86

It is called a "sleeve." Although the primary meaning refers to that part of clothing which covers the wearer's arms in part or in whole, by analogy it has come to mean a tightly fitting, tubular protective covering. See Merriam-Webster for a more detailed definition.


78

Admittedly, I'm answering a BrE question as an American, but your source is suspect. 9.36 twenty-four minutes to ten This is grammatical, but nobody in their right mind would actually say it. Who's got the time to calculate 60 minus 36 to come up with this version? You'd just say "Nine thirty-six". (If the time is close to a round value, it's ...


77

In the UK, black person is the usual way to describe someone of African or Caribbean ethnic background and I wouldn't expect it to be taken as offensive. Referring to someone as a black (as a noun) would be offensive. Referring to someone as the black guy could conceivably be interpreted as a little disrespectful if you might have been expected to call them ...


63

That would be an (indoor) "gym" or "gymnasium". From Wikipedia: A gym, short for gymnasium, is an open air or covered location for gymnastics, athletics, and gymnastic services. The word is derived from the ancient Greek gymnasium. They are commonly found in athletic and fitness centers, and as activity and learning spaces in educational institutions. "...


54

'expected at X for Y' is a format sometimes used in official invitations - it's effectively a window of time where it's considered polite to arrive, without being late. In your example, 7 for 7.30, one would be expected to arrive between 7 and 7:30, with the main event (often a dinner party) taking place at 7:30 sharp. An online example of such an ...


53

This is fundamentally a class distinction. With any given amount of land and labor, more food value can be created from growing grain and vegetables than from growing animals for meat. In the medieval economy, the local lord had title to all the land and had a large amount of labor at his disposal as a sort of tax on his peasant subjects. The lord could ...


53

The use of these words varies between countries. Your friend is clearly employing the Indian English colloquial use of the word. I have visited India several times and it doesn't take long to pick up the differences. I assume the Indian variation is due to the prevalence of vegetarians in the country and the limited number of animals that are eaten. In ...


51

In British School, that would be more likely to be called a 'Sports Hall' than a 'Gym'. In Britain, one tends to think of a 'Gym' as a room with weights, and machines, rather than a large hall.


44

I think most people would recommend you stick to one style or the other. Why? Well, it doesn't matter too much, but if you mix styles the reader might notice! And that's bad—if they're noticing stuff like that, then they're paying attention to how you're writing rather than what you're writing. In other words, you're distracting the reader. You ...


41

This is an older meaning of "as" that is now only found in some dialects. It is a relative conjunction, or perhaps a relative pronoun, and it means "that". It is not standard English (so don't use it). Standard English uses "that". It is sense 9 in the wiktionary definition as Rowling uses this to establish the character of Hagrid as it a marker of region ...


38

First, no, there is no confusion with the title. Addressing somebody as "Sir John" is entirely different from "Sir". (It's actually the equivalent to "Mr Smith") My observation is that we address people as "Sir" (or Madam, or Miss) a good deal less in the UK than the Americans do. Here these are used mostly by people serving (for example in a restaurant or ...


37

Cashiers want customers to get through the line quickly. They don't need justification. It is a simple YES/NO question. So "No" or "No thank you" to be more polite. David Richerby made an excellent point in his answer below that you need to consider head nods too. In English speaking countries a head nod up and down means yes, while shaking side to side ...


36

This is a shortening of the phrase: Arrive at 7:00pm for a 7:30pm start. This is often used when registration or seating etc. is required, where guests are invited to arrive at a given time, while communicating that the event or meeting is due to start later than the arrival time. This avoids the confusion of advertising 7.00 and having people arrive at ...


35

Sure. For example, Canadian English has standard spellings that are derived from both British and American influences. Canadian spelling of the English language combines British and American conventions. French-derived words retain British spellings (colour or centre). While the United States uses the Anglo-French spelling defense or offense (...


35

Excuse me for a moment please This leaves both purpose and destination unstated, but by making it clear that the absence will be very temporary, does not cause anyone to think that it is a total departure. This will usually be understood sufficiently in context. There are of course, many euphemisms, some gender specific, some not, some considered more ...


31

I'm not sure there's a direct female equivalent, but there's a gender-neutral expression with a similar meaning and level of vulgarity: Get off my ass! That being said, I think it's much more common to hear a female speaker use the original "... breaking my balls," then for her to adapt it for female anatomy. I know plenty of women who use the expression ...


30

The right way to say this in the UK would be "I need to go to the toilet" or just "I need the toilet". Contrary to puppetsock, the word "WC" is hardly used these days, and younger people especially would not know what it meant. You might use it to excuse yourself from an audience with the Queen, but for everyone else you should say "toilet". "Bathroom" ...


28

If the object after "most" is singular then the verb is singular too, else if the object after "most" is plural then the verb is plural: Most of his ideas are silly. (ideas - plural, are - plural) Most of his money is spent on PC games. (money - singular (uncountable), is - singular) Your second and third sentences are correct. The first one is incorrect.


25

Both prepositions are correct but have slightly different meanings here, depending on how the author considers the bus. The interpretation also depends on context1. "On the bus" considers the bus functionally as a form of transport. "In the bus" emphasises that the bus is a place. So if I read that someone "fell asleep in the bus", my first impression is ...


25

To answer the last part of your question – where someone told you that you should avoid using the term blackboard – there is a difference between a blackboard and a whiteboard; the two terms refer to different products. Blackboard vs. whiteboard A blackboard, also called a chalkboard, is usually black or dark green and is meant to be written on using ...


23

A historic term for a coffee cup sleeve would be zarf -- it traditionally refers to nondisposable Turkish metal sleeves but has also been used to refer to the disposable paper ones. (Disclaimer: I've only once heard a sleeve actually being referred to as a zarf at a coffeeshop, and it was a "hey did you know" kind of thing from the barista)


22

Well, if you were curious what combined footballer-cricketer your friend liked, you would say "Who is". If you were allowing that the favorite footballer and the favorite cricketer might be two different people, then you would use "Who are".


21

Preferred terms African immigrant: If you know for a fact that the person was born in Africa and is now living in the UK, this is a safe term to use, as it frames the subject in terms of circumstances such as birthplace and residence, rather than race. Technically, it could also include non-black people who meet those criteria, though. Based on feedback, ...


20

In spoken English, you can always state the time as the hour and minutes (aside from the top of the hour), and you would only state minutes if you need to be explicit or if you are deliberately drawing attention to the time for rhetorical effect. Ten eleven, eleven past ten, or eleven after ten (at least in American English) would all be far more common ...


19

Arrive at or very shortly after 7, but well before 7:30. "At 7" means exactly what it says: you are expected to be there at 7. "For 7:30" means that the main event will begin at 7:30; for a formal dinner, this would mean that the first course will be served at 7:30. The half hour in between ensures that all guests have a chance to check or put away their ...


18

In American English, meat is a general term for any flesh, so your question was perfectly logical. Asking for something more specific than "meat" should generate a response such as "beef", "chicken", etc.


18

(Excuse me,) I need to use the toilet/bathroom/restroom. Exactly how that room is named depends on the continent. The commenters are right, toilet is most often used in British English, while Americans prefer restroom or bathroom. The phrase is not limited to urination: (Euphemism) to urinate or defecate. May I be excused to use the bathroom? I have to ...


17

"Visualization" is the only correct spelling in American English. "Visualisation" and "visualization" are both acceptable in British English although it is a common misconception that "visualization" is an Americanism and therefore incorrect. Oxford resolutely prefers "ize" forms - see visualize in the British English Oxford Dictionary - and a lot of ...


17

It looks weird to someone who is used to checking spelling, for example anyone who produces or checks professional copy. They're used to noticing single errors like typos, and common mis-uses like "flout" vs "flaunt" in everything they read, but they might well perceive what you're doing as a consistent mis-spelling. Individual words might look weird (but ...


17

Speaking for the UK, if we served a dessert looking like that, it would probably be a chocolate mousse (although this seems to have been piped into the dish, which isn't what you'd normally do with mousse). However, I don't know enough about US pudding to know whether that dessert pictured actually is something we'd call a chocolate mousse, or just looks ...


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