Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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August 1

Past away or passed away?

One or two of my dictionaries say that past comes from passed,which is not common but is not wrongly spelled.Although I actually have seen it before in a reading matter,I can not find even one example for the moment.Then could you show me the evidence of that past is not the misspelling of passed?Which spelling do you write, past away or passed away?
posted by mizukko at 7:48 AM - 16 answers

July 31

How to plan a weekend of binge-writing?

I'm close to an important academic deadline, and I need to hole up somewhere this weekend and just churn out words. My goal is to produce about 10-12,000 words of rough draft in the next 3 days (there will be time to edit so I'm not too worried about polish at this stage). I would like some tips on how to maximise my chances of getting this done. [more inside]
posted by Aravis76 at 8:30 AM - 25 answers

July 30

Garbage People

When did the phrase "Garbage People/Person" become popular? [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight at 1:47 PM - 35 answers

July 29

Pride and Prejudice Continued

I'm home sick today and need something to occupy my brain so I'm looking for recommendations of Pride and Prejudice continuations. [more inside]
posted by poxandplague at 2:56 PM - 24 answers

July 28

Turkish Hip-Hop Translation: Roadside Picnic

I recently interviewed a Turkish band who introduced me to the group 'Roadside Picnic', who make fantastic, alluring left-field hip-hop. I've been hopelessly hooked on this live version of what I presume is a new song from the duo. It's titled "Bir Ustamızın Havası", and I'd love to know what the song is talking about. [more inside]
posted by beijingbrown at 11:52 PM - 0 answers

Help translating a flyer from English to Portuguese

I have volunteered to help out with a thing, and now I have a (short) bit of text that I am hoping someone can translate from English into Portuguese for me. [more inside]
posted by janepanic at 4:57 PM - 3 answers

July 27

Visuals that come to mind?

I am trying to create symbols and images that children can associate with certain words. Can you help me come up with all the visuals that come to mind for the words "advisor" and "luxury" (these are the two that I am stuck on because of how complex and non-accessible for children they can be)?
posted by omar.a at 11:00 PM - 19 answers

What 3 letter word should I get engraved on a knife?

I want to buy a cheap rainbow folding knife and get it engraved with something rad. I only have three letters to work with, however. [more inside]
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:47 AM - 90 answers

July 26

Business Nomenclature

I'm writing several form letters targeting different types of business and would like to use the proper terms with each type. For example, lawyers have clients at their practice. Theaters have patrons at their venue. Doctors have patients at their clinic (or practice). Stores have customers at their business. What are some other examples I could prepare? [more inside]
posted by Sophont at 12:39 PM - 12 answers

July 25

Why are Russianized family names more common in Central Asia?

Why are Russianized family names more common in Central Asia than other parts of the former Soviet Union? [more inside]
posted by pravit at 4:00 PM - 5 answers

July 24

Analogies for Someone Stuck in Their Comfort Zone or Resistant to Change

What are some good analogies to inspire someone who's stuck in their comfort zone or are resistant to change to embrace an open mindset towards the idea of positive change/transformation? [more inside]
posted by purefusion at 3:14 PM - 13 answers

What should it be called: ATM or Cash Machine?

Explaining researching that uses data point around ATM/cash machines for both American and international audiences. In the US, people know them as ATMs. In the UK, they are often called cash machines, or cash points. I can only pick one for this work: which should I pick? [more inside]
posted by troytroy at 1:53 PM - 26 answers

July 23

No dirty limericks, but a veiled sonnet would be nice

Wedding poetry recommendations for a pair of active, late 20-somethings? [more inside]
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:37 PM - 12 answers

July 22

Did people actually say "shwench"?

Many years ago I read this William Safire article in which he claims that "shwench" is 1985 slang for a female college first-year. Did anyone ever actually use this completely bogus-sounding slang term? [more inside]
posted by town of cats at 10:26 PM - 22 answers

Communication vs Communications

A recent question here involved a job title with the word Communications in it. I thought, from the job description, that Communication (no s) was the more appropriate word--but apparently I was wrong. Can someone explain why? [more inside]
posted by mpark at 2:55 PM - 9 answers

July 21

Help me find a quote like this?

I'm trying to find a quote that fits a romantic (but not overly saccharine) mood that basically says "I do this because of my love for you, I believe in it because you believe in it, I stand by your side against adversity because I know I am with you."
posted by cyrusw8 at 9:59 PM - 13 answers

Translation of Hebrew Signage on Small Building

There is this odd little building in my neighborhood and I would really like to know what the sign on it says and what it could possibly be used for. I saw it being built over the past year, but I have no clue what it is. Here is the building and this is the sign on front.
posted by Julnyes at 12:11 PM - 5 answers

Introducing honoured guests

I am responsible for introducing (in English) a number of honoured guests from Japan at an event in Canada. I am looking for the appropriate English honorifics (His Excellency, Her Honour, etc) for some specific government officials, as well as some general honorifics. [more inside]
posted by arcticwoman at 10:04 AM - 8 answers

July 20

What do we call the type of noun following the verb "effect"?

You can effect a change but you cannot effect a banana. Change and banana are both nouns; is there a specific name for the type of noun that "change" is but "banana" isn't? Or is this a case where it can't be described in the way I'm hoping. TIA!
posted by ftm at 1:14 PM - 25 answers

July 19

Russian Surname Transliteration

What possible Russian surname is "Goloumachaya" when badly transliterated into Roman script? It comes from a mid-1900s English source, but has no search results on the internet. [more inside]
posted by Thing at 3:00 PM - 10 answers

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