Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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September 20

Books about sheltered people becoming worldly

What are some books where the protagonist is naive/spoilt/sheltered and goes through a life changing experience that makes them worldly and resilient? [more inside]
posted by lazy robot at 2:38 AM - 35 answers

September 19

Tips for helping learn the tricksy parts of the Irish language?

Miko and I are leaving for Ireland (Dublin, Galway, Aran Islands, etc.) in early October, and we're having enormous fun learning Irish. Could use fluent speaker assistance in cutting through the competing information. [more inside]
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 10:43 AM - 8 answers

September 16

I need book recommendations for a teenager

I tutor at a school, and am working with a bright sixteen year old girl who has been out of the habit of reading for pleasure for several years (she says she stopped reading for fun at eleven or so, after switching schools) but is keen to get back to it. I'm looking for books to recommend to her. [more inside]
posted by Aravis76 at 6:17 AM - 36 answers

September 15

How To Get My Right On?

I feel trapped in my left brain and have been since birth, basically. But I’m tired of it. Are there effective ways to achieve better lateralization of my brain hemispheres so that I can unlock some (hopefully latent) creativity? [more inside]
posted by fiery.hogue at 9:17 AM - 15 answers

September 14

Is there an English word that means "object of my desires"?

More specifically, is there a word that means "the person (or thing) that someone thinks about when they are masturbating." [more inside]
posted by Winnie the Proust at 7:56 AM - 19 answers

September 13

Need help naming a thing!

My company is working on a new data infrastructure project that needs a great name. It is essentially an automated pipeline for location-based data that has logic for cleaning, de-duping, flagging etc. Would be great it if related in some cute way to the name of the company (Winnie), but we've already used Winnebago for something else. Go!
posted by annekate at 12:06 PM - 11 answers

September 12

Nonfiction describing learning/daily experience in profession/skill/etc?

I just finished Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, a book about working in a crematorium, and I am craving more nonfiction books describing what it is like to work in a particular field/profession, or just what it is like to learn or do a particular skill/hobby. Does not have to be sole focus of book, just occupy big chunks of it. [more inside]
posted by Cozybee at 9:37 PM - 33 answers

Speculative Fiction fit for the Trump era?

American War - The Mandibles - The Plot Against America - Underground Airlines - The Handmaid's Tale [more inside]
posted by fso at 1:15 PM - 10 answers

What does a tilde (~) in front of a number mean to a non-mathy person?

If you don't normally identify as a science/math/engineering type, how would your interpret the meaning of a tilde symbol in front of a number in a friend's text message? [more inside]
posted by eotvos at 11:55 AM - 51 answers

In Night and Morning, by Robert Browning, what does the last line mean?

Describing his dawn parting from a lover, the narrator closes with "And the need of a world of men for me." What's he referring to? [more inside]
posted by LonnieK at 8:57 AM - 12 answers

September 11

Will they or won't they?

I'm looking for well-written books or short stories that do a good job of building sexual tension. I am not looking specifically for sex scenes, but rather stories where the tension simmers and builds and you find yourself asking 'will they or won't they'? Bonus points if the tension is between same-sex characters. Not interested in sci-fi, probably not interested in fantasy.
posted by Seahorse, rode hard and put away wet at 10:14 AM - 18 answers

September 8

Recommendations on Dark/black comedy literature

Some people cope with difficult life events with cat photos but I prefer reading parody, satire, non-fiction/fictional accounts of terrible events written in an entertaining manner. [more inside]
posted by chrono_rabbit at 1:13 PM - 20 answers

September 7

What book had these spooky mysteries?

It was softcover, not hardcover, but wider/longer than most paperback books are. It had a white cover. It had three stories in it. Each story was a spooky mystery and it had all these different clues for how you could solve them, and then at the end of the story it told you what the solution was. I think one of the three stories involved....a ghost train? Another may have involved an old mansion. I think it was different from the ghost train one but I can't be sure. Also there were lots of illustrations. This would have been read in the 90s. Asking for a friend.
posted by jeather at 5:53 AM - 2 answers

September 6

Is this an example of a Self-Fulfilling or Self-Defeating Prophecy?

If we don't sell enough widgets, the manufacturer has to raise the price to compensate for the lack of revenue. But if the manufacturer raises the price, it will be harder to sell the widget.
posted by FireStyle at 10:10 AM - 11 answers

Obscure reference in 'Bring Up The Bodies'

What is the 'fallen man' referred to in this throwaway passage from Hilary Mantel's 'Bring Up The Bodies'? I assure you this is not my homework. [more inside]
posted by citands at 5:59 AM - 19 answers

September 5

What music is my character listening to - in 2003

I am trying to build a playlist for a fictional teenage girl in 2003. All I listened to in 2003 was Jonatha Brooke and Dar Williams. Help me make her a little more well rounded. [more inside]
posted by Biblio at 4:17 AM - 32 answers

September 1

Gaelic Goblin Cognomen Glossary

I'd like Irish/Gaelic speakers to tell me, in as much detail as possible, about the correct way to pronounce an uncommon name. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 8:45 AM - 11 answers

August 31

Amicus Curious (Latin-Translation Filter)

I'm getting married in September and will be giving my fellow-attorney Best Friend (this in lieu of "Best Man," as she's not the latter) a wristwatch. I'd like to have it engraved with something relevant to our shared profession that's sincere, but with a touch of whimsy. [more inside]
posted by MimeticHaHa at 9:49 AM - 5 answers

History of Propaganda

I'm looking for your suggestions of a readable but reliable history of propaganda.
posted by roolya_boolya at 2:57 AM - 8 answers

August 28

'The hole' in theory and thought

I am interested in 'the hole' in its conceptual, metaphorical, and literal crossovers. Who has written about holes? In the ground? In theory? In myth and fiction? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious at 9:44 AM - 33 answers

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