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How to write Australian dialog

Short of being in Australia*, I'm writing a story that takes part in Sydney, Australia. Are there any online resources, etc. that could give me an idea who to write dialog that an Australian citizen would speak (certain phrases, slang, etc). *(Warning to Australia, I'll be visiting next year)
posted by acquiredtarget on May 6, 2014 - 21 answers

What are some examples of completely unique writing systems?

I'm fascinated by writing systems. I've seen this wiki page about different types of systems in real and fictional languages. As I understand it, there are generally three kinds of systems: logographic, where symbols represent entire concepts or words; syllabaries, where symbols represent syllabic sounds; and segmental, where symbols represent phonemes or small units of sound. Is there any other way to write? I'm having a hard time coming up with how it would even work, but I'm sure some clever author somewhere has tried. Is there another way to write a language other than the above?
posted by RobotNinja on Feb 27, 2014 - 14 answers

Look at this old bookplate!

What language is this? What does it say? [more inside]
posted by steef on Feb 21, 2014 - 8 answers

Usenet author posting in justified paragraphs?

Does anyone know the name/email address of a guy who used to post to Usenet in the mid-1990s in justified text? (When rendered in a monospaced font.) [more inside]
posted by mstillwell on Jan 14, 2014 - 10 answers

Russian Cursive

Where can I see numbered diagrams for handwriting each Cyrillic letter?
posted by slowlikemolasses on Dec 5, 2013 - 2 answers

Best book to learn how to write professionally and self-edit my own work

Recent job opportunity came up, and I have the chance to write semi-professionally for a small company. Think in the vein of writing movie reviews or reviewing software. Its professional writing, but there will be conceptual and thematic details involved, it's not simply writing staid copy. I would like to find a book that helps me hone my prose, and will teach me how to better edit and improve my work. [more inside]
posted by cascando on Nov 5, 2013 - 5 answers

Tips & tricks for capturing the 'voice' of a piece of fiction?

How do you go about consciously aping the voice/tone/style of a particular genre of fiction or writer? [more inside]
posted by Erberus on Aug 24, 2013 - 8 answers

Is my writing style overly complicated?

I learned English as a second language (native is Finnish). The emphasis in school was on vocabulary and very basic grammar; we did not to my recollection deal with stuff like passive voice etc. So in terms of writing in English, much of my "voice" has developed simply from what sounds right inside my head. However, I've been told that the way I write is overly complicated. Is this so? [more inside]
posted by Unhyper on May 22, 2013 - 48 answers

Examples of beautiful writing

I aspire to write beautifully -- what is some great writing that uses colorful, creative language and style? [more inside]
posted by switcheroo on Apr 29, 2013 - 53 answers

What does this note say? Possibly arabic?

A friend of a friend posted a picture of a note to facebook. Can any of you identify the language and offer a translation of what it says? [more inside]
posted by knapah on Apr 3, 2013 - 8 answers

The visual equivalent of 'Prisencolinensinainciusol'

There are Latin fonts designed to mimic Cyrillic, Asian characters, and many other scripts. What are some examples of foreign-script fonts which mimic Latin characters?
posted by Gordafarin on Mar 30, 2013 - 4 answers

Invented language vs. familiar words in fiction?

As a reader, how do you feel about invented language versus familiar words in imaginary worlds? [more inside]
posted by batmonkey on Nov 21, 2012 - 67 answers

Mystery writing on teapot

Can anyone figure out the language/writing on the bottom of this teapot? If it helps, it was probably purchased in the NYC area between 1940 - 1970.
posted by mikepop on Aug 27, 2012 - 8 answers

Are question marks necessary.

Are question marks necessary. [more inside]
posted by man down under on Apr 17, 2012 - 37 answers

How different is different?

English language friends: Why do we use the word “different” when it doesn’t appear to be necessary? [more inside]
posted by bryon on Apr 17, 2012 - 18 answers

Does self publishing hurt your mainstream publishing chances?

Does self publishing hurt your mainstream publishing chances? [more inside]
posted by sdis on Mar 4, 2012 - 12 answers

To be, or not to be: this is (part of) the question . . .

TL;DR in advance: English MA grad, wondering what to do with his life. A lot [more inside]
posted by exlotuseater on Nov 1, 2011 - 6 answers

What do real editors do, anyhow?

Help me be a better editor... for my wife. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 15, 2011 - 16 answers

Sites to Help with Wordsmithing

I like ClicheFinder and use it often to help me brainstorm clever titles for events and programs. What are some other sites that aggregate common word associations and turns of phrase? Or more general creative wordplay? [more inside]
posted by Miko on Sep 1, 2011 - 8 answers

Mystery Pen Inscription

What is this language or cipher found on a pen, and what does it say? [more inside]
posted by Gordafarin on Jun 27, 2011 - 4 answers

Rate this thing that is a CV

Again with the screen-punching. [more inside]
posted by Fen on Mar 31, 2011 - 14 answers

Rate this thing that is a cover letter

I have written a cover letter. I would like to know whether it makes recruiters jump for joy or punch the screen. [more inside]
posted by Fen on Mar 11, 2011 - 40 answers

words, words, words, words

I'd like to read some sharp, simple fiction writing to improve my academic essays -- what would I like? [more inside]
posted by EmilyFlew on Feb 21, 2011 - 26 answers

Telling a joke until it is no longer funny.

I'm looking for stories about telling jokes until they are no longer funny. How do people who write comedy tell if the jokes they are writing are still funny after repeating them so many times? I'm interested in hearing more about the short half-life of the joke, and the ways a joke can function after it has lost it's ha-ha-ha. [more inside]
posted by caseyg on Dec 18, 2010 - 11 answers

Is there a term for the phenomenon of unintentionally using an entirely different word when writing?

Is there a term for the phenomenon of unintentionally using an entirely different word when writing? [more inside]
posted by Wossname on Oct 19, 2010 - 9 answers

Practical transcription of Tamashek

I'm trying to write Tamashek, the language of the Tuareg, in latin characters. I have nearly all the literature on this -- the problem is, there are a variety of proposed systems, and all of them seem to be based on a largely impractical phonetic alphabet. Most of the proposed alphabets are around 36 to 50 letters, rendering it largely ineffective, especially when trying to teach writing to illiterate native speakers or second language learners. [more inside]
posted by iamck on Oct 2, 2010 - 14 answers

Linguistic Identity Crisis: A country girl divided by a common language.

I'm moving to the UK for the next three years and have some questions about my identity and language use. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on May 5, 2010 - 41 answers

My poor English ability will continue to hold me back professionally and life in general if I don't find a way to improve it.

Poor English is holding my American Dream hostage. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 1, 2010 - 58 answers

Sacrifice, speech, writing and art

Sacrifice, speech, writing and art: I am interested in the different ways in which a sacrifice, a sacrament, a spoken word and a written word act as signifiers. The notion for instance that the sacrament, at the point of its acceptance, is understood as becoming the signified. What can you tell me / what has been written about the notions of sacrifice and their relationship to speech, art and the technologies of writing? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Feb 24, 2010 - 8 answers

Help me find a site that people list their favorite words on

I bookmarked a site years ago that was all about people listing their favorite words - sort of like "delicious" but for word nerds. Does anyone have a clue what this is? thanks
posted by debu on Nov 15, 2009 - 7 answers

Tell me about this sentence construction

Tell me everything you know about this sentence construction: "Are you finished your lunch?" [more inside]
posted by peep on Oct 22, 2009 - 91 answers

Anyone know an online tool that randomly scrambles the order of sentences in a body of text?

Does anyone know of a free, online program that, for lack of a better phrase, I'll call a random sentence scrambler? I see there are a lot of anagram makers but I want one for about 500 word bodies of text. Theoretically I could paste in the text and it would spit it out with all the words intact, the sentence structure preserved, just arranged into a new sequence. Thanks.
posted by holdenjordahl on Aug 16, 2009 - 10 answers

Sources for short prose for public editing practice?

Where might I find real-life examples of 300-700-word pieces of prose that are neither perfect nor unsalvageable — "problematic," let's say — on which I can practice the craft of editing? [more inside]
posted by colinmarshall on Aug 7, 2009 - 25 answers

Automated extraction of the gist of an article?

I often have a whole bunch of 500-3000 word articles to read - all reasonably plain English with headings and sub-headings (and occasionally images). Is there any software out there which will take an article (or articles) and write a reasonable one or two paragraph summary of the article, or produce a list of key points?
posted by zaebiz on Jun 16, 2009 - 13 answers

New theories of Mimesis (in digital/hypertextual/hypermedial cultures)

I am looking for writings on mimesis in regards new, digital, hypertext and hypermedial technologies and cultures. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Feb 16, 2009 - 7 answers

Boy requires more conclusions in writing.

As a result of my poor vocabulary, I use the term 'as a result', 'therefore,' and other like words far too often. Help me state my conclusions with eloquence! [more inside]
posted by mrgreyisyelling on Dec 3, 2008 - 26 answers

I find the nature of this technique Quite Intriguing.

What's the deal with Sarcastic Caps? You know The Kind I Mean. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 2, 2008 - 26 answers

How do I learn shorthand?

What are the best ways to learn shorthand? [more inside]
posted by reenum on Aug 12, 2008 - 9 answers

What can you tell me about 'Poe(t)heory'?

What can you tell me about 'Poe(t)heory'? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Jun 18, 2008 - 3 answers

Language-Related Equivalent of Empathy?

Is there a word or a phrase, other than the too-broad "understand," for when a listener understands what someone else is trying to convey even when the speaker doesn't express it clearly and/or correctly? [more inside]
posted by amyms on Apr 28, 2008 - 31 answers

How Things 'Become': The Infinity of Definition

I am looking for writings on the infinity of definition. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Mar 13, 2008 - 32 answers

The mimetic and narrative capacities of artefacts

I am interested in the mimetic and narrative capacities of artefacts, how cultural remnants transmit information through time and how meaning is translated once an artefact is re-appropriated or examined from a new perspective. I have several avenues of study at the moment (a list in extended explanation), but would like some more ideas. Areas of critical theory, linguistics, evolutionary psychology and poetics are all relevant. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Jan 27, 2008 - 12 answers

Help me learn how to write better in French.

Does anyone have a suggestion for where to go in Montreal to improve my written French? [more inside]
posted by mikel on Nov 1, 2007 - 1 answer

The subject verbs the object

Explain tenses to me? Past/present/future, continuous/simple/perfect, and so on, in English. I can use them with fluency, but I need to be able to explain them (when each is used, how to form them). I've tried Fowler's, Chicago Manual of Style, and a number of other resources, but they seem to subtly contradict one another. Is there a simple, go-to reference for this?
posted by sarahkeebs on Sep 28, 2007 - 16 answers

Suggest some similar similes!

Help me come up with an evocative simile that conveys a profound but unemotional appreciation of a thing. My existing, imperfect prose is inside for your delectation. [more inside]
posted by perissodactyl on Aug 4, 2007 - 22 answers

I never give congratulations in restaurants...

Spelling filter: Why do I ALWAYS struggle with the same few particular words? [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime on Mar 20, 2007 - 44 answers

Arabic tapestry?

What does the writing on this tapestry mean? It looks like Arabic, but I'm not sure. [more inside]
posted by nervestaple on Dec 21, 2006 - 11 answers

Cussin' and Writin'

Writers: When do you use profanity in writing? [more inside]
posted by clairezulkey on Nov 10, 2006 - 29 answers

Oops, that's not quite what I meant...

Wordfilter: looking for a word or phrase that describes social paradoxical effects, where the action results in the opposite of its intention. [more inside]
posted by dragonsi55 on Oct 23, 2006 - 6 answers

What do you call those little quotes in books?

What is the term for those little quotes that sometimes open books? [more inside]
posted by SansPoint on Oct 20, 2006 - 11 answers

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