“What it is that is” versus “what is”

I recently heard an American presenter using the phrase “discover what it is that is important to you.” What is the linguistic difference between saying “what it is that is,” rather than “what is”? Answer The what it is that is phrasing implies that we’ve already established that “it” exists and now we want to … Read more

British English: “fantasise” or “fantasize”?

I would like to know which spelling is more common in the UK: fantasise or fantasize? Answer My 1983 Chambers gives the -ise spelling first, which seemed reasonable to me because I think the -ize one looks ‘American’. But my 1998 Chambers gives the -ize spelling first, so I guess I have to assume they’ve … Read more

What’s the difference between “lad” and “mate” in British English? [closed]

Closed. This question is off-topic. It is not currently accepting answers. Want to improve this question? Update the question so it’s on-topic for English Language & Usage Stack Exchange. Closed 7 years ago. Improve this question Can “lad” only be used to address a male, while “mate” both male and female? Answer Lad describes only … Read more

Which version of English influenced the other? British / American

I remember hearing that modern American English is more similar to Old English than modern British English, due to rural British influences. Is modern American English a more accurate representation of Old English than modern British English? Answer I think most would agree that any modern English variant, from anywhere in the world, is very, … Read more

(UK-US English) If “mom = mother” then why “mum” isn’t “muther”? [closed]

Closed. This question needs details or clarity. It is not currently accepting answers. Want to improve this question? Add details and clarify the problem by editing this post. Closed 7 years ago. Improve this question So, I’ve noticed something weird. People who speak US English say Mom. Mom represents the word “mother“. People who speak … Read more

Is “evidence” as a verb an Americanism? [closed]

Closed. This question is off-topic. It is not currently accepting answers. Want to improve this question? Update the question so it’s on-topic for English Language & Usage Stack Exchange. Closed 5 years ago. Improve this question We need to evidence the agreement with these forms. Is this usage predominantly American? Answer While the vast majority … Read more

UK emphasis on the second syllable vs US emphasis on the first

Why do some British speakers of English emphasize the second syllable of words such as con-TRO-versy. One British woman I knew (living in Oxford) did this to many words including (unbelievably) the search engine yuh-HOO. I had never heard anyone (Yank or Brit) put the em-PHA-sis on the second sy-LAB-le quite as much as she … Read more

“A hundred percent” vs. “hundred percent”

Which sentence is grammatically correct: I’m a hundred percent sure I’m hundred percent sure Any help would be greatly appreciated! Answer Hundred by itself does not constitute a quantity. You must have a number in some form: I’m one hundred percent sure. or something else to provide a number — like “a” which denotes a … Read more

Why is seraphim a plural of seraph? [closed]

Closed. This question is off-topic. It is not currently accepting answers. Want to improve this question? Update the question so it’s on-topic for English Language & Usage Stack Exchange. Closed last year. Improve this question This pluralization pattern is highly unlike those I found in English, such as those ending in -(e)s and ones that … Read more