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August 22

33 1/3 series: What works, what doesn't?
The 33 1/3 series is a formidable list of little books about influential records, written by music writers, musicians, writers and fans. It seems to vary significantly in tone and in the writer's approach. For those of you who have read some of these books, which ones (or particular sections) stuck with you? Which didn't work so well? I would love to write one of these, and I'm trying to calibrate my angle as I hone my pitch.
posted by umbú at 5:42 PM - 11 answers

August 21

Help me identify my wedding reading!
This quote is all over the internet with conflicting attributions. Can you help me identify the original source? "You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving..." [more inside]
posted by purplevelvet at 11:27 PM - 3 answers

How to pick a name for my company
I would like to pick a name for my construction company. I am living in Vancouver, Canada. I am looking for something tough and masculine as the industry itself. How can I find a catchy name which is not already taken? Also, I would like to use the word "development" instead of "construction" at the end of my company name (xyz development) Do you think it is a good idea since its more general?
posted by mbn1455 at 11:11 PM - 19 answers

A play of palindromes
When I was in high school, in 1990, I found a humor collection in my school library. I am trying to remember the name of the collection. It contained a play written entirely in palindromes. I believe, but am not certain, that it contained a story by James Thurber, possibly about a man named Margaret. I'd really like to track down the name of the play and/or the author. Does this ring any bells for anyone?
posted by plague at 5:51 PM - 1 answers

Nomenclature needed for a tool
If you were working with a digital tool that was responsible for placing or verifying digital signatures, what would you expect that tool to be called? Not a product name, but rather name of the class of tool (like a codec for encoding/decoding or a compiler for translating code in one language to another)?
posted by plinth at 8:49 AM - 6 answers

August 20

Plural of Agent Provocateur
What is the plural form of "agent provocateur" and what other compound words use a similar pluralization scheme in English? At first I thought it followed the pattern of attorneys general or courts-martial but now I'm not so sure.
posted by Jeff Howard at 1:12 PM - 29 answers

Care to play Cyrano?
A dear friend is very anxious about writing someone who once declared his love yet who now ignores her. What might be the proper etiquette here? [more inside]
posted by R2WeTwo at 11:13 AM - 57 answers

August 18

It's not there for the GOOD days...
There's a pithy one-liner, almost a saying or slogan, about how it's easy to complain about or take something for granted when you don't need it, but it's super important when you do need it. I'm pretty sure that this one-liner originally applied to one specific thing (maybe the police, maybe a labour union, maybe socialized health care), but the sentiment could easily be generalized to a whole set of special purpose institutions. This whole goddamn saying is right on the tip of my tongue. Help me out?
posted by 256 at 5:23 PM - 12 answers

Wedding Reading both for, and about, sisters
Asking for a friend: She has been asked to do a reading at her sister's wedding in a few weeks. She does not want to use anything biblical or from Shakespeare. Rhyming is ok, but it doesn't have to, and not epically long. The important and tricky part - she'd like it to be on the theme of sisters, but wedding appropriate. Help?
posted by librarianamy at 5:24 AM - 5 answers

August 17

Trying to remember Latin-y word meaning place of death and destruction.
Trying to recall word used in TV show Bones, meaning place of death and destruction, maybe with connotation/denotation of incineration of slaughterhouse. I think it ended in -orium. [more inside]
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:01 PM - 6 answers

Word association: Fairy Tale
Further to the success of a previous Ask Me, in which I was given a great idea for a fictional story I am writing, I am back with another question. I would like to know what people, places, events and objects you associate with fairy tales, folklore, myths etc. [more inside]
posted by Youremyworld at 5:50 PM - 27 answers

August 14

Give me your most jargon-filled work-related statements
I love jargon, especially among sub-genres of things. This week a web developer friend uttered a sentence about frameworks and databases that made sense but sounded so ridiculous I had to stop and ask him to repeat it. I'd like to hear more of these. Please give me the most jargon-filled sentence that you might have uttered at work in the past few weeks and made complete sense to coworkers, but sounds utterly ridiculous to outsiders, and state what your occupation/context was for it.
posted by mathowie at 7:47 AM - 30 answers

August 13

Help me write a memorable enough wedding toast!
How do I write a memorable, but not too memorable wedding toast? I've looked at previous questions, and looked online but I'm having a trouble due to complicating factors. [more inside]
posted by kendrak at 6:53 PM - 9 answers

In Japanese, why is the demonstrative "あそこ" instead of just "あこ"?
Japanese demonstratives follow the こそあど pattern, such as with これ/それ/あれ/どれ and この/その/あの/どの, so why does the pattern change with ここ/そこ/あそこ/どこ? Logically, shouldn't あそこ be あこ? Why isn't this the case? [more inside]
posted by reductiondesign at 2:18 PM - 3 answers

August 12

Example of Japanese-speaker singing Disney song phonetically in English?
I've been digging for about a week and I can't find audio examples of a japanese-speaker singing Disney songs phonetically in English. I know it's a thing, because I think I remember being shown this sort of thing vis-a-vis The Circle of Life a few years back by someone who was bilingual, and I got the impression from the number of videos then that this was a common practice among Japanese (and maybe other Asian countries?) kids to do. Can someone find me a link? Or give me better search terms? [more inside]
posted by ABlanca at 9:10 PM - 2 answers

Looking for a term: mispronouncing a word you've only ever read
Mr. sixswitch and I both have a common experience of precocious kids: trying out words that we've learned from reading in conversation, with tragic results. I pronounced disheveled as dis-heveled (because obviously you could also be heveled), he said 'doicksiem' instead of 'deuxième', and so on right up til yesterday (chassiss for chassis). Is there a linguistics term or nickname for this type of thing? [more inside]
posted by sixswitch at 6:35 AM - 44 answers

August 10

What are the Classics of Genre Fiction
Genre fiction is typically underrepresented in lists of classic novels. We all know the classics of literary fiction (War & Peace, Ulysses, Pride & Prejudice, etc.). But who's the Tolstoy of Fantasy? Who's the Austen of spy fiction? [more inside]
posted by therumsgone at 8:46 PM - 26 answers

'Being' and creativity: does meditation dissolve imagination?
A lot of mindfulness meditation techniques focus on awareness of the present moment and stepping outside our personal narratives. My question is: does this process end up dissolving our perceptions of the past; and when one side steps the narrative, doesn't it make it harder to compose and imagine stories that exist outside of the present moment?
posted by wallawallasweet at 7:02 AM - 11 answers

SF stories to make one's blood pressure rise.
I recently had the displeasure of encountering Philip K. Dick's "The Pre-Persons" for the first time. What other SF stories or novels by name authors are waiting to affront my political sensibilities? [more inside]
posted by vathek at 6:28 AM - 30 answers

August 9

Young Adult Novel: a dragon, a sandstorm and a girl with double eyelids
I'm looking for the title/author of a YA novel I read in the nineties. [more inside]
posted by puffyn at 6:24 PM - 3 answers

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