I do a lot of work-related communication with people whose English is less than 100% fluent, and sometimes there are miscommunications that I think result from incomplete comprehension of the things that I say. I'd like to do what I can to minimize that. [more inside]
20ish years ago there was a one-page essay in the (maybe? Last page?) New Yorker that featured many uses of words that had no such root or form. I can't think of any specific words in the essay, but even what the words or practice are called and a list would be nice. Things like "rambunction" for rambunctious, or "consternating" for consternation. Is this mere coinage, or is there a wider practice at work? [more inside]
What script is this painted text written in? This feels like an embarrassing sentence to write, but I suspect it's either a Brahmic script or something from Tolkien. (Bonus question: What does it say?)
What is a great website for teaching how-to-write kanji, with animations? [more inside]
Can you offer some names for this line of discursive reasoning that goes "only the strongest is strong at all" or "only the most pretty people are pretty." So far I can think of two: No True Scottsman and the various ways of saying "might makes right" but I have a tip of the tongue feeling there are a lot of these.
Brief Shakespeare quotation on the idea of desire or love as muse / as source of creative fire? [more inside]
I’ve been a lifelong reader and writer. I’m realizing while doing more writing (and in particular editing my own writing) that I need better resources and suggestions for learning English grammar. I've been told by some editors that I make mistakes and I’d love to have a better sense of how to polish what I write and deal with the little bits of grammatical inaccuracies that sprout up in finished pieces. [more inside]
Can a writer's literary style or technique be summed up in one phrase? I am trying to compile such a list of descriptions. An example would be: "Ernest Hemingway: Simple, terse, unadorned, and uses few adjectives." George Bernard Shaw: "Energetic, witty, intellectual, aggressive, comedic, and socially critical." The more technical the description, the better.
What are some works of SFF that showcase beautiful language on a par with All The King's Men, Gilead, and Raymond Chandler's detective novels? I've read plenty of SFF that has transported me, but little that's struck me as gorgeously written. Thanks!
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.
Can anybody tell me what sort of writing this is, and what (if anything) it says?
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]
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)
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?
What language is this? What does it say? [more inside]
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]
Where can I see numbered diagrams for handwriting each Cyrillic letter?
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]
How do you go about consciously aping the voice/tone/style of a particular genre of fiction or writer? [more inside]
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]
I aspire to write beautifully -- what is some great writing that uses colorful, creative language and style? [more inside]
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]
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?
As a reader, how do you feel about invented language versus familiar words in imaginary worlds? [more inside]
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.
Are question marks necessary. [more inside]
English language friends: Why do we use the word “different” when it doesn’t appear to be necessary? [more inside]
Does self publishing hurt your mainstream publishing chances? [more inside]
TL;DR in advance: English MA grad, wondering what to do with his life. A lot [more inside]
Help me be a better editor... for my wife. [more inside]
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]
Again with the screen-punching. [more inside]
I have written a cover letter. I would like to know whether it makes recruiters jump for joy or punch the screen. [more inside]
I'd like to read some sharp, simple fiction writing to improve my academic essays -- what would I like? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
I'm moving to the UK for the next three years and have some questions about my identity and language use. [more inside]
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]
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]
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
Tell me everything you know about this sentence construction: "Are you finished your lunch?" [more inside]
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.
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]
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?
I am looking for writings on mimesis in regards new, digital, hypertext and hypermedial technologies and cultures. [more inside]
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]
What's the deal with Sarcastic Caps? You know The Kind I Mean. [more inside]
What are the best ways to learn shorthand? [more inside]
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