3answers
61k views

“shyer” or “shier”

My Longman dictionary states that the comparative of 'shy' is 'shyer'. However, at least two online dictionaries also give the form 'shier' as being acceptable: The Free Dictionary and Merriam-Webster....
1
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2answers
8k views

Is there a rule for how to pronounce words such as “dance”, “prance”, “castle”?

Is there a grammatical rule for the pronunciation of words such as dance, castle and prance? I believe the British English pronunciation is "ah", while in American English it is a short "a" sound.
17
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5answers
26k views

Is the proper spelling “judgment” or “judgement”?

I always thought the proper spelling was  judgment, but I see  judgement all the time, even in articles, news, etc. Merriam-Webster lists  judgement as a variant spelling for judgment. But is the ...
70
votes
8answers
17k views

How can I order eggs “over hard” in the UK?

I've recently made a couple of trips to the London area, and I've had a terrible time trying to convince the hotel breakfast cooks that I want my eggs fried "over hard", meaning that both the white ...
12
votes
5answers
11k views

The etymology of “redhead” vs. “ginger haired”

All my life I have known people with reddish, orangey hair, to be termed ginger haired. Just as you don't call a blonde a 'yellow head' red head just wasn't a word that was said (wouldn't orange head ...
67
votes
6answers
5k views

How come 'ou' was reduced to 'o' in the US?

Americans write color and favorite, when others say colour and favourite. How/why did this happen?
8
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8answers
52k views

Does “pants” more commonly mean “trousers” or “underpants”?

In the UK, I've heard pants being used as slang for underpants (or was it in Bridget Jones' Diary?), whereas in India it almost exclusively means "trousers". Describing the meaning of "put your pants ...
7
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5answers
17k views

“Dear Professor” vs “Dear Mr”: differences between British and American usage

In British English, is it acceptable to address a professor as "Dear Professor X" when writing a formal or informal letter? Does it sound natural? Why I am asking this question: I was looking ...
5
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2answers
3k views

“Quite” American vs British English

In looking at the answers for this question, Using "quite" with a noun, it occurred to me that "quite," although having a dictionary definition, might be used differently by AmE and BrE ...
14
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7answers
2k views

“I've gotten better-looking as I get older” When did “gotten” re-enter the BrEng vernacular?

This summer I went to Ireland, to be more precise Dublin. Overall good weather and good fun. Anyway, while I was staying in Dublin I'd buy the local newspaper and one tabloid headline caught my eye. ...
9
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3answers
3k views

Why is the 'L' in detailed not doubled?

I cannot quite understand why the 'L' is not doubled when forming 'detailed' from 'detail'. Is that an exemption to the consonant doubling, or did I simply not understand the rules? From the answers ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the reason that American English and British English use “Post” and “Mail” with different frequencies?

Common usage in the UK is that a postman of the Royal Mail Service delivers the post, and someone may post a letter (see BrE Ngram), whereas in the USA, usage has become equally common that a mailman ...
6
votes
2answers
404 views

This baby-walking device is called a ([prefix]-)[name] by people from [location]

It shouldn't be hard to agree that people around the world have babies, and people with babies like to take walks with their babies. So we invented various wheeled devices to securely hold baby ...
7
votes
1answer
7k views

What is the etymology of the word teeter totter?

Seesaw and teeter totter are two names for the same piece of playground equipment. I grew up using the word teeter totter mostly, but was aware of seesaw, as it was used in books. I was ...
6
votes
2answers
29k views

“courgettes” vs. “zucchini” under a historical perspective

In this TimLymington's answer it is said: Interestingly, there is another vegetable with the same identity problem; what the British call courgettes and the Americans zucchini. What is the ...
4
votes
1answer
24k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
7k views

Difference between “everlasting” and “eternal”

I know these two sentences are somehow different, but I don't know how: This is an everlasting love. This is an eternal love. I read here that there are a number of adjectives for ...
2
votes
3answers
291 views

Other academic field distinctions like math vs maths

Growing up in the US, I was taught to say "math" and the British "maths" sounded very awkward to me until I noticed mathematics had an 's' at the end, and it occurred to me that it could be considered ...
14
votes
3answers
76k views

“…didn't finish…yet” versus “…haven't finished…yet”

If I worked on something yesterday but it was not finished, which tense should I use? I didn't finish it yet or I haven't finished it yet
49
votes
5answers
12k views

Why do we say “under the grill”, not “above” or “on” the grill?

I found this sentence in a textbook. It's I cooked the fish slowly on / under the grill. According to the author, the correct answer is under. I also used Google. It turns out that there ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

“Mx” the gender-neutral honorific

The gender-neutral honorific “Mx” has its own entry in the OED since August 2015, so no one can argue it doesn't exist. According to The Sunday Times, central and local governments have been quietly ...
6
votes
2answers
20k views

nonexistent, non-existent or non existent? [duplicate]

I see various spellings of the same, which one is correct? I have considered that the spelling might differ if it is British or American English, but as English isn't my native speak I have no clue.
3
votes
2answers
684 views

Is the pronunciation difference between “BrE deuce” vs “AmE deuce” systematic?

While checking the exact pronounciation of the term deuce, I noticed that there is a clear difference between BrE /djuːs/ and NAmE /duːs/. While it is true that pronunciation has more exceptions ...
23
votes
1answer
1k views

British Mass Nouns versus American Count Nouns

British English often employs mass nouns where American English would only employ count nouns. Count nouns are nouns which take pluralization and numerical quantifiers like 'many'. Mass nouns can't be ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Why does American English still write “glamour” with a “u”?

Why is it that in American English the word glamour retains its u while humour, neighbour, and others have shed it compared with their British spellings?
15
votes
4answers
4k views

Why are expressions like “gonna”, “wanna” and “shoulda” American English?

As Etymonline suggests, the use of “a” meaning “have” in expressions like “should have” (shoulda), “could have” (coulda) and “would have” (woulda) were almost standard usage until the 17th century: ...
3
votes
2answers
92k views

Disoriented vs. Disorientated [duplicate]

In the U.S., we seemingly prefer the former to the latter. However, I was sitting with my friends when one of them stated that he was "disorientated" while we were playing a video game. My theory, at ...
6
votes
2answers
680 views

If a “cooking show” is grammatical, why not a “cooking book”?

I enjoy cooking, and I've been told I'm quite a good cook. I have several cookery books 1 at home, mostly on Italian and British cooking, but not one is written by a famous cookery writer 2. I've ...
3
votes
4answers
214 views

Could “shingled” mean “pebbly”?

One of the definition of shingle is a mass of small rounded pebbles, especially on a seashore. You can say a shingle beach (more common usage in UK than US perhaps) Is it also correct English ...
3
votes
5answers
12k views

pronunciation US-UK in words like “semi”

I am trying to find a document that explains pronunciation differences in /E/ and /I/ sounds between UK and US styles. I think US pronunciation has /'sɛmay/ a lot more often than UK /'sɛmi/. Where can ...
17
votes
7answers
24k views

How to pronounce fractions larger than a twentieth, where the last digit of the denominator is a 1 or a 2? i.e. one thirtieth is to 30 as _ is to 31

Disclaimer: I speak British English. I've noticed a lot of differences between the way Americans and Brits pronounce numbers.1 Since the question concerns this, I thought it might be appropriate to ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Insight into the pronunciation of the word algae?

Can anyone provide some insight into the pronunciation of the word algae? Various dictionaries give either the /g/ version as in gear or the /dʒ/ version as in jeep. For example: https://dictionary....
5
votes
5answers
18k views

Pronunciation of foreign words in American vs. British English?

One of the differences between modern US English (hereafter referred to as "American English") and British English is the way in which we pronounce foreign words, particularly those of French origin ...
4
votes
1answer
790 views

Pronunciation of “priv-” in British English and American English

For example, the pronunciation of "priv-" in the words privacy and private is different in British English. The former is pronounced as prɪv- whereas the latter as praɪv-. Yet, in the US, the ...
20
votes
9answers
72k views

What's the difference between “bucket” and “pail”?

What is the difference between bucket and pail? Is there a distinction between the shape of a bucket and the shape of a pail? Are buckets and pails made of different materials? Is there a difference ...
8
votes
7answers
8k views

What is “lemonade” in American English?

Lemonade is a fizzy drink, strongly carbonated. It comes in two varieties, white (which is actually colourless) and red. I have never known anyone to make it at home. Various things I've picked up in ...
5
votes
2answers
177 views

What’s a semi-formal American equivalent for the British expression “value for money”?

I'm searching for an American phrase that would be equivalent to the British “X is great value for money”, one that’s not too colloquial and can be used in a serious product description. I am aware ...
4
votes
4answers
10k views

Anyone for pudding?

I saw a reference to blancmange in an answer to another question and it got me thinking about pudding. It is very common in British English for the word pudding to be used as the general term for ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the connotations of “clueless”?

As a result of a discussion with @Hot Licks on another post, it is apparent that his (American) understanding of the nuances associated with clueless is slightly different to my (British) ...