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Is there a level for "crap"?
First off, this is a regionalism, and a realtorism. Realtors call property anything they like, as long as they think it will sell it; barbarisms like "norman queen anne" and "two-story Cape Cod" are the lifeblood of realtor-speak, just as property developers seem to have a Code of Dishonor that requires them to name streets and subdivisions for things which were destroyed in development, or never there at all.
An "english basement" is one in which the service rooms are in the mostly below-grade floor, generally about 3 feet is above grade, but some arrangement is made for direct entrance to that floor; the "ground floor" -generally raised about 3 feet- "public rooms" are raised enough for privacy from the sidewalk. The "american basement" has some of the service rooms, the kitchen and those associated with it on the ground floor, which may be raised as little as one foot. Either way, we are not looking at a big increase in height. The term was a newyorkism, but died out somewhat because it became genericized for any vaguely livable troglodytic dwelling space, but it seems to be going great guns in DC. Chicago occupied basements did tend to be a little higher, but that was true regardless of what went in 'em. Anmccaff (talk) 21:38, 12 December 2015 (UTC)