Lately I've started noticing the construction "or no" in places where I would have expected "or not". [more inside]
What is the difference in English between  "The flowers are white" and  "The flowers are white in colour"? Scientific texts (such as botanical descriptions) seem to prefer  and add "in colour" after the colour name though it is redundant. Form  wins the Google fight by a large margin and the Ngram for "white in color" shows a downward trend since the 1920s. Is it now OK to drop the "in colour" in contemporary (scientific) texts?
In the past, I've seen that sometimes English is interspersed with another language on certain websites. This site, however, has English titles to their posts, but most everything else is in Dutch. Why? [more inside]
I'd like to read stories in English with my daughter. [more inside]
In a Swords and Sorcery middle grade children's book set in the medieval times I want to give a feeling of old English without the dense cryptic reality of old English. What makes for a good balance of thee and thous, doth and dosts? [more inside]
In other words, I'm looking for a list of adjectives that could complete the sentence "I am feeling __." This is actually a fairly extensive group of adjectives, and I'm wondering whether this type of adjective is identified formally as a certain type of adjective (which would make it easier to find the set) or whether anyone has assembled such a list.
I have seen the phrase "dwarf bravery" on japanese shirts a lot. What the hell concept is being mistranslated here? Does whatever japanese word or words this originates from have a real english equivalent?
Where can I find Indian movies with decent English subtitles to stream or download? [more inside]
I need a book on the different varieties of English, their spellings, grammar and punctuation and some info on vocabulary differences, too. But I'm having trouble finding one. [more inside]
Is the term "help seeking" one word or two? If it is two words, should it be hyphenated when it's not serving as a compound adjective? [more inside]
Something that often frustrates me reading the newspaper or stories on the internet is that a majority of the "current serious issues" things are going to come from Western English-speaking countries. Can you recommend websites that provide English news about fairly non-English countries? (From my Australian perspective these include anywhere in Africa, Russia, India, Eastern Europe, so on.)
So, I was designing rules with some EFL students in class the other day about how to differentiate between countable and uncountable nouns. We agreed that things which are too small to reasonably count are uncountable based on sand and the idea that liquids are uncountable (under the assumption that an individual 'piece' of a liquid would be a molecule and as such very, very small). Then one of the students broke the rule by asking why individual circuits are countable even though they are extremely small. So, is there an explanation for this? Does my rule just suck? [more inside]
I will teach my first class ever this week, am nervous and looking for advice! [more inside]
I am considering ditching the textbook I currently use for my high school English class. I would like to create a digital anthology of poetry and short stories. Many of the texts I plan on using would be public domain, but what about those that aren't? Is there a cost-effective/user-friendly way to do small-scale licensing of short stories and poetry for use in the classroom?
I am looking for three things here: 1) Some kind of drill, preferably in game format but anything good will do 2) tools to run my writing through to catch my errors and 3) generic reference materials. Online resources are strongly preferred, in part because I get sick when I handle books and papers too much. [more inside]
I'm interested in learning about the details of English grammar and usage, and also maybe in picking up some prescriptions or guidelines for writing well-styled/balanced prose (a la Strunk & White, though my understanding is that there's potentially a great many schools of thought to look at here). The kicker: my academic background is in math and computer science, including the very formal reaches of things like logic, formal languages, etc. Is there any way that this stuff can help me learn that stuff? [more inside]
I signed up for a senior-year seminar class for prose fiction. My GPA cannot suffer. I'm willing to learn anything and everything on the subject. Book recommendations are also appreciated. (English TAs and Profs are preferred! You are the next best thing to Literary Gods)
Is there a concise term that signifies the difference between phrases such as "not all dogs are brown" and "all dogs are not brown"? [more inside]
I'm reaching for a phrase for a short science fiction piece I'm working on. I'd like to know what a Classical-Latin-speaking character would say if they wanted to articulate a particular concept analogous to "I think therefore I am", but expressing instead a monstrous moral conclusion they've reached along the lines of I think therefore none may be / shall be. [more inside]
There's a pithy one-liner, almost a saying or slogan, about how it's easy to complain about or take something for granted when you don't need it, but it's super important when you do need it. I'm pretty sure that this one-liner originally applied to one specific thing (maybe the police, maybe a labour union, maybe socialized health care), but the sentiment could easily be generalized to a whole set of special purpose institutions. This whole goddamn saying is right on the tip of my tongue. Help me out?
All my life, people have complimented me on my abiity to write well. In middle and high school, it was writing good chapter summaries, literary analyses and essays for homework using flowery language. In college, it became about construction and the flow of ideas, and I found myself to be reasonably adept at that as well. I'm currently jobless ( looking for my first job at 25), and when people chime in with suggestions on how to fix that, they can't understand why I poo-poo the idea of writing professionally out of hand. Help me develop my writerly mind and get myself out of the English class for good. [more inside]
Based on it being used unclearly elsewhere I ended up googling the phrase "Failed the test of humanity". I found multiple uses of it but no obvious originating source of the phrase. Does any one know where this apparent idiom comes from? Is it associated with a particular religion/culture? [more inside]
I'm looking for related resources (online & offline) for improving my writing skills for everyday work. [more inside]
I'm teaching high school-level English next year for students who need a high level of academic support and I want the class to be both highly engaging and content-rich. If you were a kid who LOATHED writing for school, struggled with boring English classes, or can remember what elements you truly enjoyed in your high school English class, what advice would you pass my way? [more inside]
What have you read or watched that has changed the way you think about relationships, particularly what makes a good relationship? Bonus points for shorter texts and YouTube videos, but all texts should be approachable for high school juniors taking AP English for the first time. More specifics behind the cut. [more inside]
I'm interested in reading English literature between Chaucer and Shakespeare and would like suggestions. [more inside]
"Can you use the Flesch Reading Ease Formula with a one-word sentence or a phrase that isnt a complete sentence? Such as a multiple choice answer on a test.
I would write "1950s" or "1980s", and this is universal among native English speakers, so far as I am aware. In international contexts, however, I sometimes observe that people whose English spelling is otherwise flawless will consistently write "1950ies" or "1980ies", which reads to me like it has an extra syllable. Where does this convention come from, and what linguistic background makes it sound like a reasonable way to contract these numbers? [more inside]
I'm planning to move to Seattle in the fall and hope to work with the international/refugee population there, specifically Somalis. Which organizations are the best for international/ESL/refugee education or support for women and children? [more inside]
Can anyone recommend a beginner level English language tutorial series for Spanish speakers who cannot read or write in either language?
My wife is finally going to meet my family. Problem, they don't speak English, She doesn't speak Russian. What are good non speech dependent fun activities we can all do? [more inside]
Hi AskMetafilter. I've found that I have properly enunciating the 'o' related English phonograms. Especially 'our.' I went to a speech pathologist who claimed (reasonably) that I wasn't moving my upperlip properly and moving my jaw done enough. But I wasn't satisfied by the resources he provided for correcting those problems. Does anyone have any suggestions about the best resources for learning the proper lip/jaw movement of English phonograms?
I'd like to know the English translation for this specific song: Muoi Nam Tinh Cu, however if there is a good site that has a listing of classic Vietnamese songs with English translations, I'd love to know!
You often hear people say things like "When in Rome" or "Great Minds" when people are generally meaning, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." or "Great minds think alike." Is there an actual literary term for these clipped or shortened idioms?
What can I, a simple vegetarian Yank, bring to a regular English Sunday dinner? [more inside]
What is "The storm cannot be stopped; but it can be survived" in Latin?
I graduated with an M.A. in English and through luck, contracting, and family connections, came to work in nuclear power. My administrative role has changed to field work. I prefer office work, especially writing reports etc. My area in nuclear is very specialized, and due to downsizing in the industry, I feel a real need to get familiar with my prospects for other jobs and diversify my skills. However, I have no idea how to begin, research being one of my weak points. Long explanation + details inside. [more inside]
Tryin' to track down a portfolio of English reading/writing laminated bifold four page workbooks. [more inside]
I am looking for an additional income source, and understand that combining a home stay with teaching English as a second language is a possibility, because it is relatively well paid and there is a fair amount of work available where I am (Oxford, UK). Has anyone done this? Are the above assumptions correct? What teaching qualifications are required? There is not a lot of info that I can find on the language teaching websites. Thanks.
Can anyone recommend a good poetry primer? [more inside]
My dad found this postcard that was sent in 1910 from my great-great-grandmother to her son and his wife. I've taken a stab at translating it from Norwegian to English using Google Translate, but I've only been able to figure out a few words due to the handwriting. There might also be some characters that I'm not familiar with. Can anyone decipher more of it? [more inside]
Can anyone translate this Japanese letter or point me to a translation service? [more inside]
What is the origin of "making it sing," as in to cause something to be at its best, be it an instrument, weapon, machine, or anything else? [more inside]
I need advice to help me start tutoring. [more inside]
Want methods for memorization, time management, and other study tips... [more inside]
My mother's health isn't so great (and it isn't, sadly, going to get much better). She still enjoys movies, however, and I'd like to get her some animated stuff. Her vision isn't strong, so subtitles are out - so these must be dubbed or from Anglophone countries. [more inside]
I've recently noticed an irritating trend in English-language writing: sections that really should be written in the past perfect tense are instead in the simple past tense. I've seen this more in American English than in British English, but that might just be confirmation bias. Is there a reason for this, for example a new style of teaching in schools or universities? And is it really new, or am I just looking for things to get annoyed about? [more inside]
I just had someone tell me that it is correct to close a letter with “Signed, [Mr. Letter Writer].” It’s the use of the word “Signed” that I find strange and just wrong. I have never in my life seen this and am having a hard time believing it is acceptable. Can anyone enlighten me?
Is there a word for "one word", like monosyllabic means "one syllable"?
Looking for movie recommendations that feature French scenes, spoken French is good too. [more inside]