Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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August 24

Reading the Jack & Stephen books on a Kindle

I'm re-reading the Aubrey and Maturin books, this time on a Kindle. Is there a custom dictionary I can use as my normal Kindle dictionary? [more inside]
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:04 PM - 6 answers

August 22

What are some funny insults for frat boys?

Writing a friend a birthday poem, and looking for funny, punny jokey nicknames and friendly insults for frat boy types - the kind of guy whose interests might include: beer, workouts, televised sports, axe body spray, snack food, protein shakes, bro culture. [more inside]
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:34 PM - 18 answers

Do I need a literary agent? A contract lawyer? NOW? How do I find one?

I sent my novel manuscript to a reputable small press and, to my delight, got an offer! But then I received the proposed contract, and it has a number of provisions that are making me unwilling to sign it as is. What should I do? How do I do it? [more inside]
posted by kyrademon at 5:07 AM - 10 answers

August 21

Help with translating from shorthand

My friend came into possession of a 100-year-old maths textbook, and the front page contains handwritten text, apparently written in shorthand. Neither he nor I can read any form of shorthand, and Googling has proven fruitless, but he would love to get some idea of what it says.
posted by littlegreen at 1:45 PM - 4 answers

Looking for a article (linked off a former AskMefi comment thread)

In search of a short fiction story probably linked off a former AskMefi comment thread). [more inside]
posted by DBAPaul at 11:24 AM - 0 answers

August 20

Best paperback edition of the complete works of Shakespeare?

I've got several hardcover collections of Shakespeare but what I'm craving is a paperback version that can open/lay flat, with clear and legible text and quality paper -- annotations and footnotes are welcome but introductory essays and extensive commentary aren't required. The Amazon reviews of various editions are unhelpful because, due to some odd algorithm, they don't all correspond to the actual editions on sale. Can anyone recommend an edition that fits my specifications? Thanks in advance!
posted by mylittlepoppet at 9:13 PM - 8 answers

August 19

Book recs - Diaries and letters written by people in late middle age

I want to read journals and letters by people in their fifties and sixties. It could be anyone, anywhere, any century. I prefer good writing, and some levity. Most of all I'm looking for a sense of personality, text that brings the writer to life. The writer in his/her late middle age has lived several decades. They are settled in themselves, yet they still struggle. They look forward to years ahead, and they ponder mortality. What do they have to say? [more inside]
posted by valannc at 5:13 PM - 19 answers

August 18

everyday life in late 16th century Italy?

I failed the Google. I need sources on "everyday" stuff as it would have been experienced in Lombardy, around 1600. Lots of different household types and social classes. I know this is super niche but I've seen some history buff types on here before so... maybe? [more inside]
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:45 PM - 9 answers

An Annotated Michael Innes?

Or failing that, academic papers or blogs where I can try to figure out his literary references? [more inside]
posted by Marauding Ennui at 4:36 AM - 4 answers

August 17

The [canyons] are calling and I must go.

What should we read/listen to as we hike and bike our way through Utah? [more inside]
posted by headnsouth at 12:02 PM - 6 answers

August 16

Any recommended Spanish(Latin) museums/exhibits/activities in DC?

I am in a Spanish "immersion" course in DC for the next 8 months (native English speaker) and looking to take advantage of the opportunities in DC., and can take "field trips" during the day to help with learning the language Latin culture. I'm looking at what the Smithsonian and Spanish Embassy is offering, but seeing if anyone has any insight into what my googel-ing won't offer. Thanks!
posted by aggienfo at 11:09 AM - 5 answers

Can I save myself hours of linguistic data analysis??

I have roughly 100 narrative language transcripts that I need to code and analyse. So far I've spent a good few weeks getting through all the coding that definitely needs to be done by a human, but now I'm left with all the measures that I know somewhere there must be some software/online analyser to help me figure out other than 100% manually. [more inside]
posted by rose selavy at 3:13 AM - 4 answers

August 15

A book full of sex and drugs and rock and roll, but not about musicians?

I need book recommendations (or genres?) that I can find at my public library tomorrow. Not musician biographies. [more inside]
posted by chocolatepeanutbuttercup at 7:33 PM - 22 answers

Horror fiction that touches on themes of disability and the environment

I'm making a reading list for a professor and I am hitting a wall finding good material. I need fiction (long or short) that can be categorized (even very loosely) as horror, and that engages with themes of disability AND environmental sustainability. [more inside]
posted by pretentious illiterate at 7:38 AM - 21 answers

August 11

A Pox On Knox - Mefite investigators, have at it!

Silly old poem from my childhood. I'd love to find the whole thing and the origin, and my google-fu is not all that strong on the best of days. Does this ring any bells? [more inside]
posted by janey47 at 10:19 AM - 4 answers

August 9

YASID about a weird house and It's not And He Build a Crooked House

My friend is looking for this story and none of us remember where it is from. A traveler or explorer encountered a house and walked in through the front door. He walked through the house, out the back door and around to the front of the house. He discovered that the front of the house was pinched off and inaccessible. Please help
posted by bleary at 3:27 PM - 7 answers

August 7

Name That Book Series

Long forgotten series that I read in the 1980's. A maid at a Scottish or English manor ends up starting a perfume or cosmetics empire. The books cover decades of the women's lives. At one point one of the characters meets Picasso in south France. [more inside]
posted by futz at 12:11 PM - 8 answers

August 6

Strange, dreamy books set by the ocean

Dear Mefi, another ‘books with a feel like…’ post. This time I’m after novels set by the sea (or by a lake if we must), but with a fabulist, magical or eerie feel. Not looking for out and out horror, just a feeling of strangeness in the air. Ambiguity a plus, and many bonus points if set in a run-down seaside town. Examples below the line... [more inside]
posted by reynir at 10:40 AM - 35 answers

August 3

Is the phrase "wistful longing" redundant?

In other words, can one long for something in a manner that doesn't demonstrate wistfulness? Can one be wistful without longing for something (a person, a missed opportunity, whatever)?
posted by t(h)om(as) at 3:13 AM - 9 answers

August 2

Looking for GREAT online examples of teaching statements & philosophies

I'd like to update a stale resume. Have you come across any inspiring examples of online teaching statements and philosophies at the university level? Thank you! [more inside]
posted by carter at 6:41 AM - 3 answers

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