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Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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September 30

Ukrainian Nazi Mystery Photo - Please help identify this photo!
A friend of mine purchased a random box of photos from a Brooklyn yard sale over the weekend. Deep within the collection were several photos depicting life during and immediately after WWII. Based on the photos we have been able to piece together that they most likely belonged to a member of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician). [more inside]
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:45 PM - 2 answers

September 29

...And the goblins will get ya if ya don't watch out!
I'm looking for creepy couplets, spooky sonnets, and other Halloween-y poems to share with younger children. Shorter is better, and I'm not interested in the overtly gross. [more inside]
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 8:52 AM - 20 answers

September 28

Trying to find Native American female author's name
I went to Ohio University, Athens,during or around the time of 1998/99. We had a female poet come and present her poetry to us as a part of school programming, a special event. Her work was very powerful, she may have recently won at award around that time, I do not think she was a professor anywhere. I am not sure where she was from, but I kinda think Canada. She wrote about her recovery from alcoholism and I think she talked about butterflies, that may have been a title of one of books or books of poetry. She also spoke about medicine women and how she could communicate with animals. Does anyone have any idea about what I am talking about? Thanks
posted by cheetahchick at 8:38 AM - 10 answers

September 27

Help identifying writing on a Russian? bark painting
It is a little painting on bark. Trying to find out more information about it. But I am being stymied by not really knowing Russian characters while trying to google the writing on it. Pics inside. Thanks! [more inside]
posted by jeribus at 11:04 PM - 6 answers

September 25

Hot as a synonym for spicy?
Do any other languages use hot as a synonym for spicy? Examples of spicy in other languages with etymology / literal translation are welcome
posted by shaqlvaney at 9:46 PM - 23 answers

Rolled R-less cultures
In which cultures/countries is it RARE for people to be able to sustain a tongue-rolled R? (Say, fewer than 1 in 10 people can do it?) In this case I mean sustain artificially long, say for 3 seconds.
posted by kalapierson at 1:43 PM - 12 answers

September 23

Why Does My English Suck?
I have been speaking English for 2/3 of my life, yet I still think my English sucks. Care to enlighten me why? [more inside]
posted by pixxie at 5:08 PM - 36 answers

Finding a book I read years ago: Jailhouse Lit edition
Years ago I read a funny novel from the public library, the premise of which I can best describe as M*A*S*H crossed with Hogan's Heroes and set in a maximum security men's prison. This would have had to be about 25 years ago or more. Wondering if this rings a bell with anybody who can tell me what it might have been.
posted by Flexagon at 1:22 PM - 8 answers

Michelangelo quote translation help
A follow up to this Michelangelo quote question - Calling Italian & Urdu speakers for some translation help! [more inside]
posted by raztaj at 7:30 AM - 8 answers

September 22

Write it Down
Due to some unforseen life events, I no longer want to write in my old journal. I'm looking for a new one and need reccomendations. [more inside]
posted by Aranquis at 8:09 AM - 22 answers

September 21

A platform-agnostic Journal app.
So I've been using Oh Life to keep a journal for the last two years. The most useful feature is that it emails you a daily prompt, then stores your response online. You can also export all of your entries as a single document at any time. Sadly, the site is going away in October. Are there any other online journal apps that have similar email prompts, and aggregate your entries? [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 4:14 AM - 6 answers

September 20

Kanji translation help
Can anyone tell me what this means? [more inside]
posted by Put the kettle on at 1:40 PM - 5 answers

Online English Grammar Resources Needed
I am looking for three things here: 1) Some kind of drill, preferably in game format but anything good will do 2) tools to run my writing through to catch my errors and 3) generic reference materials. Online resources are strongly preferred, in part because I get sick when I handle books and papers too much. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 12:15 PM - 2 answers

How do actors shed their accents?
I'm very curious how actors are taught to shed their accents or mimic an accent. [more inside]
posted by tckma at 3:08 AM - 11 answers

September 19

Bookfilter: I have just finished the Outlander Series, what next please?
I'm having an Outlander series reading hangover, I loved it. I'm looking for some historical fiction romance. [more inside]
posted by ibakecake at 4:24 PM - 13 answers

September 18

Resources for writing and revising policies, procedures, & regulations?
I work in state government and my position may soon shift to policy analysis, which would include writing and revising policies, procedures, and regulations. I have plenty of experience researching regulations, but not as much in the areas of writing and revising. Can anyone recommend any resources (books or websites) which may be helpful for this type of writing? Thank you! [more inside]
posted by onecircleaday at 11:53 PM - 6 answers

MeFi Writers, Help Me With a Personal Writing Project
I'm taking next week off to do two things. The first is to develop some habits that are conducive to me writing continually, daily and with presentable results. The second is to actually have a product by the end of the week. I'm thinking one good and fairly polished short story. Please give me advice and ideas about how to accomplish this. Do you need a place to work that is for "writing only"? Do you have a daily routine? Did you have to develop self-discipline? Do you have rituals like meditation or having tea or writing by candle light? Do you listen to music? With an entire week to do whatever I want, how do I best use my time for writing? [more inside]
posted by snsranch at 5:53 PM - 12 answers

Grammar/style for mathematicians?
I'm interested in learning about the details of English grammar and usage, and also maybe in picking up some prescriptions or guidelines for writing well-styled/balanced prose (a la Strunk & White, though my understanding is that there's potentially a great many schools of thought to look at here). The kicker: my academic background is in math and computer science, including the very formal reaches of things like logic, formal languages, etc. Is there any way that this stuff can help me learn that stuff? [more inside]
posted by karo at 2:36 PM - 9 answers

Making up vocabulary words?
Is there a word that means "discriminating on the basis of religion"? The closest thing I can think of is "creedist", which isn't an actual word. Is there a word that means what "creedist" would mean if it were a word that existed? Thanks!
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 5:26 AM - 16 answers

A word for someone who is a follower of trends
Can you think of a single word for a person or organisation who aspires to follow new trends and fashions? Not "hipster", which is in the ballpark, but closer to the business idea of a "fast follower"? Doesn't need to have negative connotations.
posted by dontjumplarry at 3:36 AM - 29 answers

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