History UsefulNotes / AmericanEnglish

12th May '17 5:51:51 AM TristanJeremiah
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* '''Lawyer''' refers exclusively to Attorneys who practice law, and the two words are interchangeable. It never refers to any other profession.
30th Apr '17 11:59:24 AM TristanJeremiah
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** However, this seems to be changing. With the term "Mobile game" becoming mainstream, Mobile phone is becoming more common than cell phone amongst the newer generation.
27th Apr '17 2:16:04 PM KYCubbie
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** The U.S. does make a distinction with what we call types of lawyers. Trial lawyers, whom most Brits might call ''barristers'' (Scots call them ''advocates''), are '''counselors-at-law'''--hence why you often hear "Counselor" used as a title on Franchise/LawAndOrder. A lawyer dealing with non-court legal matters--wills, articles of incorporation, etc.--are known as '''attorneys-at-law''' rather than ''solicitors''. In short, if you want some advice on how stupid what you're planning is, you want to see an attorney. After you did the stupid thing and you need someone to represent you in court to help you get out of the legal hot water your stupidity put you in, you'll want a counselor. This distinction is rapidly disappearing in many areas of the US, however, with a fused legal profession fulfilling all responsibilities.

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** The U.S. does make a distinction with what we call types of lawyers. Trial lawyers, whom most Brits might call ''barristers'' (Scots call them ''advocates''), are '''counselors-at-law'''--hence why you often hear "Counselor" used as a title on Franchise/LawAndOrder. A lawyer dealing with non-court legal matters--wills, articles of incorporation, etc.--are known as '''attorneys-at-law''' rather than ''solicitors''. In short, if you want some advice on how stupid what you're planning is, you want to see an attorney. After you did the stupid thing and you need someone to represent you in court to help you get out of the legal hot water your stupidity put you in, you'll want a counselor. This distinction is rapidly disappearing in many areas of the US, however, with However, every US jurisdiction has a fused legal profession fulfilling all responsibilities.responsibilities, and new attorneys can practice on either or both sides of the divide as they wish. Only a very small number of states still make the distinction, and even those that do automatically admit new attorneys as both.
20th Dec '16 5:32:40 AM KYCubbie
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** A '''529''' is similar to a 401(k), including the tax benefits, except that it's set up for the higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary (a family member, most often the donor's child or grandchild). It also gets its name from the Internal Revenue Code section in which it's defined.
28th Jul '16 10:00:22 AM FurryKef
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* '''Guy''' (pronounced the standard, non-French way, so as to rhyme with "fry") is what Americans say instead of "bloke". It means exactly the same. The plural, "guys," can mean a group of males or a mixed-gender group, but never a group of females (except in the Jersey/Midwest "you guys" sense). "Guy" also has a negative connotation in the military, in particular the Army, whose non-commissioned officers often use it as a substitute for other vivid language in an attempt to cast a more 'professional' image. May often be used at civilians' expense or as a jest between junior enlisted. Its also frowned upon severely in the Air Force.

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* '''Guy''' (pronounced the standard, non-French way, so as to rhyme with "fry") is what Americans say instead of "bloke". It means exactly the same. The plural, "guys," can mean a group of males or a mixed-gender group, but never a group of females (except in the Jersey/Midwest "you guys" sense). "Guy" also has a negative connotation in the military, in particular the Army, whose non-commissioned officers often use it as a substitute for other vivid language in an attempt to cast a more 'professional' image. May often be used at civilians' expense or as a jest between junior enlisted. Its It's also frowned upon severely in the Air Force. Force.
17th Jun '16 5:23:49 PM PixelKnight
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* A small dwelling in a complex is called an '''apartment''' if rented or a '''condo''' if owned. A "flat" generally refers to a flat tire on a car or bicycle. For this reason, a flatmate is called a "roommate," although "roommate" still also carries the literal meaning, so confusion does sometimes occur.

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* A small dwelling in a complex is called an '''apartment''' if rented or a '''condo''' if owned. A "flat" generally refers to a flat tire on a car or bicycle. For this reason, a flatmate is called a "roommate," "roommate", or "roomie" for short, although "roommate" still also carries the literal meaning, so confusion does sometimes occur.
17th Jun '16 5:20:42 PM PixelKnight
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* '''Cookies''' refer to what people in England call "biscuits" (i.e. those flat round things that make your belts longer); A '''biscuit''' in America is a softer, unsweetened bread made with baking powder instead of yeast, somewhat similar to a British "scone" (but see below). They taste quite delicious with butter, jam, and/or honey, and are usually served as a side with meals. They can be found all over the U.S., but especially in the South (where biscuits are often served with white gravy), up to the point where there are entire restaurant franchises dedicated to them and serving things on them. Other breads served as a side with meals are often called "rolls." Oddly, dog biscuits are still called 'dog biscuits' stateside, even though they're more similar to cookies than American biscuits - but you ''do'' hear Americans asking their dogs if they'd like a cookie as often as if they'd like a biscuit or a treat; the three words are interchangeable in that context ''only''.[[note]]Although "dog treat" technically covers a wider range of products and also includes things like jerky intended for dogs.[[/note]]

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* '''Cookies''' refer to what people in England call "biscuits" (i.e. those flat round things that make your belts longer); longer and/or tighter); A '''biscuit''' in America is a softer, unsweetened bread made with baking powder instead of yeast, somewhat similar to a British "scone" (but see below). They taste quite delicious with butter, jam, and/or honey, and are usually served as a side with meals. They can be found all over the U.S., but especially in the South (where biscuits are often served with white gravy), up to the point where there are entire restaurant franchises dedicated to them and serving things on them. Other breads served as a side with meals are often called "rolls." Oddly, dog biscuits are still called 'dog biscuits' stateside, even though they're more similar to cookies than American biscuits - but you ''do'' hear Americans asking their dogs if they'd like a cookie as often as if they'd like a biscuit or a treat; the three words are interchangeable in that context ''only''.[[note]]Although "dog treat" technically covers a wider range of products and also includes things like jerky intended for dogs.[[/note]]
9th Jun '16 10:24:36 PM Sugao
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*** However, do note that referring to a ten a sawbuck is extraordinarily outdated, to the point that if you say it to someone under age thirty, or possibly forty, they're likely to give you an ''extremely'' confused look before perhaps assuming you're referring to some unknown denomination of money from ''your own'' country (if they can infer you're talking about money from the context, that is; if not, they'll probably guess you're talking about some exotic species of deer). The deer assumption is doubly true in the south, where deer hunting is fairly common.



* '''[French] fries''' ([[BeamMeUpScotty No one ever seriously]] called them "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_fries freedom fries]]".) are what people in the UK call "chips". They can be dipped in many things -- ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, barbecue sauce, and sometimes horseradish sauce are all fairly common. The thick ones favored in the U.K. are called "steak fries", with the longer, thinner variety the most common type you'll get in restaurants. If you were thinking of asking for vinegar, don't. You'll get red wine vinegar, some very odd looks, and a rather confused waitperson (unless you're on the New England coast). However, malt vinegar ''can'' be bought at most grocery stores and at places that serve fish and chips.

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* '''[French] fries''' ([[BeamMeUpScotty No one ever seriously]] called them "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_fries freedom fries]]".) are what people in the UK call "chips". They can be dipped in many things -- ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, barbecue sauce, and sometimes horseradish sauce are all fairly common. The thick ones favored in the U.K. are called "steak fries", with the longer, thinner variety the most common type you'll get in restaurants. Note that the thin variety, especially, tends to be ''extremely'' salty. If you were thinking of asking for vinegar, don't. You'll get red wine vinegar, some very odd looks, and a rather confused waitperson (unless you're on the New England coast). However, malt vinegar ''can'' be bought at most grocery stores and at places that serve fish and chips.



** Similar terms (depending on where you are) include smashed, hammered, shmammered (combining the two), and fucked up. All can be interpreted as injured in some way, but most likely mean drunk. Pissed absolutely does not mean drunk and you might get some strange looks if you use it. See that entry further down for more details.

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** Similar terms (depending on where you are) include smashed, hammered, shmammered (combining the two), and fucked up. All can be interpreted as injured in some way, but most likely mean drunk. "Three sheets to the wind" is rarely used. Pissed absolutely does not mean drunk and you might get some strange looks if you use it. See that entry further down for more details.



** On a related note, very few Americans refer to "exams" in a general sense. There are two types of exams in American schools: midterm exams, or "midterms," and final exams, or "finals." Their names are fairly self-explanatory; generally, in high school midterms are delivered at the end of the first semester, with finals at the end of the second and the end of the year. There will usually be numerous small short exams called "quizzes" (or a "pop quiz" if not announced ahead of time) and a few medium-sized ones referred to as "tests." In college, which give classes by semester rather than by year, midterms come in late fall and late spring, or there may be multiple tests of roughly equal weight and one big Final. Finals are given at the end of the semester. If you say "paper" or "papers" in this same sense, most Americans will think you are referring to an essay or writing assignment, not a test to be taken.
* '''Elementary school''' or "grade school" is what those in the UK call a "primary school". "Grammar school" is an old-fashioned term for elementary school, the "grammar" in question being English not Latin. Schools with grades 6-8 are called JuniorHigh schools or middle schools.

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** On a related note, very few Americans refer to "exams" in a general sense. There are two types of exams in American schools: midterm exams, or "midterms," and final exams, or "finals." Their names are fairly self-explanatory; generally, in high school midterms are delivered at the end of the first semester, with finals at the end of the second and the end of the year. There will usually be numerous small short exams called "quizzes" (or a "pop quiz" if not announced ahead of time) and a few medium-sized ones referred to as "tests." In college, which give classes by semester rather than by year, midterms come in late fall and late spring (or sometimes early spring, in order to be given before spring break), or there may be multiple tests of roughly equal weight and one big Final. Finals are given at the end of the semester. If you say "paper" or "papers" in this same sense, most Americans will think you are referring to an essay or writing assignment, not a test to be taken.
* '''Elementary school''' or "grade school" is what those in the UK call a "primary school". "Grammar school" is an old-fashioned term for elementary school, the "grammar" in question being English not Latin. Schools with grades 6-8 are called JuniorHigh schools or middle schools. Some school districts have ''both'', with middle school being grades 4-6 and junior high being 7-8 (or sometimes 7-9, though ninth grade is actually freshman year of high school and districts which lump ninth grade in with junior high still refer to their tenth graders as sophomores; some also have a distinct ninth grade campus separate from both junior high and the 10-12 high school).



* '''Cookies''' refer to what people in England call "biscuits" (i.e. those flat round things that make your belts longer); A '''biscuit''' in America is a softer, unsweetened bread made with baking powder instead of yeast, somewhat similar to a British "scone" (but see below). They taste quite delicious with butter, jam, and/or honey, and are usually served as a side with meals. They can be found all over the U.S., but especially in the South (where biscuits are often served with white gravy), up to the point where there are entire restaurant franchises dedicated to them and serving things on them. Other breads served as a side with meals are often called "rolls." Oddly, dog biscuits are still called 'dog biscuits' stateside, even though they're more similar to cookies than American biscuits.

to:

* '''Cookies''' refer to what people in England call "biscuits" (i.e. those flat round things that make your belts longer); A '''biscuit''' in America is a softer, unsweetened bread made with baking powder instead of yeast, somewhat similar to a British "scone" (but see below). They taste quite delicious with butter, jam, and/or honey, and are usually served as a side with meals. They can be found all over the U.S., but especially in the South (where biscuits are often served with white gravy), up to the point where there are entire restaurant franchises dedicated to them and serving things on them. Other breads served as a side with meals are often called "rolls." Oddly, dog biscuits are still called 'dog biscuits' stateside, even though they're more similar to cookies than American biscuits.biscuits - but you ''do'' hear Americans asking their dogs if they'd like a cookie as often as if they'd like a biscuit or a treat; the three words are interchangeable in that context ''only''.[[note]]Although "dog treat" technically covers a wider range of products and also includes things like jerky intended for dogs.[[/note]]



** '''Pavement''', meanwhile, can also refer not only to the concrete or flagstones that a sidewalk is made of, but also the sidewalk lining a road. Pavement is in most locations, a collective word, meaning an entire stretch of paved (usually in concrete) area. Adele's song "Chasing Pavements" sounds weird to Americans, as as most Americans would say 'Chasing Pavement,' if they'd use that phrase at all.

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** '''Pavement''', meanwhile, can also refer not only to the concrete or flagstones that a sidewalk is made of, but also the sidewalk lining a road. Pavement is is, in most locations, a collective word, meaning an entire stretch of paved (usually in concrete) area. Adele's song "Chasing Pavements" sounds weird to Americans, as as most Americans would say 'Chasing Pavement,' if they'd use that phrase at all.



** '''Checkers''' are, likewise, what you might call 'draughts' in the United States. And some Americans might struggle with how to pronounce 'draughts'. '''Drafts''' can refer to beer, wayward wind currents ("Do you feel a draft?"), military conscription, the first version of a piece of writing, or driving very close behind another car.

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** '''Checkers''' are, likewise, the American name what you might call 'draughts' in the United States.UK. And some Americans might struggle with how to pronounce 'draughts'. '''Drafts''' can refer to beer, wayward wind currents ("Do you feel a draft?"), military conscription, the first version of a piece of writing, or driving very close behind another car.



* '''Tramp'''. Although it can mean a homeless person or person down on his luck which is still remembered for Creator/CharlieChaplin's character "Little Tramp", it's a term mostly known for a woman of loose morals. Calling someone a tramp, especially a woman, would be rather insulting. The closest equivalent "strumpet". Someone being referred to as a tramp may also have a '''tramp stamp''', which is a tattoo on the lower back, just above the ass.

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* '''Tramp'''. Although it can mean a homeless person or person down on his luck which is still remembered for Creator/CharlieChaplin's character "Little Tramp", it's a term mostly known for a woman of loose morals. Calling someone a tramp, especially a woman, would be rather insulting. The closest equivalent "strumpet". Someone being referred to as a tramp may also have a '''tramp stamp''', which is a tattoo on the lower back, just above the ass.buttocks.
25th May '16 9:18:10 PM Doug86
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* '''Shotgun''' can refer to either a gun or the passenger seat in a car: if someone wants to ride as the front passenger, they might say "I call shotgun" or "I'm riding shotgun" or oftentimes just "Shotgun!" if staking their claim on the seat. For the last use, custom dictates that the first person to verbally call "shotgun" gets the seat. The term dates from the WildWest era, when stagecoaches frequently required an armed guard; he would sit out on top of the coach to the right of the horses' driver. Some younger people might use the variant '''shotty''' (same meanings) and occasionally use it to call "dibs" on other things, like the last slice of pizza.

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* '''Shotgun''' can refer to either a gun or the passenger seat in a car: if someone wants to ride as the front passenger, they might say "I call shotgun" or "I'm riding shotgun" or oftentimes just "Shotgun!" if staking their claim on the seat. For the last use, custom dictates that the first person to verbally call "shotgun" gets the seat. The term dates from the WildWest TheWildWest era, when stagecoaches frequently required an armed guard; he would sit out on top of the coach to the right of the horses' driver. Some younger people might use the variant '''shotty''' (same meanings) and occasionally use it to call "dibs" on other things, like the last slice of pizza.
24th May '16 8:43:44 PM Doug86
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** The somewhat rare letter ash ("Æ") is almost totally out of use. "E" is used instead, or in some cases type out an A followed by an E. "Æsthetic", for example, is "aesthetic" or "esthetic". To type out an "ash" requires the use of the alt codes on U.S. keyboards (alt-145 for lowercase and alt-146 for uppercase, if you were wondering[[note]]If you're using a Mac, it's Option-single quote for lowercase and Shift-Option-single quote for uppercase[[/note]]). The same goes for ''ethel'' (""). The only place where you will see those two letters (along with the diaeresis) used nowadays is in ''Magazine/TheNewYorker'' magazine or some fantasy works (for example, ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'').

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** The somewhat rare letter ash ("Æ") ("[=Æ=]") is almost totally out of use. "E" is used instead, or in some cases type out an A followed by an E. "Æsthetic", "[=Æ=]sthetic", for example, is "aesthetic" or "esthetic". To type out an "ash" requires the use of the alt codes on U.S. keyboards (alt-145 for lowercase and alt-146 for uppercase, if you were wondering[[note]]If you're using a Mac, it's Option-single quote for lowercase and Shift-Option-single quote for uppercase[[/note]]). The same goes for ''ethel'' (""). The only place where you will see those two letters (along with the diaeresis) used nowadays is in ''Magazine/TheNewYorker'' magazine or some fantasy works (for example, ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'').
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